The Santa Barbara City Council is expected Tuesday to adopt a roadmap to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.
A report prepared by Matthew R. Fore, senior assistant to the city administrator, and Energy Program Supervisor Alelia Parenteau recommends the council adopt a Strategic Energy Plan to “guide the City’s energy-related policies and actions through 2030”; authorize the city administrator to execute an agreement between the city and the California Choice Energy Authority, “in a form acceptable to the City
Attorney”, for $58,000 and up to an additional $2,000 for travel expenses; and the development of a Community Choice Energy implementation plan.
In 2017 the council adopted a resolution that established a goal of 100 percent renewable electricity for the City by 2030. Research and consulting firm Optony, Inc. developed a strategic energy plan to meet the goal. The plan identified the resources needed to develop renewable energy projects and policies that will support those projects and increased energy efficiency throughout the community.
Last August the council adopted a resolution that affirmed its intent to participate in discussions with Santa Barbara County and other jurisdictions to consider forming a “joint powers agency” to create a Community Choice Energy program for all or a part of the county.
On July 17 the CCE Committee, comprising Mayor Cathy Murillo, Councilman Eric Friedman and Councilwoman Kristen Sneddon, voted to recommend that the council pursue the formation of a Community Choice Energy program for the city only.
Last Tuesday the council received a presentation on the final draft of the strategic energy plan. City staff recommended the council formally adopt the plan. It is available at htttp://www.santabarbaraca.gov/SEP.
The plan recommends pursuing a Community Choice Energy program that provides renewable energy generation. “Community Choice allows cities and counties to purchase power on behalf of their residents and businesses to provide cleaner power options at a competitive price,” according to a Climate Action Campaign San Diego report.
“The most impactful strategy outlined in the SEP is Community Choice Energy due to the ability to automatically default customers in at higher renewable energy content,” reads the agenda report.
“CCE provides the mechanisms and opportunities to support several of the other strategies, such as financial incentives and enhanced renewable development opportunities.”
The council directed staff to draft an agreement with the California Choice Energy Authority, for “the development of an implementation plan to form a Community Choice Energy entity comprised solely of the City of Santa Barbara and offering 100 percent renewable energy to its customers,” reads the agenda report.
The council will review the draft before it is filed with the California Public Utilities Commission on or before Dec. 31.
California Choice Energy Authority is a joint powers authority that provides each member access to its collection of experienced service providers. The network includes energy schedules, power providers and regulatory consultants.
The proposed actions will not obligate the city to formally join Cal Choice or to form a Community Choice Energy entity, according to the report.
Staff estimates that by January or February, council will adopt an ordinance to authorize the city to join Cal Choice by signing a joint powers agreement and executing a professional services agreement with Cal Choice.
“The City would be free to choose a different mechanism to govern its CCE up to the point that it executes energy contracts with power providers,” reads the agenda report.
For a spring 2021 launch, those energy contracts would be executed in early 2021.
The Santa Barbara City Council meets at 2 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers in City Hall, 735 Anacapa Stl.