One of the smart moves that Culver City has made in regard to climate change is to purchase energy from the Clean Power Alliance. Connecting the city’s utility users with renewable sources of energy puts the city in an advantageous position in regard to the cost of carbon.
The City of Culver City held a Sustainability Subcommittee meeting on June 28, 2022, and representatives from the Clean Power Alliance made a presentation, offering information on Net Energy Metering and the Power Share Program.
The staff report for the meeting offered that Clean Power Alliance uses “sources such as hydroelectric, solar, geothermal, and wind power,” to provide electricity. “[It is] a joined power provider serving 32 agencies of government in Los Angeles and Ventura County,” Joe Susca, the Senior Management Analyst at the Public Works Department. Noting that there are three different products, “lean power which is 40% green power, clean power which is 50% green power, and green power which is 100%”.
However, he believes that in competing for energy sources in Southern California Edison put rates too low. “We set our rates on what turned out to be appropriate,” Susca says “when the PCA is lower for us it means a higher rate for Edison customers”. CPA went from being more expensive than Edison to less expensive than them. However, The price has increased for energy in 2022, most recently with the war in Ukraine, but CPA plans on giving a discount. “When we set rates for July that will be in effect for the next 12 months we have our lean power product priced at a 1% discount and a 3% premium discount for green energy”.
The plans call for having cities such as Beverly Hills and unincorporated Los Angeles 100% green by October. “Culver City has increased their default rate,” he says “About 70% of our customers will be at 100% green energy by October.
Another topic to consider was net metering, which involves solar panels (mainly charged by batteries). “It allows customers to put solar panels on their rooftops” states Susca “If they have a need for energy, they use that energy first from the solar panels; if they have more than they need, they export that energy to the grid and they get a credit for that energy.”
Currently, CPA’s net metering works similar to SCE, the only difference according to Susca is that SCA charges monthly, and SCE charges annually.
The CPA has created a power share program for people in under-resourced communities that provides customers with a 20% discount on 100% renewable energy. “We want the community to be 100% green, but not worry about the impact it would have on lower-income customers,” Susca stated, “we increased the price on 100% green rate so that we could offer all the CARE customers and FERA customers 100% green energy, but they won’t have to pay more.”
Despite some flaws within CPA, the power share program benefits communities by giving them the energy systems that are vital to them, from clean resources that are vital to the planet.