Our Power, Our Choice

Carlsbad Thinks Locally, Encinitas Acts Regionally

On Tuesday, the Carlsbad City Council gave direction to their staff “to initiate negotiations with the cities of Del Mar, Encinitas and other potential partner agencies to create a new (local) Community Choice Energy joint powers authority.“ On Wednesday morning, expectations were that Encinitas would follow suit and take the same path. But it was not to be; following an eleventh-hour addition to the agenda from the Council CCE Subcommittee, on Wednesday evening the Encinitas City Council voted to select the City of San Diego’s regional option and directed staff to “return to Council with the JPA agreement and ordinance required to formalize this intention.”

Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear opens the discussion of CCE options at the City Council meeting on Wednesday, August 21.

Both City Council meetings were in response to the delivery of the “governance” analysis report that weighed the options for how to structure a CCE. As we previously reported, the analysis found that three options were feasible, with only subjective differences, and recommended that the three cities form a local JPA. Carlsbad essentially followed this recommendation. In Encinitas, the Council subcommittee consisting of Mayor Catherine Blakespear and Council Member Joe Mosca submitted their additional analysis favoring joining the City of San Diego’s regional JPA because of these stated advantages:

  • Certainty for filing this year and launching the CCE in 2021, the earliest possible date
  • Reduced cost and staff burden compared to local formation (the City of San Diego would bear the costs)
  • “Programming opportunities are maximized in the short and long term” with a larger pool of reinvestment dollars

A number of speakers, including Greg Wade (City Manager of Solana Beach), Jason Haber (City Manager of Carlsbad), and Paige deCino (member of the Carlsbad Sierra Club MyGen Team) argued for the local JPA structure. But ultimately the Council opted to go with San Diego’s regional JPA.

So where are we? There is no question that Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Del Mar will have Community Choice Energy soon. The only question is: in what form? It seems definite that Encinitas will be in San Diego’s regional JPA, but Carlsbad and Del Mar still have some decisions to make.