Imperial Beach Kicks Off San Diego's Involvement in New Community Energy Program

Residents are automatically enrolled in the program once their municipality joins, but they can choose to opt out and have their power generated by SDG&E instead

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Imperial Beach residents are now enrolled under a new electricity provider that generates renewable power, with four other communities in San Diego County to follow suit in the following months.

Now under the San Diego Community Power (SDCP) program, Imperial Beach electric customers could potentially reduce their carbon footprint and see a small ding in their monthly bill.

SDCP says it purchases “renewable power, like solar and wind, and feeds it into the electricity grid, working with SDG&E to deliver it to you at competitive rates.” With SDCP focused on generating power in a greener way, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) will still be involved with customer billing, transmission and the distribution of electricity.

"When you get a bill from San Diego Gas & Electric, it’ll have a little line on it that says you’re getting your power from San Diego Community Power,” Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina explained. “Right off the bat, the prices are the same or a little bit more competitive than San Diego Gas & Electric. The second thing is that right away, you’re getting 50 percent of your energy that comes from clean power sources, which is much better than San Diego Gas & Electric."

In addition to being more sustainable, SDCP is also locally-run. Dedina said this helps create green jobs for San Diegans.

"That’s a quadruple win,” the mayor said. “That’s like the World Series and the Super Bowl all in one and so I’m stoked that Imperial Beach is leading this effort."
SDG&E said it is ready to work with the new program.

“We are committed to continuing to work collaboratively with local community choice aggregation programs to support their successful launch and ensure that our mutual customers receive excellent customer service,” the utility company said in a statement.

Tuesday marks Imperial Beach’s new beginning with the program, with La Mesa joining the program in March, Encinitas joining in April, and Chula Vista and San Diego joining in May. National City and unincorporated areas of the county are set to launch the program next year.

Since SDCP is a community choice aggregation (CCA) program, state rules dictate that all electric customers under a municipality that joins a CCA must automatically be enrolled in the program. Those who prefer to have their power generated by SDG&E instead can notify SDCP to opt out of the program.

For more information on SDCP, click here.

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