San Diego’s Energy District Foundation is pushing for greater local control of energy production—and ultimately for the 100% renewable energy target in a 2010 regional plan.
The Foundation formed to fight a solar “network usage fee” proposed by San Diego Gas and Electric in 2011, similar to the monthly charge recently introduce in Wisconsin. SDG&E dropped the fee, but the Foundation didn’t stop there.
“The interest in local control over energy purchases is rooted in the inherent conflict of interest between ratepayers and their existing for-profit utility,” writes Farrell, Director of Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
“Utilities in California make money by investing in hardware (power plants, power lines, and the like) and not finding the cleanest, lowest-cost power for their ratepayers. In part, this is because taxpayers pick up the tab for pollution from fossil fuels. A public entity is more likely to incorporate those externalities.”