Pico Rivera is getting in to the energy business beginning Friday with the launch of a program officials say will offer lower rates than Southern California Edison’s.
The program — called the Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy, or PRIME, program — will partner the city with state regulators and the city of Lancaster to provide cost-efficient energy with a greater share from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, officials said.
“This will be a great energy alternative for our residents,” City Manager Rene Bobadilla said in a statement. “Residents will not only be re-investing in their community, but they will also have an opportunity to procure cleaner energy sources at an affordable rate.”
He said PRIME will make the city more flexible when it comes to controls over pricing and sourcing.
A typical resident using about 500 kilowatts a month would save about $5, according to staff reports.
Although the final rates have not been set, the program is expected to save the city, residents and businesses $1 million total, Mayor Bob Archuleta said.
“The money the city will save will go to help pay for services for the community,” he said.
The program will also help the city stick to its environmental goals.
“With so much uncertainty at the federal level, it is extremely refreshing to see local governments making positive changes towards minimizing their own carbon footprint,” Bobadilla said.
The City Council passed the ordinance in December allowing it to enter into a joint powers authority with the city of Lancaster, which will be the lead city.
As part of the program, SCE will continue to handle infrastructure costs, such as maintenance, reading meters, billing and processing payments, responding to service requests, and handling any power outages, officials said.
Only the source and price of electricity flowing to residents’ homes and businesses will change.
Customers can choose to opt out of the program. The three options from which consumers can choose are:
• PRIME Power, the most cost-effective plan with 50 percent renewable energy
• PRIME Future, 100 percent renewable energy at a slightly higher rate
• PRIME Partner, for solar users who can earn up to 100 percent more for energy fed to the grid
The city’s transition from SCE to PRIME will be complete in May 2018, when businesses will make the switch-over, according to Pico Rivera officials.
SCE customers who choose not to enroll in PRIME will have the opportunity to opt out without penalty and remain with SCE.
Full rate details plus opt-out and opt-up instructions will be available in English and Spanish at poweredbyprime.org or by calling 1-800-467-7463.
Pico Rivera Is Getting a New Electricity Provider Soon; Here’s What It Means for Your Bill, by Sandra T. Molina, Whittier Daily News, August 28, 2017.