REDWOOD CITY – Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) became California’s largest community choice energy program this month, as the joint powers authority completed the enrollment of almost 300,000 accounts that are receiving electric generation service. PCE is a joint powers authority of the 20 cities in San Mateo County, and the county itself, set up to sell power to the 750,000 residents, as well as the businesses and institutions, of the region.
Peninsula Clean Energy began service in October 2016, enrolling 80,000 accounts that included all of the small and medium businesses, municipal accounts, and about 20 percent of residential accounts in the county. PCE enrolled 210,000 more customers this month, which is the largest enrollment phase in the history of California community choice programs. The remaining 80 percent of the residential accounts, agricultural accounts, as well as large commercial and industrial businesses, were included in this final enrollment phase. By California law, the community choice provider becomes the default supplier of electricity for its jurisdiction. Customers receive at least four enrollment notifications in the mail, and they can opt out anytime.
Peninsula Clean Energy customers are automatically enrolled in ECOplus, a 50% renewable energy supply that is cleaner and greener than PG&E, and priced 5% below PG&E’s generation service rate. Customers can also opt-up to ECO100, comprised of 100% renewable energy sources and priced at a slight premium to PG&E service. PCE customers see a new line item on their PG&E bill for PCE’s service, along with a corresponding generation credit from PG&E for the energy supply PG&E previously provided.
“PCE is a tremendous value proposition for electric customers in San Mateo County” said County Supervisor Dave Pine, who serves as the Chair of PCE’s Board of Directors. “Every electric customer countywide now has access to lower-cost, cleaner power. In total, we’re savings millions of dollars and avoiding millions of tons of carbon emissions.”
“We are taking a fiscally conservative approach” said CEO Jan Pepper. “We put 5% of revenues in a rate stabilization fund, and because we’re a non-profit, we put all excess funds toward local energy programs that will help build the clean tech economy and provide local jobs here in San Mateo County. Our procurement strategy will lead to long-term price stability for our customers.”
The average household receiving ECOplus will avoid emissions equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 10 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. Notably, PCE recently completed the largest solar contract ever signed by a community choice energy provider, purchasing the entire output of a to-be-built 200 megawatt solar farm in Merced County for 20 years.
Portola Valley Goes ECO100: the First City to Have 100% Renewable Electricity Supply as Default
PORTOLA VALLEY – Portola Valley is one of the smaller cities in San Mateo County, but it’s making its mark with a historic first in green power purchasing. Portola Valley is the first city in the country to have 100% renewable energy as the default power supply for all customers in its jurisdiction.
All cities in San Mateo County now buy their electric power from Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE), a joint powers authority. Peninsula Clean Energy gives customers the choice of ECOplus, a 50% renewable energy option priced just below PG&E rates, or ECO100, a 100% renewable energy option that costs a slight premium.
Portola Valley is one of nine cities in the county that decided to purchase the power for their municipal operations from ECO100, and is the only city that opted to have all accounts – including residential and business accounts – automatically placed into ECO100. According to experts in renewable energy markets, Portola Valley is the first city in the nation to make 100% renewable energy the default supply for all accounts, not just for municipal accounts.
“As a council member for Portola Valley, I voted for ECO100 as a cost-effective approach to meeting the town’s greenhouse gas-reducing goals” said Town Councilmember Jeff Aalfs. “Portola Valley’s action is a model that sends the message that cost-competitive, clean electricity is available and accessible today for all.”
PCE’s ECO100 program is supplied entirely by California Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) eligible power from sources including wind and solar, and does not rely on “unbundled” renewable energy certificates (RECS) for supply. The average household receiving ECO100 will avoid emissions equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 23 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.
About Peninsula Clean Energy
Peninsula Clean Energy, or PCE, is San Mateo County’s official electricity provider. PCE is a public, locally controlled community choice energy program that provides all electric customers in San Mateo County the choice of having electricity supplied from clean, renewable sources at competitive rates. PCE’s default option, ECOplus, is 50% renewable and 75% greenhouse gas emissions free, at a generation rate that is priced 5% less than PG&E. PCE’s ECO100 option is 100% renewable and 100% greenhouse gas emissions free. The Peninsula Clean Energy Authority, formed in March 2016, is a joint powers authority made up of the County of San Mateo and all 20 cities in the County. PCE currently serves approximately 300,000 accounts, making it the largest community choice energy program in California