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.
Portola Valley Goes ECO100: the First City to Have 100% Renewable Electricity Supply as Default, by Dan Lieberman, Peninsula Clean Energy, April 19, 2017.