Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) is San Mateo’s new energy provider and you may have some questions. On Wednesday, March 8th the city of San Mateo invites you to attend an informational workshop with representatives from Peninsula Clean Energy. It begins at 6:30 p.m. at the San Mateo Main Library and provides an opportunity to learn and ask questions about San Mateo County’s official electricity provider. If you have questions, want to know more about PCE and how it differs from PG&E, then reserve your space for the upcoming event using Eventbrite. In the meantime, keep reading for a bit more background about San Mateo County’s new energy provider.
What is PCE?
Peninsula Clean Energy was created in February 2016 when all 20 cities in San Mateo County, plus the county of San Mateo, voted unanimously to form a Joint Powers Authority to administer the program. This action created a new public, locally controlled electricity provider that gives all PG&E customers in San Mateo County the choice of having 50% to 100% of their electricity supplied from clean, renewable sources at competitive rates.
PCE’s role is to provide electric generation, which is the source of your power, while PG&E continues to provide electric delivery and billing services. PG&E still owns and reads your electric meter, sends your monthly bill and provides the same maintenance and other repair services they always have.
Why am I automatically enrolled in PCE?
The State, through Assembly Bill 117 passed in 2002, mandates that anytime a new community choice aggregation is created, it will become the default product for customers served by that provider. As such, PCE, with its ability to provide cleaner electricity at lower costs, becomes the default service for San Mateo County. PCE will automatically enroll residents and businesses in Peninsula Clean Energy as the roll-out continues this year. Three choices are available to PCE customers:
- Peninsula Clean Energy’s default offering, ECOplus, which is 50% renewable energy, 75% greenhouse gas free energy, and less expensive than PG&E.
- PG&E’s standard offering, which is 30% renewable energy, 60% greenhouse gas free energy, and more expensive than ECOplus
- Peninsula Clean Energy’s 100% renewable energy product, ECO100, which is slightly more expensive than PG&E.
If you don’t like or want to be enrolled in PCE, you can easily opt-out by going online or calling 1(866)966-0110.
Rates were supposed to be lower. They’re not.
On January 1, 2017, PG&E increased their electric generation rates by about 1.5 to 3%. Also on January 1, 2017, PG&E increased the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) by 26%. PCIA is a fee paid to PG&E by Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) customers. When PCE set their rates in 2016, they were set to be 5% lower than PG&E’s electric rates, even with the PCIA charge.
In response to PG&E’s rate increase earlier this year, Peninsula Clean Energy voted in January to reduce rates to maintain their original 5% discount below PG&E’s electric generation rates. The PCE rate reduction will go into effect on March 15, 2017. At that time customers will again see rates that are 5% below PG&E’s generation rate, including the additional PCIA charge. For details about how to compare Peninsula Clean Energy rates to PG&E’s rates, please look at this sample bill.
Why should I stick with Peninsula Clean Energy?
Peninsula Clean Energy is good for San Mateo County, good for the environment, and will, in the long-term, save customers money on their electric bill. Providing customers throughout San Mateo County with the option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at competitive rates makes sense. It’s a new program, and the roll-out of PCE is happening incrementally.
PCE has just started to launch the second phase of the roll-out to new customers. Throughout February and March, 210,000 new customers will receive notifications about being enrolled in PCE during the month of April. At that time, new customers, and those that enrolled in late 2016 will see the lower rates, approved in January, go into effect. The rate change will maintain PCE’s 5% discount below PG&E’s electric generation rates and provide greener electricity with 50% renewable content.
Reserve your space and plan to attend the March 8th information workshop in San Mateo. It’s a great way to meet PCE representatives and ask questions about San Mateo County’s new community choice energy provider. Sign-up today! Or visit Peninsula Clean Energy online.