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By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

July 19, 2019 (San Diego) - The public can give input on whether the County should buy and sell electricity during four informational forums set for coming weeks.

Board supervisors started exploring the idea of starting a community choice energy program, also known as community choice aggregation, in February.

This program would allow the County to buy, and/or generate, and sell electricity to residents and business, providing another choice to consumers who currently must use San Diego Gas & Electric.

Using a similar program called Direct Access, the County buys electricity and natural gas for its own facilities on the open market instead of directly from SDG&E. During the last three years, the direct access program has saved the County an average of about $3 million a year.

Board supervisors are looking into whether the County should provide community choice energy to residents in the unincorporated areas.

Utility experts, consumer groups and representatives from cities and counties that offer community choice all spoke before the Board during a workshop in April.

County staff is compiling information on the pros and cons of getting into the business of community choice energy and will present the results of a feasibility study/business plan to the Board of Supervisors in October.

Community Choice Energy Forums

6 p.m., Monday, July 29 – Bonita Sunnyside Library, 4375 Bonita Road, Bonita 91902

6 p.m., Tuesday, July 30 – Lakeside Community Center, 9841 Vine St., Lakeside 92040

6 p.m., Wednesday, July 31 – Bonsall Community Center, 31505 Old River Road,  Bonsall 92003

6 p.m., Tuesday, August 6 – 4S Ranch Library, 10433 Reserve Drive, San Diego 92127

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Community Choice

There is nothing "free market" about the monopoly SDG&E has here. To have the clout to even start competition with them, you would need government involvement This isn't the Federal government mandating this. This is about communities and their residents tired of paying what ever SDG&E wants to charge. The CPUC doesn't give them everything they want, but close to it. I've read about many communities that have done this and it works well. This would also involve more people in their local level of government, which is what we need. For democracy to work, each citizen must participate. For too long SDG&E has held San Diego hostage. Having an alternative will be like a breath of fresh air. It is a government's job to take care of its citizens; to look out for their best interests. San Diego has been negligent by catering to real estate developers and ignoring the plight of many of its citizens. It's time the communities stand up for themselves and community choice is a great way to start.

Too much Government

Government was established for "essential services" and not going into the business as an electrical distribution service agency. Looking at SDG&E, that is exactly what they are currently doing - buying electricity off the grid and selling it to us as end users. SDG&E does "Not" produce anything, any-longer. The solution is simple, shine some light on the CPUC, Sempre Energy and other Corporate protected Utility Companies and see where the public trust comes from. It certainly does not come off SDG&E bottom line, they take ratepayer money and hire contractors to do what they used to. Causing middleman override costs that we have to pay in rates. Don't forget the inserts in your monthly billing, we get plenty from the CPUC where SDG&E is asking rate payers for more. Last, limited Government is always best in a free market.