If you have a question about Peninsula Clean Energy, we have an answer!
Peninsula Clean Energy is a public, locally-controlled electricity provider that gives all PG&E electric customers (residential, commercial, and municipal) in San Mateo County the choice of having 50% to 100% of their electricity supplied from clean, renewable sources at competitive rates. We provide the electricity, and PG&E delivers it over their lines and wires. PG&E will continue to do the billing for all of these services.
The short answer is, Peninsula Clean Energy sources cleaner, cheaper, electricity than you currently receive from PG&E, and PG&E delivers it. In more detail, we source greener power for homes and businesses, while the local utility, PG&E, continues to deliver power over their lines and wires, handle the billing, maintain the power lines, and respond to new service requests and emergencies.
Anyone who lives or owns a business in San Mateo County may participate in Peninsula Clean Energy.
Peninsula Clean Energy offers service throughout San Mateo County.
If you are a PG&E customer within San Mateo County, you’re included in the Peninsula Clean Energy service area.
Peninsula Clean Energy began serving its initial group of customers on October 1, 2016.
Peninsula Clean Energy was created in February 2016 when all 20 cities in San Mateo County, plus the County of San Mateo, voted unanimously to form a Joint Powers Authority to administer the program, following years of careful study and development.
When California deregulated the energy market in 1997, many Californians switched to alternative energy providers. Following the energy crisis of 2000-01, consumer choice of electricity providers was suspended. As a response to the closing of the open market, Assembly Bill 117 was passed in 2002 to establish Community Choice Aggregation, which offers an opportunity for California communities to choose their electric provider and the source of their electricity.
Peninsula Clean Energy is governed by a Board of Directors composed of representatives from each of the member cities and the County itself. PCE’s local government structure ensures public transparency. The Board of Directors meets monthly to discuss matters pertaining to the operation of Peninsula Clean Energy. All meetings are open to the public and comments are encouraged.
Peninsula Clean Energy provides electric generation, which is the source of your power, while PG&E continues to provide electric delivery and billing services just as they always have. PG&E still owns and reads your electric meter, sends your monthly bill, and provides the same maintenance and other repair services they always have.
No. In a way, we work in partnership with them. PG&E continues to provide all gas services, electric delivery, billing, and power line maintenance. Peninsula Clean Energy only replaces the electric generation services with 50-100% renewable energy at competitive rates.
Our energy is produced from non-polluting, renewable sources such as solar and wind. The projects that produce our electricity are located in California, Oregon, and Washington State. The exact proportion of each varies with time, based on demand and availability. Peninsula Clean Energy will provide detailed information about our power supply in our annual Power Content Label reporting.
Clean energy is carbon-free energy that creates little to no greenhouse gas emissions. This is in contrast to fossil fuels, which produce a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide and methane. Renewable energy is energy that comes from resources that are naturally replenished such as sunlight, wind, water, and geothermal heat. Unlike fossil fuels, such as oil, natural gas and coal, which cannot be replaced, renewable energy regenerates naturally in a short period of time. Nuclear power and even large hydropower are not considered renewable by California state law. Renewable energy is price-stable over the long-term because it does not rely upon volatile fossil fuel prices. That helps PCE ensure that our prices will be competitive for years to come.
Peninsula Clean Energy produces both clean and renewable electricity on behalf of our customers. Each electricity product has a different percentage of carbon-free and renewable energy. ECOplus is at least 50% renewable and 80% carbon-free. ECO 100 is 100% renewable and 100% carbon-free.
We negotiate short and long-term contracts with a variety of power suppliers to meet the energy needs of our customers. Our Director of Power Resources has 40+ years experience in the utility field.
We are required to report to the California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission on an annual basis to verify the amount of renewable energy procured for our customers. This is the same standard used by all California utilities, including PG&E, for verification purposes.
Renewable energy facilities create electricity that is delivered to a network of transmission wires, often referred to as the grid. Renewable energy generation produces two products: 1) the electricity or electrical energy produced by a renewable generator and 2) the renewable attributes of that generation. The renewable attributes or green attributes are sold separately as renewable energy certificates, or RECs. A REC can be created only if the renewable electricity was produced, and only one certificate may be issued for reach unit of renewable energy produced. If the electricity was separated from the REC and sold without the REC, that electricity is no longer considered renewable and cannot be counted as renewable or zero-emissions by whomever buys it. Note that PCE does not purchase “unbundled” RECs to supply our products. Instead, PCE purchases renewable energy along with the associated RECs from that facility.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, electricity is the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Peninsula Clean Energy purchases power from renewable energy resources, which directly reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. GHG emissions are produced from the production and burning of traditional, fossil-based energy sources, such as natural gas and coal. GHG emissions are a leading cause of pollution and climate change. Peninsula Clean Energy helps to eliminate the emission of GHGs. It’s an easy and affordable way to reduce your carbon footprint.
ECOplus is Peninsula Clean Energy’s default electricity service offering and is priced below PG&E’s rates. All customers automatically start with ECOplus. ECOplus is at least 50% renewable, which is more than twice the renewable energy that is otherwise available to customers from PG&E. ECOplus is also 75% carbon-free.
Signing up for ECO100 means 100% of the power you are paying for comes from clean, renewable sources. Customers can choose to opt up to this option and buy 100% renewable and 100% carbon-free electricity at a slight premium. It enables our customers to take a bigger step towards reducing their carbon footprint. ECO100 costs $0.01 per kWh more than our ECOplus option. The average PCE residential customer uses 423 kWh per month, so ECO100 will cost the average residential customer $4.23 per month above ECOplus. Compared to PG&E’s rates, ECO100 is expected to cost about $2.50 per month extra for a typical residential customer. If you want to enroll in ECO100, click the “Opt Up” button at the top of the screen.
Yes, you can opt up to ECO100 at any time. And if you want to switch back again, just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. If you want to enroll in ECO100, click the “Opt Up” button at the top of the screen.
PCE offers a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable energy product with rate schedules that are competitive or better than PG&E. We’re proud to offer you rates that are stable and affordable, and we’re committed to keeping costs as low as possible for all of our customers. For detailed rate information, please see our residential rates and business rates pages.
The tiered rate structure is part of the delivery side of the bill, which remains unaffected by Peninsula Clean Energy. Therefore, whatever “tier” you are currently on with PG&E for delivery charges, that will remain the same. Further detail can be found in PG&E’s tariffs. For residential customers, see page two of this document. See the section entitled “Unbundling of Total Rates.” In that section, there is a Generation charge of $0.09838 per kWh. That is PG&E’s rate, which will be replaced by Peninsula Clean Energy. Below that you see “Conservation Incentive Adjustment.” That is the baseline treatment. Whether you are a PG&E customer for generation service, or on direct access, or on PCE, that treatment remains the same. So no matter what tier of usage you have in a given month, PCE’s ECOplus will be below PG&E’s rate.
Our Board, comprised of a representative from each of the participating areas within the County, sets rates according to agreed-upon goals of the program and the cost of its energy contracts during that period. One of our goals is rate stability, and another is affordability so your PCE rates will always be as competitive with PG&E rates as possible. Rates are developed, discussed, evaluated and approved at public meetings, where you can give us your feedback.
No. PG&E must provide the same delivery rates for all customers in their service area whether they receive electricity from Peninsula Clean Energy or another third-party energy service provider.
Yes. CARE, FERA, and Medical Baseline are available to Peninsula Clean Energy customers as well as PG&E customers. Your discounts will remain in place, regardless of enrollment with Peninsula Clean Energy or PG&E. Customers enrolled in Peninsula Clean Energy continue to receive their CARE, FERA, and Medical Baseline discount within their PG&E delivery charges; there is no need to re-apply with Peninsula Clean Energy. New CARE, FERA, and Medical Baseline enrollments or renewals must still be done through PG&E’s customer service center or website.
Note that customers enrolled in PG&E’s Medical Baseline Allowance program are not subject to the PCIA fee, providing additional savings for PCE customers on Medical Baseline.
PG&E offers customers a Budget Billing program that levels out your monthly payments so if your energy usage changes significantly from season to season, you don’t see big spikes on your bills. If you use the Budget Billing option with PG&E and receive electric generation service from Peninsula Clean Energy, you will continue to receive your gas and electric delivery charges from PG&E in the Budget Billing form. However, the Peninsula Clean Energy electric generation portion of your bill will not be included as part of Budget Billing and will vary from month to month, depending on your usage. Therefore, you will see some variance on your monthly bills. If you have questions about this, please contact our local Call Center at 866-966-0110.
Yes. The California Public Utilities Commission authorizes PG&E to collect fees (called public goods charges) from all customers to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy incentive programs. PG&E will still collect these fees and Peninsula Clean Energy customers will remain eligible for these incentives and services.
Simply stated, there are no additional costs or hidden fees associated with Peninsula Clean Energy. Electricity sourcing fees will simply move from PG&E to PCE–you will not be double-billed. You may be required to pay a moderate fee if you choose to opt-out and return to PG&E after the initial grace period.
PCE is committed to providing the cleanest electricity at the most competitive prices we’re able to offer. This program was developed to benefit the entire county, and keeping cleaner energy affordable is one way we plan to do that. As a public entity, PCE is here to serve and benefit all of the residents and businesses in San Mateo County. Unlike PG&E, PCE does not have a profit motive for its shareholders because PCE’s shareholders are exactly the same as our customers. Thus providing cleaner, greener electricity at very affordable rates is a key objective of PCE.
No. We work together with PG&E so that you will get just one bill from PG&E each month. Peninsula Clean Energy’s charges for electricity generation are included on your PG&E bill.
Peninsula Clean Energy charges for generating the electricity you use. When you begin receiving electric generation from Peninsula Clean Energy, the charges for generation that used to go to PG&E are replaced by charges from Peninsula Clean Energy. PG&E will continue to charge for the transmission and delivery of electricity, along with a variety of other regulatory and program charges at the same rates they always have. There are no duplicate charges for electricity generation.
You will continue to get just one bill from PG&E. A few lines on the bill will change since the charges for power generation will go to Peninsula Clean Energy instead of PG&E.
Your bill will look the same as it always has, except that Peninsula Clean Energy charges – for sourcing electricity – will be broken out on a separate line on your bill.
PG&E charges Peninsula Clean Energy customers a Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) and a Franchise Fee Surcharge. Both are calculated based on the number of kilowatt hours used each month.
The PCIA is intended to ensure that customers who switch to Peninsula Clean Energy pay for energy that was acquired by PG&E to serve them prior to their switch. The PCIA is currently between two to three cents per kilowatt-hour for most PCE customers, depending on when the customer switched to Peninsula Clean Energy and whether they are a residential or a commercial customer. The savings that PCE’s ECOplus provides are such that, even with the fee, customers will still save money compared to PG&E’s rates.
If you ever have questions about the Peninsula Clean Energy portion of your bill, you can email us at email@example.com. If you have questions about the rest of your PG&E bill, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
Due to the large population in San Mateo County, enrollment is rolling out in 2 phases over a 7-month period. If you were in the first enrollment phase, you started receiving notices from us by mail in July 2016 with service beginning in October 2016. The balance of customers began service in April 2017, with initial notices starting in February 2017.
Yes, you get to decide. Any customer may opt out of Peninsula Clean Energy. However, you can only opt out when you become eligible for service during one of the enrollment phases, because that is when PG&E provides your account information to allow us to make the switch. If you have received an enrollment notice, you can choose to opt out now.
PCE will not charge a fee to sign up. During the first year of service, you can opt out at no charge. After that, there will be a small one-time service fee to opt out ($5 for Residential customers; $25 for Commercial customers). Customers who opt out after receiving service from Peninsula Clean Energy for more than 60 days must select one of PG&E’s two offers:
- You can notify PCE at least six months before the date that you want to return to PG&E bundled service. When you return to bundled service six months later, you will pay the then-existing bundled electric generation rate, which will be identical to similarly situated PG&E customers in your customer class.
- If you do not provide PG&E with a full six-months’ notice, you can return to PG&E bundled service at any time, but you will pay the then-existing Transitional Bundled Commodity Cost (TBCC) – which may be higher or lower than the then-existing bundled electric generation rate – until six months after PG&E receives notice from PCE. Thereafter, you will pay the bundled electric generation rate (identical to similarly situated PG&E customers in your customer class).
With either option, you’ll be required to make a one-year commitment to PG&E bundled service.
No. Customers can only participate if they or their businesses are located within the Peninsula Clean Energy service area.
Historically, PG&E has been the default power provider to customers in San Mateo County and customers were automatically enrolled in PG&E because there was no alternative service to choose from. Now there is a choice.
Because of the benefits offered by Community Choice programs such as Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE), including lower cost and cleaner electricity, our state legislators passed California’s Community Choice Aggregation law in 2002, making Community Choice programs the default service, resulting in competition and better options for customers. As we roll out our service to residents and businesses in San Mateo county, you are automatically enrolled in Peninsula Clean Energy.
Now you have 3 choices:
- Peninsula Clean Energy’s default offering, ECOplus, which is 50% renewable energy, 75% greenhouse gas free energy, and less expensive than PG&E.
- PG&E’s standard offering, which is 30% renewable energy, 60% greenhouse gas free energy, and more expensive than ECOplus
- Peninsula Clean Energy’s 100% renewable energy product, ECO100, which is slightly more expensive than PG&E.
We hope you will choose to stay with Peninsula Clean Energy. However, if your choice is to return to PG&E, you can opt out of PCE and receive electric generation from PG&E. To opt out, please have a copy of your PG&E bill handy. You may opt out online or by calling our local Call Center at 866-966-0110.
State law requires that as we begin to implement our service, we must contact customers in writing a minimum of four times. We will do this via a combination of letters or mailers and postcards.
California’s CCA law requires Peninsula Clean Energy to become the default provider of electric generation for customers within San Mateo County. If a customer wishes to stay with PG&E, they can opt out of PCE. Customer choice is very important to us, so we provide four written notices to our customers so that you can choose where your electricity comes from and how your dollars are spent.
Establishing service is easy. Contact PG&E one week before you will need service at your new address and schedule an appointment by calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
New customers who move into the Peninsula Clean Energy service area are automatically enrolled into Peninsula Clean Energy and will be mailed two notices within the first sixty days of service with information about their options.
No. Peninsula Clean Energy supports your power to choose! Any customer may opt out of participation. The choice is yours. We hope that you will choose to receive a cleaner, greener, and more affordable electricity option by staying with Peninsula Clean Energy.
While we don’t want to lose you as a customer, you always have the choice to opt out. You can opt out on our website at www.peninsulacleanenergy.com or by calling 1-866-966-0110.
Customers who opt out before starting Peninsula Clean Energy service or within the first 60 days of Peninsula Clean Energy service may return to Peninsula Clean Energy service at any time. Customers who opt out after the first 60 days of service with Peninsula Clean Energy will be prohibited by PG&E from returning to Peninsula Clean Energy for one year. PG&E’s website has details about customer choices when returning after being served by Peninsula Clean Energy for more than 60 days.
There is no charge for opting out of Peninsula Clean Energy before or within the first year of service. After the first year of service, Peninsula Clean Energy will charge a one-time $5 (residential) or $25 (commercial) administrative fee.
Peninsula Clean Energy provides electricity generation only, and PG&E will continue to provide the meters. As a Community Choice Aggregation program, our scope is limited to generation services and cannot expand to include metering services. Therefore, Peninsula Clean Energy does not have any control over whether or not our customers receive Smart Meters from PG&E.
PG&E owns and maintains the meters at your home or business, even if you are a Peninsula Clean Energy customer. So, if you wish to opt out of a Smart Meter, please contact PG&E directly.
Residents with solar panels can sell their excess energy back to Peninsula Clean Energy. PCE can offer property owners fair market rates for their excess energy production. It’s likely that PCE’s buy-back rates may be slightly more advantageous to the solar panel owner than PG&E’s rates have been in the past. Existing CCEs have thus far been able to offer better Net Metering rates for customers who generate surplus electricity. Such customers within San Mateo County will be automatically enrolled into Peninsula Clean Energy’s Net Metering Program.
Peninsula Clean Energy will be financed by revenues received from our rate payers based on the electricity they consume. We’re self-funded and don’t use any tax dollars. As a community agency, any revenues that exceed our costs will be used to benefit the communities we serve.
During the startup period, the County is providing a portion of the startup funding, which PCE will pay back to the County as revenues are collected. PCE will be operational in October 2016, after which it will be 100% ratepayer funded.
Any surplus funds generated by PCE will be reinvested back into the community in the form of new energy projects and programs, and will not flow back into the general funds of the JPA’s member jurisdictions. This means that funds could lead to the creation of new green jobs and local renewable energy projects and programs.
Efficiency projects such as retrofits, home area networks, battery storage and electric vehicle charging stations are just a few options, with other innovations probable. In Marin County, for example, CCE profits have been used to build several local solar projects and create hundreds of jobs. Lancaster reinvested its profits into building its local economy and businesses.
No. The cities and the county have firewalled their general funds through the formation of a Joint Powers Authority (JPA). The debts and liabilities of the JPA do not extend to the member cities and county. This firewall is protected by state law. The Peninsula Clean Energy Joint Power Authority functions as a stand-alone public agency.
No. Directors serve on the Board as part of their duties as elected officials and do not receive any additional salaries or other payments of benefits.
Net Energy Metering (NEM) is a special billing arrangement that allows customers with solar PV systems to get the full retail value of the electricity their systems generate. A special “net meter” tracks the difference between the amount of electricity your solar panels produce and the amount of electricity you use during each billing cycle. When your panels produce more electricity than you use, you receive a credit on your bill.
Yes. Peninsula Clean Energy offers one of the most favorable Net Energy Metering programs in California.
Any Peninsula Clean Energy customer who meets PG&E’s NEM program requirements is eligible for Peninsula Clean Energy’s NEM program. Generally, this includes customers with renewable electric generation systems (such as solar, wind, biogas, and fuel cell installations) that are less than 1,000 kW. The average residential installation is 5 kW, and the average commercial installation is 100-200 kW.
Peninsula Clean Energy’s NEM program is only available to customers within the Peninsula Clean Energy service area (the County of San Mateo). Customers outside of Peninsula Clean Energy’s service area can still apply for NEM through PG&E, but will not benefit from Peninsula Clean Energy’s rate tariffs.
If you’re already enrolled in PG&E’s NEM program, you will automatically be enrolled in Peninsula Clean Energy’s NEM program—no action is necessary. PG&E will perform a settlement of your account’s net charges and credits (known as a “true-up”) when you become a Peninsula Clean Energy customer. This settlement will result in a balance due for any usage charges owed to-date, or alternatively will result in a forfeiture of any excess credits on your account at that time. To prevent this loss of credits, Peninsula Clean Energy designed a special enrollment process for NEM customers (see Table 1 below).
Peninsula Clean Energy will be enrolling all NEM customers either the month of or the month following their annual true-up date. Peninsula Clean Energy has taken care to enroll NEM customers based on their true-up dates to ensure that customers who have credits stored up will be able to cash them out with PG&E instead of losing them. Please see Table 1 below to find out which month you will automatically begin service with Peninsula Clean Energy.
In April of each year, all Peninsula Clean Energy NEM customers with a credit balance over $100 will automatically receive compensation for the accrued credit balance – this payment will be made by check issued from Peninsula Clean Energy to the customer. Customers with a credit balance less than $100 will carry over into the next billing cycle. That credit balance will continue to be tracked by PCE, and will remain on the customer’s account for future use (i.e., reduction of future Peninsula Clean Energy charges).
NEM Customer Phase-In Month Based on True-up Date
|NEM Customer True-up Month||PCE Phase-in Month|
|September 2016||October 2016|
|October 2016||October 2016|
|November 2016||December 2016|
|December 2016||December 2016|
|January 2017||February 2017|
|February 2017||February 2017|
|March 2017||April 2017|
|April 2017||April 2017|
|May 2017||June 2017|
|June 2017||June 2017|
|July 2017||August 2017|
|August 2017||August 2017|
You will be automatically enrolled in Peninsula Clean Energy’s NEM program based on when your true-up date occurs. If you just installed your solar panels, you can sign up with Peninsula Clean Energy right away by calling us at 866-966-0110.
Peninsula Clean Energy customers will need to follow PG&E’s interconnection procedure as a first step. Go here to find the forms required by PG&E. PG&E requires that customers complete the 1) Agreement and Customer Authorization (A&A) form, and 2) Standard Net Energy Metering (NEM) Interconnection Application.
Final permission to operate your solar PV system and/or wind system is required by PG&E, regardless of whether or not you are a Peninsula Clean Energy customer. PG&E will review your completed application, along with a single-line diagram that is representative of your system. Upon a successful evaluation of your engineering review, PG&E will install your bi-directional meter. You may operate your PV system following receipt of a “Permission to Operate” letter.
Once your system is operational and you are already a Peninsula Clean Energy Customer, you will automatically be on PCE’s NEM program. If you are not already a Peninsula Clean Energy customer, you can sign up on the Early Adopter page on our website.
Yes! PCE buys electricity generated by NEM customers at $.01/kWh* above the rate schedule in effect at the time of solar production (retail price). This is a bonus for producing clean, local electricity. An additional benefit is that instead of an annual true-up where NEM customers may be subject to a year’s worth of charges, PCE NEM customers will settle their bills on a monthly basis.
*A kWh (kilowatt hour) is the standard measure of electricity
Currently the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) provides a credit of 30% of the amount of investment in solar property. Both the residential and commercial ITC are equal to 30 percent of the basis that is invested in eligible property, which commence construction through 2019. The ITC then steps down to 26 percent in 2020 and 22 percent in 2021. After 2023, the residential credit will drop to zero while the commercial and utility credit will drop to a permanent 10 percent. Commercial and utility projects, which have commenced construction before December 31, 2021, may still qualify for the 30, 26 or 22 percent ITC if they are placed in service before December 31, 2023. The Treasury and IRS are currently drafting guidance, which will inform solar developers of which percentage of ITC they will qualify for depending on when they started their project. (Source: http://www.seia.org/policy/finance-tax/solar-investment-tax-credit)
Please consult a tax professional for more information before making any purchasing decisions.
The size of your PV system will depend on a number of factors including your energy usage, roof configuration, and goals. For example, some customers seek to maximize their return on investment by sizing their system to reduce their usage just enough to avoid paying for electricity at extremely expensive high-tier rates. Other customers opt to eliminate their carbon footprint by sizing their system to offset 100% of their usage.
The purpose of net metering is to install a system to meet the on-site electricity use. All net metered customers are required to interconnect with PG&E’s grid and PG&E does not generally allow customers to interconnect systems that exceed 110% of on-site electric demand.
Yes, Peninsula Clean Energy has similar time of use and electric vehicle rate schedules as PG&E, but with lower rates. For more details, visit http://www.peninsulacleanenergy.com/residents/residential-rates/.
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