Solana Beach City Council voted 4-1 in favor of taking the first step needed to enter into an agreement to create a government-run utility company.
It's part of a program called Community Choice Aggregation or CCA.
The move got a round of applause from the people who packed City Hall Wednesday night.
Solana Beach will team up with two private companies, Calpine and The Energy Authority (TEA) to help them purchase energy-- though San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) would still deliver it to residents' homes.
The goal of the government-run utility company would be to reduce cost, draw more power from renewable energy sources, and provide businesses and residents more choices.
"We've never been able to make any decisions as far as where our energy is sourced from. I think this gives all of us a choice as individuals to decide whether we want to stick with SDG&E or move to the CCA,” said Solana Beach resident Kelly Harless.
Deputy Mayor Ginger Marshall said she is for choice and green energy. But as the one dissenting vote, she said her concern with a government-run utility company is added bureaucracy and too many fees.
“You're adding more management and another layer of government. For me, there's too much regulatory and price risk,” Marshall said.
Everyone in Solana Beach will be enrolled with the new utility company, but they would have the ability to opt out and stay with SDG&E.
In response to the vote, SDG&E issued the following statement:
“We support the City of Solana Beach's right to choose its energy supplier. And regardless of where the energy comes from, SDG&E will continue to deliver it on the most reliable power grid in the West.”
Rates have not been set yet, so there are no details on how much savings, if at all, there will be for residents.
Councilmembers will vote again in about six months to decide if they want to continue to move forward with the project.