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Sunday, Jul 21, 2024

Government—County supervisors look deeper into possibly forming a public utility

County supervisors want some professional advice on how the county can beat high electricity prices , including whether it could become more like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

While supervisors said they don’t want to get into the power-generating business, they nevertheless voted to study the formation of a municipal utility , an entity that could buy and sell state, federal and private energy.

The municipal utility was one possible solution raised during a special supervisors conference on electric rates Aug. 17.

The board Sept. 12 set aside $50,000 to hire a consultant to evaluate ideas raised at that conference.

Supervisors Bill Horn and Dianne Jacob brought the proposal to the board. They also suggested county staff study four more topics. The rest of the board concurred.

Specifically, the board asked Chief Executive Officer Walter Ekard and the county counsel’s office to:

& #711; Look into “legal remedies against the federal government and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for unfair, unjust and unreasonable energy practices in San Diego County.”

– Explore using alternate electricity providers at county facilities, and look at how the county might buy electricity cooperatively with other agencies and large purchasers.

– Work with local cities to determine where to place power plants in the region.

– Review options to secure future power blocks of energy from the power grid.

After the meeting, Supervisor Greg Cox said the county should stick to “core competencies,” indicating that power generation is not among them.

Board members took a long recess from their Tuesday meeting to travel to the Community Concourse, where Jacob testified on behalf of the board before a hearing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.


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