Huntington Beach

Surf City going to green energy

HUNTINGTON BEACH City Council voted Tuesday to make 100 percent renewable energy the “default” for customers. They will have the option to choose another plan, however (Shutterstock).

By Zia Zografos 

Huntington Beach may now run on 100 percent renewable energy for many of its residential and commercial customers, as part of the Orange County Power Authority’s community choice energy plan options. On Tuesday the city council voted 6-1 in favor with Councilmember Erik Peterson voting against the 100 percent plan.

However, residents and commercial users are able to choose a different energy plan for what works in their best interest. Customers can also choose to opt out and remain with Southern California Edison.

The majority of the council agreed that proceeding with this choice will help to solidify Huntington Beach as an environmentally-conscious city.

“As we look at doing the community choice energy, it was always with the intention of giving our residents a choice and giving them that local control, and having the profits be returned to the community rather than going to the investor-owned utility,” said Councilmember Kim Carr. “And here in Huntington Beach, we do have a tradition of being environmental stewards.”

Peterson dissented, and instead advocated for the Basic Choice.

“The fact that you’re saying we have 100 percent renewable energy, they just spent hundreds of millions of dollars building a new power plant in Huntington Beach … basically all you’re doing is subsidizing green energy somewhere else. It’s not coming here,” said council member Peterson.

The two remaining plans offered by Orange County Power Authority include the Basic Choice plan, which includes 38 percent renewable energy content that will increase over time, and the Smart Choice plan which includes 69 percent renewable energy content that will also increase over time, according to the city staff report. The Basic Choice is the least expensive at approximately $114 per month, and the Smart Choice at approximately $120 per month. The 100% Renewable Energy plan is the most expensive, costing approximately $123 per month, and will cost the city approximately $212,000 annually.

According to Councilmember Dan Kalmick, greater than 40 percent and less than 50 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in Huntington Beach come from energy consumption. The majority of public commenters also pushed for the 100% Renewable Energy option.

“The more renewables we use, the more innovation will occur, which will reduce the cost and increase the benefits to our community. The quality of our lives and the quality of our environment are directly related,” said resident Danny Gray.

Commercial users will have 60 days leading up to, and 60 days after, the launch date in April to change their energy plan. Residential customers will not be notified until the Fall, and will also have 60 days before and after their launch date to adjust their energy plan.

The council also voted to have an outreach program to customers who will be notified via mail and on social media.



1 reply »

  1. Tuesday night, the City Council voted 6-1 to force the public into the most expensive tier of electrical service in their new Community Choice Energy program that took 5 years to birth. Along the way the promised savings dropped from nearly $10 per month to a 4% increase last week to tonight’s unsurprising and expensive finish. The council didn’t take this action because they “care about the environment”, they pigeonholed the public because the Orange County Power Authority is doomed before it even begins service.

    The truth is that the Orange County Power Authority’s goal was not to provide energy “choice” but instead to create a huge political slush fund that bad politicians like Kim Carr and Mike Posey can dip into at will. 

    Imagine when the unions that funded their campaigns come knocking for a raise, all the OCPA has to do is increase power rates and the flood of $$$ will rain down. More money for Unions and Bad Politicians means the destruction of Huntington Beach will continue unabated.

    Remember, one of the worst aspects of a CCE is that the NEVER NEED TO ASK FOR PERMISSION TO RAISE YOUR RATES…unlike SCE which must go before the CA Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and make a solid case for rate increases.

    Power like this should never rest in the hands of politicians.

    Oh…PS…the City Council voted to purchase all municipal power at the higher “100% Renewable” rate, this will cost the city (us) $212,000 MORE annually.

    You have the right to opt-out of the OCPA, be sure and stay with SCE.

    In this article published yesterday Jim Phelps, the energy expert HB brought in as a witness against CCE in 2019, details how the OCPA is Dead On Arrival.

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