Redondo Beach goes to 100 percent renewable power; option to choose less

by Garth Meyer

The city of Redondo Beach will join Manhattan Beach to offer 100 percent renewable energy for homes and businesses by next October.

A 4-0 city council vote Dec. 7 set the new policy, to increase rates for consumers two to three percent, with an option for anyone to opt out.

The estimated $36,000 annual increase to city energy bills would be offset by an added $95,000 increase in tax revenue from higher utility bills across Redondo Beach.

“Too many things we’re seeing, such as the wildfires, are clearly related to climate change,” said councilman Todd Loewenstein.

“This is one of the easiest things we can do,” said councilman Christian Horvath. 

Nils Nehrenheim did not cast a vote. He was offscreen during the count at the virtual meeting and a vote from him was not recorded.

Ted Bardake, executive director of Clean Power Alliance (CPA), spoke at the Dec. 7 meeting, noting that the change means Redondo Beach will no longer use power bought from the AES power plant, which runs on natural gas.

Councilman Nehrenheim, before the vote, said that his household has been at 100 percent renewable for seven years but that he did not believe the choice should be made for people, citing residents on fixed incomes.

Horvath, a member of the CPA board since 2018, replied that they have had “extremely robust conversations around that.”

The new policy allows local residents to be at 100 percent, stay at 50 percent, choose 35 percent or zero.

“Opt up, opt down or opt out,” said Bardake.

Opting out means a household’s power would come solely from Edison. 

The city of Redondo Beach has been at 50 percent renewable since 2017. 

CPA is a non-profit power provider in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The energy for its 100-percent renewable customers comes from solar, wind and some geothermal sources, biomass and hydroelectric.

“I think we have to do our part,” said mayor-pro-tem and councilman Zein Obagi, who gave a second to Horvath’s motion to approve the measure.

The fourth “yes” vote came from Laura Emdee. 

A total of 18 cities in California have adopted the 100 percent renewable policy. Bardake reported that about 1.5 percent of these residents have opted for something other than the default 100 percent renewable. ER



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