The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to shift from 50% to 100% 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% 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% 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% renewable goal,” Executive Director Ted Bardacke said. “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%, or roughly $5 per month per customer. However, 90% of low-income residents will be eligible for rate assistance.
“Your bill’s still going to be less than Edison, even at 100%,” 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% renewable energy.
Kuehl said the move to 100% “clean” energy sets the county apart as “the largest jurisdiction in the entire country to take this important step.”
She said customers can help make a difference.
“People often look to global summits for sweeping changes in climate policy, but the truth is, a good deal of our climate action starts right here at home,” Kuehl said. “Moving to renewables is the single most important thing any county resident can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”