Mayor Gloria Announces Public Forums on Future of Energy Franchises
SAN DIEGANS WILL HAVE MULTIPLE CHANCES TO MAKE THEIR VOICES HEARD IN OPEN, TRANSPARENT PROCESS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 7, 2021
SAN DIEGO Ensuring that San Diego residents have abundant opportunities to provide input on how gas and electricity will be provided to homes and businesses going forward, Mayor Todd Gloria is announcing the first in a series of public forums to be held before the current franchise agreements end in June.
The City will have an inclusive and transparent process as we seek new agreements that will affect every resident and business in San Diego, Mayor Gloria said. It is critically important that we have a collaborative conversation with our residents, businesses, and community groups. We must ensure that any new agreements protect ratepayers, allow us to reach our climate goals, provide equitable access to environmental benefits for all our communities, and give us the flexibility to explore all options for how we supply energy in the future.
One way for the public to participate is by speaking at an upcoming virtual meeting of the City Councils Environment Committee, which will hold hearings on the energy franchises during its Jan. 28 and Feb. 25 meetings. The meetings begin at 1 p.m. Instructions for how to participate can be found here.
Additionally, Mayor Gloria is asking Councilmembers to partner with him in hosting virtual community forums to receive valuable feedback from residents, businesses, and community groups in their districts.
Initial community forums have been coordinated with Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera, chair of the Environment Committee.
It is crucial that we break down the walls of City Hall and amplify the voices of the people in this process, said Councilmember Elo-Rivera, who represents District 9. I look forward to working with Mayor Gloria, my Council colleagues and the communities of San Diego in the coming months to identify criteria of the agreements that the people of this City deserve.
District 9 public meetings (RSVP instructions will be announced next week):
Jan. 23: Virtual Public Forum at 1 p.m.
Feb. 1: Virtual Public Forum at 3 p.m.
Feb. 15: Virtual Public Forum at 6:30 p.m.
Additional forums will be announced soon.
Council President Jennifer Campbell expressed support for an open and transparent process.
I want to make the most of this time by creating easy opportunities for residents to have their say in what they want from new franchise agreements, she said. Lets make sure we do this right for the benefit of every San Diegan.
These opportunities for residents to provide input mark an expanded public outreach effort that began in 2020.
SDG&E has held exclusive franchises with the City to provide gas and electric service since 1920. The current franchise agreements, established in 1970, were set to expire on Jan. 17, 2021. Under a process created by the previous mayoral administration, SDG&E was the lone bidder for a new franchise.
However, Mayor Gloria, in consultation with City Attorney Mara Elliott, determined that the bid was unresponsive to the minimum requirements set forth in the Invitation to Bid (ITB). Consequently, the Mayor cancelled the ITB process and initiated talks with SDG&E on extending the current franchises.
On Dec. 10, the City Council voted unanimously to approve the Mayors request to extend the franchise through June 1, 2021. As he contemplates a new ITB, Mayor Gloria is deeply committed to creating a fair and competitive process.