Mayor Todd Gloria announced Monday that the city will officially transition all of its energy accounts to San Diego's newly launched community choice energy provider, marking the first step toward powering all city facilities with 100% renewable energy sources.
"Making the decision to have 100% renewable energy sources power our city facilities is a choice that will help protect the beautiful city we call home for our children and grandchildren," Gloria said. "Our landmark Climate Action Plan set one of the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the nation and today, we're one step closer to achieving it."
The Climate Action Plan, signed in 2015, has a goal of using 100% renewable energy sources citywide by 2035. The city is in the middle of writing its second five-year climate plan.
San Diego Community Power began providing renewable energy to municipal customers -- including San Diego, La Mesa, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista and Encinitas -- for the first time Monday.
Prior to its implementation, San Diegans only had one energy provider, San Diego Gas and Electric.
Agencies can choose between the default option of 50% renewable energy or the "Power100" rate, which provides electricity from 100% renewable sources. By comparison, San Diego Gas & Electric's current mix of energy sources is about 31% renewable.
Gloria committed the city to the Power 100 rate.
The CCE does not remove SDG&E from the equation. Regardless of which energy provider consumers opt for, SDG&E will still deliver energy to residents and retain responsibility for customer billing, according to city’s sustainability website.
"I applaud Mayor Gloria for taking the bold step to opt up to the 100% renewable energy for powering our city facilities,'' said SDCP board member and San Diego City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe.
"There are currently 24 successful Community Choice Aggregations operating in 190 communities around California,'' she said. "As the second largest in the state, San Diego Community Power will provide reliable, affordable energy service from cleaner, sustainable sources bringing us closer to realizing our Climate Action Plan goals."
Gloria's office said the cost differences are relatively minor, with the Power100 plan expected to be roughly comparable with the current SDG&E rate.
In Phase 1 of the community power rollout, about 9% of the city's total energy load will transition to the Power 100 plan.
"Everybody deserves to live in a healthy environment and should be protected from the impacts of climate change," said Councilman Sean Elo-Rivera, chair of the council's Environment Committee. "That is why it is essential to shift from fossil fuels and invest in clean energy as soon as possible."
San Diego has also developed a Climate Equity Index to evaluate access to opportunity in San Diego's Communities of Concern and guide climate action decisions.
"Our decision to 'opt-up' demonstrates the immediate value of San Diego Community Power and their commitment to helping us achieve our climate goals, including a zero-carbon future,'' said Councilman Joe LaCava, who serves as an alternate member on the SDCP Board of Directors and a member of the Environment Committee. ``Through this partnership we can ensure the next phases of the rollout produce a cleaner mix of energy that is equitably distributed
throughout the city."