Community Engagement

San Diego City Council Approves Contract to Study Public Power

The San Diego City Council on October 3 approved a contract for a consulting firm to examine the feasibility of the California city transitioning to a public power utility.

The contract approved by the San Diego City Council is with NewGen Strategies & Solutions LLC.

According to a City Council Staff Report related to the contract, NewGen will provide feasibility study reports to the Mayor’s Office and City Council on the process, costs, risks, and opportunities that would be associated with transitioning from the current electric and/or gas franchise agreements with investor-owned San Diego Gas & Electric to a public power entity.

The report notes that In conjunction with the award of the gas and electric franchises to San Diego Gas & Electric in July 2021, a corollary action was identified to investigate the feasibility for an alternative to the provision of electric and gas services from an investor-owned utility through some form of municipalization and establishment of a public power entity.

The Energy Division of the San Diego Sustainability and Mobility Department was identified by San Diego’s Chief Operating Officer as the most appropriate staff to develop such a study with the support of consultants with significant technical expertise in all areas and aspects of such a process.

A request for proposals for a Public Power Feasibility Study was issued on Feb. 9, 2022 and closed on April 1, 2022.

The American Public Power Association offers a number of resources related to municipalization on its website.