Council approves default renewable energy tiers.
By Staff Writer
Starting in 2019, 100 percent renewable energy will be the default product for all residential electricity customers in Santa Monica. The 100 percent renewable energy tier is one of several options for residents and businesses that will be served electricity by the Clean Power Alliance (CPA) of Southern California, a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program.
“Using electricity through renewable electricity sources is the most substantial action Santa Monica can take to achieve carbon neutrality,” said Dean Kubani, Chief Sustainability Officer and Assistant Director of Public Works. “Santa Monicans will now know where their power is coming from and, for the first time, have multiple renewable options.”
The new rates, which are expected to be on average between $56 and $72 more annually, will start to appear on residents’ March electric utility bills. Low-income qualified customers will receive the same discount on their rates and experience no net increase in cost compared to Southern California Edison (SCE) rates. Services for commercial properties in summer 2019.
“The average residential monthly bill ranges from $55-81 per month (2016 data). Based on this average, a 7 – 9 percent rate increase translates into an approximate $4-8 increase on monthly utility bills, and $56-72 increase in annual utility bills,” wrote City Staff in a report. “It is important to note that all customers, residential and commercial, that believe the price premium of the 100 percent renewable power option is an economic burden will have new choices that roughly equal or actually reduce their current electricity costs
The change, which will begin in February, was approved by Santa Monica City Council at their regular meeting on Tuesday, October 23. Under the law, 100 percent renewable energy will be applied to all Santa Monica residents who do not choose to opt out. 50 percent and 36 percent renewable options will be available for residents who do opt out.
“The 100 percent renewable energy tier will be applied to all Santa Monica residents who do not opt out or select another option, which means consumers who do not proactively select a preferred tier will be automatically opted in to the cleanest source,” the City said in a statement. “The City of Santa Monica is required to select a default rate option for electricity generated from renewable resources.”
The CPA is a Joint Power Authority made up of 31 public agencies across Los Angeles and Ventura counties, including Santa Monica, who work together to bring clean, renewable power choices to customers. As the CPA begins to offer service, customers will receive four notices via mail before and after the switch from SCE to CPA. The first notice is scheduled to be distributed at least two months before service launch and will include additional details, including instructions on how to choose a different percentage of renewable content and customer support contact information.