Here in the U.S., energy generated by domestic wind farms has nearly tripled in just the past four years and represents about a third of all new power added to the U.S. grid over the past five years. (Martin Abegglen, Courtesy Flickr)

Santa Monicans will no longer receive electricity from Southern California Edison come February.

The City of Santa Monica is sending residents several notices to notify them that they are switching electricity providers. Households will be enrolled in the Clean Power Alliance and receive 100 percent of their household electricity from renewable resources such as wind or solar, unless they choose to opt down to 50 or 36 percent or out of the program entirely. Customers will be able to opt down, up or out at any time, or back in after staying with Southern California Edison for at least a year.

If every Santa Monica household opted for 100 percent renewable energy, the city’s total emissions would be 35 percent lower than they were in 1990. Initial estimates project a rate increase of between 7 – 9 percent for the default choice.

In that scenario, the average customer will see about a $6 increase from their Southern California Edison bill, and low-income qualified customers will see no increase in costs at all. Residents who have installed solar panels will also receive more money for the excess electricity they generate.

Every household is receiving two notices in their electricity bill before and after the city makes the switch in February – four in total. The notices will contain information on how customers can opt down to a lower percentage of renewable energy to save money on their bills or stick with Southern California Edison entirely.

“It’s a big change and we don’t want people to freak out,” said Dean Kubani, the City’s chief sustainability officer. “We want them to know what’s happening and what the benefits, potential costs and options are.”

City Council voted in December 2017 to become a member of the Clean Power Alliance (CPA), which provides electricity for communities across Los Angeles and Ventura counties using Edison’s power lines. Council voted Oct. 23, 2018 to set the default level of renewable energy ratepayers will receive at 100 percent.

Besides sending mailers, staff will also conduct outreach through blogs, newsletters, social media and in-person presentations.
Other communities with a 100 percent renewable default option include Culver City, West Hollywood, South Pasadena, San Buenaventura, Ojai, Rolling Hills Estates, and Ventura County.
Santa Monica has approximately 48,000 residential customers and 8,300 commercial customers.

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