San Diego

La Mesa Participating in New Community Energy Program

Residents can choose to opt out of the program and have their power generated by SDG&E instead

NBC Universal, Inc.

La Mesa has joined a program that will enroll the city under a new electricity provider that generates renewable power, joining Imperial Beach after the South Bay community enrolled last month.

The San Diego Community Power (SDCP) program says it purchases renewable power and feeds it into the electricity grid. It then works with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to "deliver it to you at competitive rates."

As part of the program, La Mesa electric customers could potentially see their monthly bills decrease and reduce their carbon footprint. While SDCP focuses on generating power from wind and solar, SDG&E remains involved in the billing process, transmission and distribution of electricity.

With soaring utility costs, San Diegans now can enroll in the San Diego Community Power rollout as an alternative to SDG&E.

"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 last month. “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."

SDG&E says it is on board with the initiative and doing its part to support the 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.

Since SDCP is a community choice aggregation (CCA) program, state rules dictate 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 the SDCP to opt out of the program.

Several other municipalities in San Diego County will join the program in the next couple of months. Encinitas will join in April while Chula Vista and San Diego will join in May. National City and unincorporated areas of the county are set to launch the program next year.

For more information on SDCP, click here.

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