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Santa Monica Moves Closer to Energy Efficiency
By Jorge Casuso
October 25, 2018 -- The Santa Monica City Council took two additional steps Tuesday to encourage residents to become more energy efficient both in their homes and cars.
One measure will offers overnight charging for electric vehicles (EVs) in City parks; the other makes 100 percent renewable energy the default product for all residential electricity customers.
Virginia Avenue Park will be the first to offer overnight access at its four charging ports, with additional park chargers slated for Clover, Marine and Gandara Parks.
Currently most EV charging stations are located in the Downtown area, officials said.
The move comes as EVs are becoming a popular driving option for Santa Monica residents, most of whom are renters.
EV registrations in the city jumped from 1,003 in 2015 to 2,494 this year, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
“We hope public access to charging stations helps make the switch to electric vehicles logistically possible for the majority of Santa Monica residents who rent and live outside the Downtown area.”
Staff will return to the Council with a recommended fee structure.
At Tuesday's meeting, the Council also made the 100 percent energy tier the default selection for residents served by the Clean Power Alliance (CPA) of Southern California, a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program.
The option is one of three offered to residents and businesses that will be served electricity by the CPA, which requires its member cities to select a default rate option.
The others are the 50 percent and 36 percent tiers. Consumers who do not proactively select a preferred tier will be automatically opted into the cleanest source.
“Using electricity through renewable electricity sources is the most substantial action Santa Monica can take to achieve carbon neutrality,” Kubani said.
"Santa Monicans will now know where their power is coming from and, for the first time, have multiple renewable options."
The new rates will begin to appear on March electric utility bills, officials said.
"Low-income qualified customers (CARE or FERA) would receive the same discount on their rates and experience no net increase in cost compared to Southern California Edison (SCE) rates," the City said in a statement.
The CPA will begin offering service for commercial properties next summer.
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