As members of the non-profit Clean Power Alliance’s (CPA) Community Advisory Committee representing the Westside, we are proud of Santa Monica’s long-standing environmental leadership. The City of Santa Monica was one of the first entities to join CPA and the first to opt-in to 100% Green Power.

Since then, in just three short years, CPA has grown to become the nation’s top provider of green power. During this time, CPA’s customers have avoided more than 2.1 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to 455,000 automobiles being taken off the road every year. CPA’s new renewable resources are both replacing polluting fossil-based power plants and cleaning up the electricity grid that will increasingly power our vehicles.

The City of Santa Monica made a well-informed decision, reflecting community input, in choosing CPA’s 100% Green Power rate to greatly reduce Santa Monica’s carbon footprint. Choosing 100% Green Power is the best decision a local elected official can make to quickly mitigate the many harmful effects of greenhouse gas emissions locally and beyond. In fact, Santa Monica’s emissions dropped by 17% with its choice of 100% Green Power.

Now with the hot summer months approaching, we would like to share some of the many ways that CPA is assisting Santa Monica residents, businesses, and schools. CPA invests in its member agencies’ communities and customers—its participants. CPA has dedicated $200 million to develop and implement local programs to directly benefit the many diverse communities it serves. These proactive local programs address CPA’s key sustainability goals: Local Energy Procurement, Resiliency and Grid Management, and Electrification. Santa Monica’s residents, most of whom live in multi-residential properties, need such strategies to have local energy solutions implemented in a timely and practical manner.

For example, CPA’s Power Share program is providing 100% Green Power energy at a 20% discount to eligible customers within disadvantaged communities, including those disadvantaged communities located within Santa Monica. The Power Share program will also soon bring community solar facilities to disadvantaged communities throughout CPA’s service territory.

CPA’s Power Response program offers both residential and commercial demand response incentives to reduce energy usage, especially during time periods of very high energy usage that bring added stress to the power grid. CPA also offers a Peak Management Pricing program specifically designed for businesses. This program provides bill discounts for responding to elevated price signals, which typically occur during the hottest days of the summer when grid demand and wholesale prices are at their peak.

CPA’s Power Ready program provides the opportunity for all 32 of its member agencies to receive a solar powered battery storage emergency backup system, which will provide emergency power to one of their critical facilities such as a fire or police station, emergency operation center, or a community- cooling center. These systems will be provided at no charge to the participating member agencies.

CPA’s local programs strategic plan also includes electrification programs for public electric vehicle charging stations and building electrification code incentives. CPA will soon launch its CALeVIP program, providing funding incentives for much needed electric vehicle charging stations that will be accessible to the public 24 hours a day.

With the expiration of utility customer protection plans soon to take place, CPA is now offering a financial assistance program that allows customers to receive up to $8,000 of debt forgiveness after making 12 payments on time. In addition, CPA recently completed its $2 million COVID-19 relief program, which provided over 77,000 financially impacted residential and commercial customers with electricity bill assistance.

The combination of these various local programs and financial assistance programs, recently led to the U.S. Green Building – Los Angeles Chapter (USGBC-LA) presenting CPA with its Policy Leadership Award. USGBC-LA acknowledged CPA for its ongoing work in centering equity in the delivery of clean energy here in Southern California.

In a relatively short period of time, CPA has grown to become the single largest provider of 100% renewable energy to customers in the nation, a fact Santa Monica residents and businesses can be very proud of being a part of, particularly to confront the climate crisis in an urgent manner.

CPA was founded and is built upon the environmental concerns, ideas, and choices of its participants. We welcome all stakeholder inputs as we help California and our nation remain leaders on the path toward a cleaner energy future for generations to come. Santa Monica residents, businesses and schools can be immensely proud of their City Council for its unanimous leadership in joining CPA and receiving 100% renewable energy since 2019. Santa Monica has for decades taken its sustainability commitments seriously and has taken bold climate actions. CPA looks forward to continuing to serve you, as we help lead the way to a cleaner energy future here in Santa Monica.

David Haake and Cris Gutierrez serve as members of Clean Power Alliance’s Community Advisory Committee, representing CPA’s Westside which includes the cities of Beverly Hills, Culver City, Malibu, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood. Haake also leads the Sierra Club’s Clean Break Team.

In addition, Gutierrez leads Climate Action Santa Monica’s Power Working Group.