Two Major Climate Votes on Irvine Council Agenda Nov. 10

More EVs and EV chargers for Irvine: According to Irvine’s staff report on Community Choice Energy (CCE), most California CCEs offer residents electric vehicle incentives such as chargers and rebates along with an alternative to SoCal Edison for energy customers.With votes still being counted in Irvine’s city council election, the city’s two most important climate-related programs will come before the council for a vote on Tuesday, Nov. 10.  Residents can click on these links to submit comments on agenda item 1.2 Community Choice Energy and item 4.3 Climate Action Plan.

One of the items up for vote is the Community Choice Energy (CCE) draft Joint Powers Agreement (JPA), which sets terms for how the city will partner with other cities that join its CCE program.  Fullerton and Costa Mesa recently voted to move forward on joining the Irvine-led JPA.  Having more cities and electrical customers in the JPA improves the CCE’s ability to negotiate favorable terms with power generators and improves economies of scale, according to advocates.

An Irvine study found that CCE will reduce Irvine’s carbon footprint by 360,000 metric tons per year, which is roughly equivalent to taking 78K cars off the road – almost one for every Irvine household.

CCEs return program revenue to the city to fund sustainability programs such as EV charging stations, microgrids to reduce power outages and rate relief for low-income residents.  CCEs have been operating successfully in California since 2010, and offer residents an affordable alternative to electricity from SoCal Edison.

The Irvine staff report on CCE includes a draft Joint Powers Agreement, a draft ordinance authorizing community choice aggregation, a series of preliminary financial pro-formas, information on potential CCE programs, and a description of CCE low income programs.

Also on Irvine’s agenda is a decision on whether to move forward with Irvine’s climate action and adaptation plan (CAAP).  The plan would function as a roadmap to measurable climate-related results in Irvine and the region.

According to the staff report, the CAAP will include a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory for the city; vision and goals to reduce GHG emissions; plans for stakeholder engagement; climate action and adaptation strategies; and plans for monitoring, evaluation, and reporting.

The adaptation process outlined in the plan includes measures to prepare the community for the unavoidable impacts of climate change through 2045. Under the plan, consultants will provide a vulnerability assessment of the risks that Irvine is likely to face as the impacts of climate change become more severe, including drought, extreme heat, precipitation, air quality, Santa Ana winds, wildfires, any indirect effects of sea level rise in nearby coastal communities (e.g. population migration to Irvine), and any threats to water quality.

The two votes come just weeks after the Silverado wildfire forced 91,000 Irvine residents to evacuate the city.