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Surfer on the Beach


Q: I’m on a low income program (CARE, FERA, etc.) with SCE, is that still available to me with Santa Barbara Clean Energy?


A: Yes. We will offer reduced rates to income-qualified customers so that rates stay the same as with SCE’s low income program.

Q: How can we improve the City’s ability to maintain power during an emergency?


A: Local resilience is a major priority for Santa Barbara. If Santa Barbara Clean Energy realizes budget surpluses, Council will look at the best ways to reinvest those dollars into our community, including building and developing local energy security. This could include building local energy generation and battery storage facilities or helping you install energy resilience measures at your home or business.

Q: How did Santa Barbara Clean Energy get started?


A: After the passage of CA Assembly Bill 117, City staff began looking into starting a Community Choice Energy program. City Council voted to move forward with Santa Barbara Clean Energy in 2019. 

Q: Does the City have the experience to purchase the electricity for the City?     


A: The City contracted with California Choice Energy Alliance (CalChoice) and their roster of highly qualified subcontractors to provide expertise and management of the power procurement process, regulatory compliance, and customer service functions.

Q: What type of electricity sources does Santa Barbara Clean Energy buy?     


A: Santa Barbara Clean Energy buys carbon-free energy from solar, wind, biomass, and small and large hydroelectricity. We do not purchase nuclear due to waste disposal challenges.

Santa Barbara Clean Energy, brought to you by the City of Santa Barbara, gives us a choice in how much carbon-free and greenhouse gas-free electricity we use. By choosing clean energy, we can address climate change together!


Q: How is Santa Barbara Clean Energy different from the programs at the County and City of Goleta?

A: Santa Barbara Clean Energy is unique for our city, because our priorities are ambitious. We are working toward a citywide goal of 100% carbon-free energy use by 2030. By having our own program, we maintain local control over electricity rates, revenues, and the ability to create locally relevant projects that can build a cleaner, more resilient Santa Barbara. 


Q: Will anything be different during a Public Safety Power Shutoff or a transmission-related outage?


A: In a Public Safety Power Shutoff situation, SCE will de-energize certain vulnerable circuits and will not deliver power in specific areas. Since the City is not in control of SCE’s poles and wires, safety shutoffs and unscheduled utility outages remain the same. However, a major goal of Santa Barbara Clean Energy is to invest in local energy resilience and will therefore look to help local area residents and businesses create energy resilience at their homes and places of work.

Q: How can we go to 100% carbon-free electricity if solar and wind energy only produce for part of the day?


A: The City is planning to purchase a combination of solar power and battery energy storage capacity to achieve a 100% carbon-free electricity goal.  This will enable us to benefit from carbon-free energy throughout the day. 

Solar Panel House in Daylight, Santa Barbara Scene at Night with Battery Symbol

Solar energy by day

Battery energy by night

Background Timeline


Santa Barbara Clean Energy Lightbulb Logo

June 2017 

Council adopts an ambitious goal of 100% renewable energy by 2030 for the entire City of Santa Barbara

January 2020

The California Public Utilities Commission approves Santa Barbara Clean Energy’s Implementation Plan

October 2021

Residential Santa Barbara Clean Energy service launches

July 2019

Council votes to move forward with a City of Santa Barbara Community Choice Energy Program

September 2020

Council adopts goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2035, acknowledging that Santa Barbara Clean Energy is going to be a critical component of achieving that goal

March 2022

Commercial Santa Barbara Clean Energy service launches


The City of Santa Barbara supports a sustainable, healthy, and safe community by reducing our carbon footprint, managing energy and materials use, transitioning to carbon-free energy sources, and building local climate resilience. Please click the links below to see policies, initiatives, and projects to address nearer-term sustainability strategies and longer-term resiliency and adaptation efforts. Through our sustainability initiatives, we are working to improve the quality of life and environment for all!

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