For county facilities over next three years

The Board of Supervisors voted this week to shift from 50 percent to 100 percent renewable energy for county facilities and Clean Power Alliance customers in unincorporated areas over the next two to three years.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who recommended the shift, said it could cut related emissions by 6 percent and called it “the single most impactful action that this county can take to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.’’

The new default will be 100-percent renewable energy, but residential and business customers of the green-focused electrical utility will be able to opt out and request cheaper, less-green energy.

The utility’s director said he believes customer demand will be high.

“What we’ve seen over the past four years is a tremendous desire among customers to reach the 100-percent renewable goal,’’ said Ted Bardacke, executive director of Clean Power Alliance. “Our customers are more than ready to ‘go green,’ and Clean Power Alliance is ready to deliver it.’’

The shift is expected to result in a price increase of 3.5 percent, or roughly $5 per month per customer. However, 90 percent of low-income residents will be eligible for rate assistance.

“Your bill’s still going to be less than Edison, even at 100 percent,’’ Kuehl said, pointing to planned spring price increases by Southern California Edison.

SCE now offers “time-of-use’’ rate plans that charge lower rates during off-peak periods, including daylight hours when solar power contributes to the power grid.

Los Angeles County created the Clean Power Alliance in 2017 to provide greener energy options at competitive prices.  The alliance now includes Ventura County and 37 cities and covers 1 million county residents and Businesses.

The utility sources energy primarily from California wind and solar farms, supplemented by geothermal and small hydroelectric facilities. The current default for customers is 50-percent renewable energy.

Kuehl said the move to 100 percent “clean’’ energy sets the county apart as “the largest jurisdiction in the entire country to take this important step.’’

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