BERKELEY — The City Council next week is expected to formalize Berkeley’s participation in East Bay Community Energy, a community choice energy program expected to be launched in Alameda County cities in fall 2017.
The program will allow member cities to pool resources to purchase energy, using economies of scale to negotiate cheaper prices for their residents and businesses. It also will let cities buy cleaner power than supplied directly by Pacific Gas & Electric.
PG&E would continue to deliver the power through its system, maintain infrastructure and handle billing and customer service.
On Nov. 1, the council approved the first reading of an ordinance authorizing implementation of the program; the second reading will occur Tuesday.
Next-door Albany’s council passed a similar ordinance on Monday.
Also on Nov. 1, the Berkeley council approved the East Bay Community Energy Authority Joint Powers Agreement in view of participating in a joint powers authority of East Bay cities.
According to the nonprofit Ecology Center in Berkeley, once the program rolls out, customers will automatically be enrolled in a baseline program that will be less expensive than PG&E and will offer a greater proportion of renewable energy than PG&E. Customers will have the choice of sticking with PG&E.
Community Choice Energy Coming to Berkeley, by Tom Lochner, East Bay Times, November 11, 2016.