Pete Hasapopoulos is a community organizer with the Sierra Club’s My Generation campaign, which is striving for the state of California to be fully powered by clean energy. His recent policy work includes seeing the San Diego and Carlsbad Climate Action Plans across the finish line.
Ongoing work is geared toward getting Community Choice Energy electricity providers established in multiple cities across the region.
California and several other states allows cities and counties to establish nonprofit electricity providers in order to purchase power on behalf of their populations. It’s called Community Choice Energy, or “aggregation” on the law books.
Choice providers, such as the 3 already operating in California, offer their customers more clean energy than the monopoly utilities and buy increasing amounts of clean power from local sources such as rooftop solar over time.
Choice providers also offer local control over rate setting, with a local board of directors making decisions in public meetings and in a manner that is conducive to transparency and public participation. Under the Choice model, the monopoly utility continues to operate and maintain the grid, distinguishing Choice from a traditional municipal utility. Multiple California cities, including San Francisco, are on their way to launching choice providers.
In the next few months the City of San Diego will hire a consultant to conduct a feasibility study that is expected to be complete by next autumn.