South Pasadena is ready next month for the Clean Power Alliance, producing clean energy sources. Photo by Steve Whitmore

Moving toward becoming a city that relies on clean, sustainable energy, such as solar and wind power, South Pasadena residents next month will be able to participate in such a program.

South Pasadena is one of eight cities in Los Angeles and Ventura counties that comprise the Clean Power Alliance (CPA), an entity that will be purchasing energy from sustainable, non-fossil-fuel sources and making it available to member residents.

The CPA will purchase renewable energy and make it available to residents and businesses by way of Southern California Edison (SCE). The Alliance is an organization formed by Los Angeles and Ventura counties and will be serving about one million customers, including South Pasadena commercial and municipal customers.

The energy will be delivered by SCE starting in February, according to city officials. The SCE February bills will have the CPA charges listed.

City officials have long said they want So Pas to be 100 percent reliant on clean, sustainable energy. They believe joining the alliance was the next step.

In fact, Mayor Dr. Marina Khubesrian addressed the issue in her inaugural address at the Dec. 19 City Council meeting. She explained why the city needs to become 100 percent reliant on clean, sustainable energy.

“I’d like to share a few thoughts on the most pressing issue of our time. That is the environment and climate change,” Khubesrian said to the gathered audience in council chambers. “There is no greater cause than the crisis now facing our planet. All other progress will mean nothing if the planet becomes uninhabitable because of the continued use of fossil fuels. Tragically, this issue is being ignored, and even made worse, by the policies of our current Presidential administration. But, we can be leaders here at home.  Everything we do at the city can, and will, be viewed through the lens of sustainability and climate change. The solutions are within our grasp, if we act boldly, and we act now. 

I’m proud that South Pasadena has joined the Clean Power Alliance, which will begin delivering 100 percent green, sustainable energy to our city this year. It will start in February for residents and in May for businesses.

“For the first time ever,” Khubesrian continued, “we will be able to purchase energy that has been generated entirely from sustainable, non-fossil-fuel sources. We have opted for 100 percent renewable energy – one of eight cities in LA and Ventura counties to do so thus far. It’s like having a solar panel on every roof in the city, generating 100 percent clean power. This is a major and important step.”

Councilwoman Diana Mahmud is going to serve as the first head of the Clean Power Alliance board.

There are three distinct advantages to the CPA, Mahmud said in an earlier interview: local management and control; stable, competitive rates; and higher renewable content.

Because South Pasadena is already a member of the alliance, customers here do not have to do anything, Mahmud explained.

“I [have] to tell you as a 30-year South Pasadena resident, this to me really speaks to South Pasadena,” Mahmud said in an earlier interview. “This is who we are. We believe in local control. We believe that communities are empowered…we are an engaged community.”

The CPA also is available to local commercial customers, who could save up to three percent on their electric bills. Many local businesses have already started receiving the new program, officials said.

Last year, Mahmud and Ted Bardacke, CPA executive director, gave a presentation to about 30 business and community leaders at a chamber breakfast, where the program was explained.

The CPA is going to offer commercial customers three rate options, according to Bardacke.

If a business chooses to receive 36 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, the bill will be three percent cheaper than SCE base rates. If the business opts to have 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources, those bills will see a decrease of between 2-3 percent less than SCE base rates. And, if a business wants to get all of its energy from renewable sources, 100 percent, that price will be 5 percent “more affordable than Southern California Edison’s 100 percent renewable green rates,” according to a CPA handout.

For more information, people can contact the Clean Power Alliance at (888) 585-3788 or at its website customerservice@cleanpoweralliance.org.

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Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.

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