Santa Monica Council Votes to Exclusively Power City Facilities With Green Electricity
SANTA MONICA, CA — Feb. 24, 1999 — In a landmark vote yesterday, the Santa Monica City Council elected to switch all city facilities to 100% green power.
In the 5-0 vote, the Council gave the go ahead to city staff to sign a one year contract with Commonwealth Energy Corporation. The Council decision will make Santa Monica the first city in the nation to be exclusively powered by renewably generated electricity.
Taking advantage of California's competitive electricity market, Santa Monica Council's decision moves the city away from system power, which relies on coal, nuclear, and natural gas. Instead, the city will now be powered by electricity generated exclusively from geothermal sources.
"Buying green power fits into Santa Monica's 'Sustainable City Program'," said Craig Perkins Director of the Department of Environmental and Public Works. "Switching to green power allows Santa Monica to play our role in reducing climate change gases and eliminating other emissions which cause severe health problems."
By choosing Commonwealth, Santa Monica's electricity payments will exclusively support 5 megawatts of annual generation by geothermal sources and thus directly lower their emissions of air polluting and global warming carbon by thousands of tons annually. The city will pay an estimated 5% above current costs for this green power purchase and other environmentally friendly energy services.
"The new structure of the electric industry creates an opportunity for all civic institutions in California to play a role in developing a forward looking energy policy," said Susan Munves, City Conservation Coordinator. "It is incumbent on the city to play a leadership role in implementing a sustainable and environmentally friendly energy policy."
Santa Monica has for years played a valuable leadership role in energy and other environmental policies. The switch to renewable electricity generation is a consistent move for a city which has already implemented an extensive energy efficiency program, electric vehicle program, and Photovoltaic installations.
As a next step, the city will initiate a public education campaign to encourage residents and businesses to become more aware of their energy use, its impact on the environment, to encourage people to switch to a green power provider, and to become more energy efficient.
City of Santa Monica contact: Susan Munves, (310) 458-8229