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Clean Energy Entity Holds Inaugural Meeting in Pursuit of Greener Power for San Diego Region

San Diego, Chula Vista, Encinitas, Imperial Beach and La Mesa Formed New Entity to Lower Energy Costs and Reach 100% Renewable Energy By 2035

Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – Marking the latest milestone toward powering San Diego with 100 percent renewable energy, a new regional Community Choice Energy entity held its first meeting Thursday and took several key actions to begin its mission of providing greener power options to residents. The move was praised by regional leaders, and former Gov. Schwarzenegger weighed in to congratulate San Diego.

“San Diego pledged to move to 100 percent renewable energy and now we’re doing it,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “San Diego looks forward to working with its partner cities through this new joint-powers agency to lower costs for customers, provide greener energy options and continue to set the standard for the state and nation.”

Mayor Faulconer led talks with other cities, including Chula Vista, Encinitas, Imperial Beach and La Mesa, to develop the terms for this new regional board. It is the second-largest community choice entity in California in terms of electrical load. San Diego became the largest American city to pursue a clean energy community choice program when the City Council voted to join the joint-powers authority on Sept. 17. San Diego was the first big city in the U.S. to pledge to reach 100 percent renewable when the City Council adopted Mayor Faulconer’s Climate Action Plan in 2015, setting a new standard for the country.

“I want to congratulate San Diego and Mayor Faulconer on their commitment to a 100% renewable future,” said former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “It’s refreshing to see a fellow GOP leader govern with the true Republican principles we’ve seen throughout history. From Teddy Roosevelt establishing the national parks to Ronald Reagan creating the California Air Resources Board, our party should be proud to continue our tradition of conservation.”

The regional entity voted on several important items including the appointment of Encinitas City Councilmember Joe Mosca as interim chair and Cody Hooven, the City of San Diego’s Chief Sustainability Officer, as interim executive officer. Hooven will manage daily operations and represent the agency on business matters until the position is permanently filled. The chair and other board officers including vice chair, interim secretary and interim treasurer will be nominated and elected on Nov. 21.

“I am excited to bring the voice of the community to this board,” said City Councilmember Monica Montgomery, who was appointed by Mayor Faulconer to represent the City. “We have a lot of work to do, but I look forward to helping shape policies that result in local renewable energy and local jobs."

The new board today also established a timeline for its organizational startup activities and set a corresponding budget. The entity’s next steps include seeking approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and becoming an independent energy provider for more than 700,000 customers by spring 2021.

“This is only the beginning for the San Diego region,” said La Mesa Vice Mayor Bill Baber. “The City of La Mesa looks forward to working with our partner cities to protect the environment for future generations.”

The legal name for the new joint-powers entity is the San Diego Regional Community Choice Energy Authority, though that is likely to be changed by board members at a future date ahead of seeking approval from the CPUC.

Mayor Faulconer selected Community Choice as the preferred pathway to reach the 100 percent renewable energy goal in the City’s landmark Climate Action Plan after more than three years of analysis. The entity is charged with creating healthy competition, lower energy costs for ratepayers, and help the City reach its 100 percent renewable energy target by 2035 – a decade ahead of the state’s goal.

Founding board members and alternates sworn in today include:

  • City of San Diego
    • Councilmember Monica Montgomery
    • Councilmember Jennifer Campbell (alternate)
  • City of Chula Vista
    • Councilmember Steve Padilla
    • Councilmember John McCann (alternate)
  • City of Encinitas
    • Councilmember Joe Mosca
    • Mayor Catherine Blakespear (alternate)
  • City of Imperial Beach
    • Councilmember Mark West
    • Paloma Aguirre (alternate)
  • City of La Mesa
    • Vice Mayor Bill Baber
    • Assistant City Manager Greg Humora (alternate)

For additional information, visit the San Diego Regional Community Choice Energy Authority website.

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