The Community Energy Alliance – a group of organizations and agencies seeking to create environmentally friendly and sustainable energy sources on the South Coast – will host a forum this evening to inform the public about how it can help.

The meeting, which will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at Faulkner Gallery, will feature representatives from 12 groups – all members of the alliance – including Southern California Edison, Venoco and the Community Environmental Council.

Community Environmental Council CEO Bud Laurent said the ultimate goal of the alliance is to eliminate all outside energy sources from the South Coast by researching, and eventually implementing, alternatives. He said tonight is an opportunity for the public to learn how business, government and citizen groups can help the area become energy independent.

“[The alliance] will examine each possible energy source that’s renewable or more environmentally friendly than what we depend on. … We’ll look at a variety of options,” Laurent said. “We want to examine which options would fit into the South Coast and eventually provide a catalogue and find ways to help people implement them.”

The alliance was created about a year ago after Santa Barbara city council member Gil Garcia suggested the idea.

“We thought it was a good idea, in response to the energy crisis we were experiencing, to pull together a group of people to talk about how, in the future, we can provide our own energy and do so in an environmentally friendly way,” Laurent said.

The alliance plans to form five caucuses made up of representatives from government, businesses that use energy, businesses that produce energy, non-profit organizations and private citizens. Each caucus would research the feasibility of alternative energy sources and organize their findings into a report on implementation.

“The report would be available to anyone, but particularly to elected officials and decision makers – hopefully they can find ways to actually do some of the projects,” he said. “The goal is a blueprint of the region … of what the future could look like.”

The Faulkner Gallery is located in the Santa Barbara Public Library at 40 E. Anapamu Street.