Pixel Tracker

Thursday, February 21 , 2019, 6:50 pm | Partly Cloudy 50º

 
 
 
 
Advice

Goleta Council Won’t Reconsider Funding Santa Barbara County Energy Study

After considering the request for a second time, Goleta officials still won’t give Santa Barbara County $15,000 from the city's general fund to study whether more renewable energy sources could be used in electricity serving Central Coast communities.

The Goleta City Council voted Sept. 1 to support the multi-agency effort but without financial backing, which was the same result Tuesday when officials took up the issue again at the request of Mayor Paula Perotte.

Mayor Pro Tem Jim Farr — since he had been absent from the previous meeting recovering from a stroke — supported the mayor’s request.

It’s no surprise, then, that he was the other dissenting voice when the council voted 3-2 in favor of zero financial backing.

As before, councilmen Roger Aceves and Tony Vallejo staunchly opposed putting Goleta money into a county-led technical and financial feasibility study to consider Community Choice Energy, or Community Choice Aggregation, which allows California cities and counties to choose the source of electrical power and to set their own rates.

Councilman Michael Bennett, who previously favored funding the study, joined Aceves and Vallejo in not wanting to give the county any more money on top of the millions Goleta already provides annually via a revenue-neutrality agreement signed with the county when Goleta incorporated in 2002.

Under a CCE, local governments can purchase electricity from cleaner sources such as solar or wind, which would then be delivered through existing utilities transmission lines.

The county estimates the feasibility study will cost $500,000, and the county Board of Supervisors in June approved $400,000 for the initial phase of evaluating the formation of a CCE program.

To offset its contribution, the county asked other agencies to put in money and, in exchange, those agencies get a representative on an advisory working group that helps choose a consultant and review a study draft.

Cities that don’t give money will still be included in the study, with staff providing necessary information. They just don’t get a seat at the table.

“It’s not whether we agree with the feasibility study,” Aceves said. “It’s not whether we want to participate.”

The Santa Barbara City Council and the Ventura County Board of Supervisors have allocated $50,000 each toward the study, and San Luis Obispo County officials considered a similar $50,000 request.

Five public speakers spoke in favor of funding the study, since a CCE is mentioned in Goleta’s Climate Action Plan as a best strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

City planners told officials participating in the study wouldn’t alter Goleta’s existing electricity provider — Southern California Edison — but a CCE could lead to surcharges.

Cities could negotiate contracts with energy providers and save customers money, but some could also opt out of a CCE program.

Perotte said she was disappointed Goleta wouldn’t be as involved.

After completion of a study, the state will have to approve a CCE before it is rolled out to customers.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >