Peninsula Clean Energy Seeks More Renewable Electric Supply

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 27, 2016

Contact: Dan Lieberman
dlieberman@peninsulacleanenergy.com
Phone: 650-395-9190

Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) is pleased to announce that it has launched its 2016 Request for Offers (“RFO”) for Product from Eligible Renewable Resources. With this RFO, PCE is expanding its purchase of clean, renewable energy for the residents and businesses of San Mateo County. Information and documents regarding the RFO can be found in the Documents section of the RFO website, https://pcerfo.accionpower.com.

“PCE will on-board almost 300,000 electricity customers over the next seven months, and will serve them with at least 50% renewable energy, at rates that are competitive with our incumbent utility.” said CEO Jan Pepper. “This RFO signals growing market demand for more affordable, cleaner electricity to serve a large constituency of Bay Area customers.”

This RFO seeks offers for generating resources certified by the California Energy Commission as Eligible Renewable Resources. The RFO is open to renewable electric energy generating facilities with a generating capacity not less than 1 megawatt. Additional offer qualification criteria can be found in the RFO. The Offer Submittal Deadline is Monday, November 7, 2016, 12:00 pm (noon) Pacific Prevailing Time (PPT).

About Peninsula Clean Energy
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. The Peninsula Clean Energy Authority, formed in March 2016, is a joint powers authority made up of the County of San Mateo and the 20 cities in the County. This joint powers authority was formed to provide the residents and businesses in San Mateo County with a cleaner and greener choice in where their energy is sourced.


Dan Lieberman
Director of Marketing and Public Affairs
Peninsula Clean Energy
dlieberman@peninsulacleanenergy.com
Cell: 650-395-9190

Visit us at:
www.peninsulacleanenergy.com

Clean Energy Joint Venture Gains Support: San Mateo County Joint Powers Authority Formed to Buy Renewable Energy in Bulk

About 297,000 PG&E customers in San Mateo County could get their energy from renewable sources in less than a year under a joint powers authority being formed called Peninsula Clean Energy.

The Office of Sustainability has been granted $1.5 million to form the joint venture known as Community Choice Aggregation that is already in place in Marin and Sonoma counties.

The county will need at least three of 20 cities to join the JPA to get it off the ground. The hope, however, is that all cities will partner with the county to buy clean energy.

The JPA would allow its customers to buy renewable energy at competitive rates. In fact, customers who purchase 100 percent renewable energy from sources such as wind or solar will see their monthly electric bills rise by a modest $2, according to a technical study the Board of Supervisors heard Tuesday.

The idea is to dramatically reduce the county’s carbon footprint by releasing less greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

“Climate change is the challenge of our lifetime and I think it’s a great idea to bring it to the county,” Supervisor Don Horsley said at the board meeting.

A JPA agreement is expected to be in place by the end of winter 2016 and the tentative plan is to start purchasing renewable energy next summer.

Supervisor Dave Pine brought the proposal to the board in December and the newly-formed Office of Sustainability, directed by Jim Eggemeyer, has been working on the first phase of the proposal since.

The second phase includes forming the JPA, which would be a nonprofit with a board made up of either elected city officials or appointees. The goal is to have it formed by March or April.

“I’m incredibly pleased with the progress since the first conversation. It seemed like a daunting task at first,” Pine said at the meeting.

City officials are keen to the idea, he said.

“There’s a tremendous degree of enthusiasm. It’s becoming real,” Pine said.

One of the best benefits of the JPA is that it will have “local control” over energy purchases.

The renewable energy will be delivered over Pacific Gas and Electric lines.

Local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 1245 supports the JPA purchasing 100 percent renewable energy through the program, spokesman Landis Marttila told the board Tuesday.

The county has been looking at three scenarios to purchase renewable energy at either 35 percent, 50 percent or 100 percent.

The 100 percent scenario means zero emissions were generated during energy production.

Customers in the county who buy their power from companies such as SolarCity will not be affected by the proposal.

There are currently three aggregation programs operating in the state including Marin Clean Energy and Sonoma Clean Energy. A third, Lancaster Choice Energy in Los Angeles County just started.

Community Choice Aggregation allows a local government, or group of local governments, to pool the electricity demand of their residential, business and municipal accounts to purchase or develop power on their behalf.

The program could also lead to local job creation in the clean energy sector.

The rates for renewable energy in most instances are lower than or competitive with PG&E rates depending on the percentage being purchased.

Depending on the route the JPA takes, customers will have a choice to purchase a mix of energy or 100 percent renewable energy.

The biggest risk of the clean energy program is the uncertainty in rate prices and opt-out rate of customers.

If a city joins the JPA, residents in the city will have to opt out of the program if they want to stick with PG&E. If they do not opt out, then they will be delivered renewable energy from the sources from which the JPA buys.

While all current CCEs in California offer electricity rates lower than the utility, there is no guarantee of what future electricity prices may be, according to the Office of Sustainability.

Workshops and an extensive public outreach campaign are planned in the coming months to introduce the concept to the general public.

To learn more go to green.smcgov.org.

Clean Energy Joint Venture Gains Support: San Mateo County Joint Powers Authority Formed to Buy Renewable Energy in Bulk, by Bill Silverfarb, The Daily Journal, October 7, 2016.

County Flips the Switch on Clean Energy: Peninsula Clean Energy Launches

San Mateo County flipped the switch Thursday away from Pacific Gas and Electric toward greener options provided by Peninsula Clean Energy.

“This is a historic day,” Supervisor Dave Pine said. “PCE will provide substantially cleaner energy at lower and competitive prices.”

The county and all 20 cities formed the joint powers agency to buy cleaner energy in bulk from providers other than PG&E.

Pine’s office led the move toward community choice aggregation nearly two years ago. PCE will reduce the county’s carbon emissions, Pine said.

So far, about 78,000 customers have been enrolled in the first phase of the rollout.

The remainder, including larger commercial and agriculture customers, will be enrolled in phase two starting in April.

The agency is currently contracting with Direct Energy as its supplier for procurement. Eventually, PCE hopes to generate its own power, said Chief Executive Officer Jan Pepper.

“This is my dream job to join a startup public agency to provide clean and green energy,” Pepper said at a press conference held at the County Center in downtown Redwood City.

Customers are automatically enrolled for a 50 percent renewable option and may go up to a 100 percent option, which will be delivered by PG&E on its transmission lines. They also have the option to opt out and return to PG&E. The bills will still come from PG&E and will remain the same with the exception of one line that shows the source of generation, which will be PCE, Pepper said.

Pine is the chair for the joint powers agency and elected officials from each city will hold a seat on the board.

Early adopter Janet Creech said the move will keep profits out of the pockets of PG&E shareholders and lead to local job creation.

The Sierra Club’s Gladwyn D’Souza said the switch will help save the environment and move away from “dangerous fuels.”

“This is our ticket to decarbonizing our local grid,” D’Souza said.

The service officially launched Monday.

Customers are automatically enrolled in the ECOplus option which provides 50 percent renewable at a cost just lower than PG&E. The ECO100 option provides 100 percent renewable energy at a slight premium.

The agency provides local control in the county’s effort to combat climate change, said Supervisor Carole Groom, who worked with Pine to form the agency.

PCE is modeled after community choice aggregation, CCA, programs in Marin and Sonoma counties.

CCA is a state policy that enables local governments to determine total electricity demand within their jurisdictions to buy alternative energy supplies.

San Mateo County is the fifth in the state to start its own power buying agency.

County Flips the Switch on Clean Energy: Peninsula Clean Energy Launches, by Bill Silverfarb, The Daily Journal, October 7, 2016.  

Peninsula Clean Energy Launches Service in San Mateo County

Peninsula Clean Energy, San Mateo County’s new official electricity provider, will be “flipping the switch” at a press conference on Thursday, October 6th at 10:30 a.m. Please join Peninsula Clean Energy board members, staff, and media representatives in the courtyard of the San Mateo County Center to celebrate the launch of service.

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. The Peninsula Clean Energy Authority, formed in March 2016, is a joint powers authority made up of the County of San Mateo and the 20 cities in the County. This joint powers authority was formed to provide the residents and businesses in San Mateo County with a cleaner and greener choice in where their energy is sourced.

www.peninsulacleanenergy.com

 Peninsula Clean Energy Launches Service in San Mateo CountyPeninsula Clean Energy, October, 2016.

San Mateo County Ditches PG&E, Starts Buying Cheaper, Greener Energy

REDWOOD CITY — San Mateo County this month launched an initiative to provide electricity to consumers, in lieu of PG&E, joining a statewide movement toward community-choice energy programs that supporters tout as the most effective way for Californians to lower their greenhouse gas emissions.

Peninsula Clean Energy began service Saturday to 70,000 customers, becoming the fifth program in California to take advantage of a 2002 state law that allows local governments to take over the process of buying power, with the goal of boosting green energy consumption and lowering rates for consumers. Many others are following suit, including San Jose and Santa Clara County.

Supervisor Dave Pine, one of the leaders of the effort to create Peninsula Clean Energy, a nonprofit governed by a board of directors that includes representatives from 20 cities, hailed the launch as a major stride toward lowering the county’s carbon emissions.

“When you look at climate action plans for our cities and counties,” he said, “there aren’t other tools that have such substantial and immediate impact.”

sjm-greenpower-1002webAs of Saturday, Peninsula Clean Energy provides the power to 20 percent of residential customers in San Mateo County, all municipalities, and all small and medium-size businesses. The remaining 200,000 residential and commercial accounts will come online in April.

Customers in San Mateo County will be automatically enrolled in the program but may opt out at any time.

The switch should be seamless for consumers. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. will still deliver the power and process customers’ bills.

What’s changing is where the power comes from. The default package, known as ECOplus, consists of energy that includes at least 50 percent renewable sources, such as solar and wind. For a bit more money, customers can choose a 100 percent renewable option, dubbed ECO100. PG&E’s mix is about 30 percent renewable.

The rates compare favorably with PG&E’s. For the typical residential consumer, ECOplus would cost $85.88 a month, compared with $88.03 for PG&E, according to Peninsula Clean Energy. ECO100 would be $90.33 per month.

“It’s cleaner, greener and less expensive,” said Peninsula Clean Energy CEO Jan Pepper, noting that the outfit’s low overhead and nonprofit model, along with increasingly favorable prices for clean energy, will allow Peninsula Clean Energy to deliver competitive rates.

If the program works as planned, San Mateo County by next year will already exceed a statewide mandate for 50 percent renewable energy sources by 2030.

Critics argue there are various risks associated with community-choice programs. They claim future regulatory changes or disruptions to energy markets could make it difficult for the initiatives to live up to their promises of lower prices.

PG&E is prohibited by law from marketing against community-choice energy plans. In a statement, spokeswoman Brandi Merlo touted the utility’s green credentials, saying its electricity creates just one-third the greenhouse gas emissions per kilowatt-hour as the industry average.

“For more than 100 years, it has been PG&E’s privilege to provide our customers clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy, and we look forward to the opportunity to do so for many years to come,” she said. “At the same time, we respect the energy choices that are available to our customers and are cooperating with (community-choice energy) programs.”

More customers will have those choices in years to come. City or county governments in nearly half of California’s 58 counties have launched or are considering a community-choice energy program, said Woody Hastings, renewable energy manager for the Center for Climate Protection, a Santa Rosa-based nonprofit that advocates for and tracks the programs.

“There are compelling reasons to pursue community choice,” he said, “and a lot of cities and counties in the state are waking up to that.”

The Bay Area is leading the charge, with Marin, Napa and San Francisco counties and a handful of cities having already set up community-choice energy programs.

Silicon Valley Clean Energy, serving most of Santa Clara County, is scheduled to launch the first phase of its program in April. San Jose is considering its own community-choice energy initiative, which the City Council is slated to consider in December.

As an early adopter of Peninsula Clean Energy, Menlo Park resident Nicole Kemeny said she has already chosen to upgrade to the 100 percent renewable package. The extra cost, she said, was well worth it.

“I’m extremely concerned about climate change, so if there’s any opportunity to do something about it, I’m going to take it,” said Kemeny, who volunteers for 350 Silicon Valley, a local chapter of a national grass-roots campaign to combat global warming. “I wanted to send the message that there’s a market demand for clean energy.”


When do I enroll?

To find out when your Peninsula Clean Energy service begins, go to www.peninsulacleanenergy.com/account-lookup.

San Mateo County Ditches PG&E, Starts Buying Cheaper, Greener Energy


 

San Mateo County Ditches PG&E, Starts Buying Cheaper, Greener Energy, by Aaron Kinney, The Mercury News, October 2, 2016.

Local Towns Sign up for 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside and Portola Valley, along with several other San Mateo County municipalities, have signed up as customers of the new Peninsula Clean Energy program to buy municipal electricity that is 100 percent from renewable sources.

Atherton’s City Council voted for the 100 percent renewable option, called Eco100, at its Sept. 21 meeting. In addition to the other local towns, Brisbane, Foster City, Millbrae and Redwood City have signed up for that option, according to Atherton City Council member Rick DeGolia, who is the town’s representative to Peninsula Clean Energy.

The Peninsula Clean Energy program starts Oct. 1, but will be rolled out to San Mateo County customers in phases over the coming year. The program was formed when all San Mateo County municipalities joined the county to form a Community Choice Aggregation system, a cooperative which bypasses Pacific Gas & Electric to provide a higher percentage of electricity from renewable sources than the electricity provided by PG&E, which is 30 percent from renewable sources.

PG&E still provides the billing and delivers the power.

Mr. DeGolia said the program has 299,598 potential customers in the county, but so far only 491 have opted out — “a remarkably low percentage,” he said.

Most customers will be given the choice to:

•  Opt out of the program and remain with PG&E.

•  Do nothing and be automatically signed up for the EcoPlus option, which provides electricity that is 50 percent from renewable     sources (and should cost slightly less than PG&E’s power).

•  Opt for the Eco100 option, which will cost as estimated 2.5 to 3 percent more than PG&E.

The town’s electric bill is projected to go up by a little less than $7,000 a year, City Manager George Rodericks told the council.

Portola Valley’s Town Council has voted make the Eco100 option the default for its residents when the program is rolled out there.

Local Towns Sign up for 100 Percent Renewable Energy, by Barbara Wood, The Almanac, September 30, 2016.

New Energy Agency Taking Reigns Soon in Redwood City, Woodside

“Redwood City, CA – Thousands of San Mateo County residents and business will soon receive the first of several notices informing them about the coming change in their electric energy supply from PG&E to the locally based and governed Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE).

The Peninsula Clean Energy Authority, formed in March 2016, is a joint powers authority made up of the County of San Mateo and the 20 cities in the County. This joint powers authority was formed to provide the residents and businesses in San Mateo County with a cleaner and greener choice in where their energy is sourced.

Beyond the source of electricity, customers will not experience any noticeable changes. Every customer will continue to receive a PG&E bill that will substitute Peninsula Clean Energy as the provider of the energy generation. All payments will continue to be sent to PG&E. PG&E will continue to respond to all service needs such as power outages or other typical issues. This will be a seamless transition with no disruption for customers. The only significant change is that Peninsula Clean Energy will provide cleaner electricity at lower rates for all residents and businesses in San Mateo County.”

New Energy Agency Taking Reigns Soon in Redwood City, Woodside, by Renee Schiavone, Patch, July 21, 2016.

Peninsula Clean Energy Authority Chooses Direct Energy as Supplier

Peninsula Clean Energy has chosen Direct Energy for its initial rollout.

“This confirmation agreement with Direct Energy is for a 51-month term, running from October 2016 through December 2020.

Customers in San Mateo County will be enrolled in the 50 percent renewable default option, branded as ECOplus, which also will include 75 percent greenhouse gas-free content. Account holders will have the opportunity to opt up to a 100 percent renewable option branded as ECO100. The new program offers customers as much as a 40 percent discount on these energy efficient choices, Direct Energy claims.”

Peninsula Clean Energy Authority Chooses Direct Energy as Supplier, by Cheryl Kaften, Energy Manager Today, July 28, 2016.

Open enrollment begins for clean energy program

Starting now, all residents of San Mateo County can voluntarily opt-in for service with Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) to join the 20 percent of residents, randomly selected from different zip codes in the county. This initial 20 percent, and those who decide to switch early will be joined by the rest of the county in April, 2017 when the full program launches.

Residents of San Mateo County can visit PCE’s website and click the “Enroll me now!” link to get started right away.

“As the program gets underway, customers will have several opportunities to opt out of the default and go with another option. Returning to PG&E will always be an option — at no cost if it’s done within the first 60 days of service, or later for a one-time fee of $5 (for residents).

The authority purchases energy on the open market, but from sources that are renewable — not derived from fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal.

The authority’s primary goal is reducing greenhouse gas emissions on the Peninsula and participating in efforts to slow climate change induced by human activity that, by burning fossil fuels, adds to the accumulation of such heat-trapping gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.

If Peninsula Clean Energy is profitable, the earnings will be reinvested locally in new energy efficiency projects and programs, perhaps leading to new local green jobs, the agency says.

If the authority is not profitable, its purchase of a $100,000 bond, as required by law, will allow a smooth transition of customers back to PG&E, Mr. Burruto said.”

Open Enrollment Begins for Clean Energy Program, Dave BoyceThe Almanac, July 27, 2016.

Clean energy notices sent out

Notices are being sent out to a portion of the 297,000 potential, new Peninsula Clean Energy customers. These notices will inform the current PG&E customers of the benefits of the changes coming to their electricity service, and an option for them to opt-out of the new service if they choose.

“The initial enrollment of local customers in October will include approximately 20 percent of San Mateo County residents throughout the county as well as all small- to medium-sized businesses, according to Pine’s office.

PCE is a joint effort by the county and 20 cities that will purchase power on its customers behalf that will be either 50 percent renewable or 100 percent renewable.

Customers will automatically be enrolled in ECOplus, which includes a minimum 50 percent renewable energy at a rate that is approximately 5 percent cheaper than PG&E’s rates, according to Pine’s office.”

Clean Energy Notices Sent Out, by Journal Staff, The Daily Journal, July 21, 2016.