San Mateo Green Energy
A proposal for San Mateo and other cities to band together to purchase renewable energy in bulk is gaining steam in the Peninsula. The Peninsula Clean Energy is known as a community choice energy (CCE) program, sometimes called “community choice aggregation”.
The Peninsula Clean Energy program is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) that gives homeowners the opportunity to get larger parts of their energy from renewable energy and would give residents in participating cities within the county the chance to get a greater percentage of their electricity from renewable sources at prices competitive with PG&E rates.
A JPA is an entity that gives local governing bodies the power to act as a unified decision making body for their scope of control. It is becoming more popular in situations like this, where a conglomeration of districts can realize cost savings by grouping together.
The Peninsula Clean Energy JPA would give the program the authority to make any decisions about buying Green energy for the cities who have joined the coalition. The core of the idea is for the people and entities of San Mateo county to pool together and buy large amounts of renewable energy resources in exchange for discount prices..
Proponents reviewed what renewable and clean energy combinations might best work for San Mateo and other peninsula cities. A variety of city councils have discussed the proposal, including:
- Menlo Park
- Portola Valley
- San Mateo
Under the proposal of the program almost 300,000 PG&E customers in the Peninsula would get almost all of their electricity from renewable resources. Modeled after similar programs that are already in place in Sonoma and Marin counties, the program would be partner with the federal Office of Sustainability to pilot the program.
In order to get any momentum for progress the program must have at least 3 of the 20 San Mateo county cities join the initiative.
The JPA would allow its customers to buy renewable energy at competitive rates. Over time city residents can expect their electricity costs to be reduced by using renewable energy and many city officials are excited about the prospect.
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.
There are even options for 100% of county residents to get their power from renewable energy. This scenario means zero emissions would generated during energy production. Customers in the county who buy their power from companies such as SolarCity will not be affected by the proposal.
If the proposal is adopted, the cities participating will continue to get their electricity delivered by the current electricity lines utility (PG&E).
Local electricians have stated that they think the initiative is a good idea. This is not an endorsement of the initiative. 110220v is simply reporting on the proposal. We’ll wait to see how the whole thing shakes out.
The Clean Energy program is scheduled to meet 7pm to 9pm on the 4th Thursday of each month and is open to the public. The program is being run by San Mateo County and the official website is here www.peninsulacleanenergy.com