Timeline for Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority Announced

image003by Bruce Karney, President of the Board, Carbon Free Mountain View

Key outcomes from the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority (SVCEA) Board Meeting on June 8, 2016:

1) Rollout of SVCE’s service will take place at a fast pace in three phases.  Phase 1 will happen in April 2017, Phase 2 in July 2017 and Phase 3 in October 2017.  The approximate number of GWh in each phase are 1100, 1750 and 595 respectively.

2) SVCE will set prices for electric generation at 1% below the price that PG&E will be charging in January 2017.  Because electric generation accounts for only about 1/3 of a customer’s electricity bill (the other 2/3 are transmission and distribution charges), that means that SVCE customers will pay about 0.33% less than customers who opt out and stay with PG&E.  The 1% figure will apply to ALL of the many rate schedules that are offered: residential, commercial, industrial, street lighting, agricultural, etc.

3) SVCE will strive (but not promise) to keep the price it charges for generation unchanged throughout all of 2017 and 2018.  (PG&E’s rates typically are adjusted 3-5 times per year.)

4) SVCE will provide as much Greenhouse Gas-free energy as it can while still beating PG&E’s price.  There is no specific target at this time for how “green” SVCE’s power will be, but it is intended it will be significantly more GHG-free than what PG&E is providing in 2017.

5) Electricity used for city operations (streetlights, traffic lights, city-owned buildings of all sizes, etc.) will be included in Phase 1 of the rollout so that city governments can tangibly demonstrate their leadership and commitment to GHG-free electricity.

6) An Executive Committee was formed to work intensively with CEO Tom Habashi in between monthly meetings of the Board.  Its members are: SVCE Board Chair Rod Sinks (Cupertino), John McAlister (Mtn. View), Rob Rennie (Los Gatos), Daniel Harney (Gilroy), Liz Gibbons (Campbell), and Howard Miller (Saratoga).

7) There was support for offering “Early Enrollment” for households throughout the County if (a big if) such a program would not be too burdensome to implement.  Expect to hear more on this next month or in August.

8) It was requested that Santa Clara County appoint an alternate director who can attend Board meetings when (as was the case last night) Director Joe Simitian was unable to be there.  Director Steve Tate of Morgan Hill was absent and alternate director Anthony Eulo attended in his place.

9) No decisions were made at this meeting regarding where, geographically, the electricity that SVCEA will purchase will be generated.

10) The Board asked to receive information via e-mail in the next month on RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates).  It was noted that a CCE program in the North Bay had received some negative publicity because of their use of RECs early in the program’s history. Presumably decisions about whether or not to purchase any unbundled RECs will be made in the next few months, after the Board feels that they have been thoroughly educated on the issue.

11) The decision about how exactly to spread the enrollments of residential customers across 3 phases, and do so efficiently and fairly, will need to be made at a future Board meeting.

1 reply
  1. Ann Hancock
    Ann Hancock says:

    Welcome Bruce, President of Carbon Free Mountain View and a long-time energy geek (in the best sense of the term) and his first contribution to the CPX website!

    We welcome your comments on Bruce’s news as well as other contributions like Bruce’s.

    CPX, a project of the Center for Climate Protection


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