Community Choice Energy

Acterra enthusiastically supports the growing movement for Community Choice Energy (CCE) programs*. Utility customers throughout San Mateo County and in many parts of Santa Clara County can take advantage of California’s law that enables local governments to create their own not-for-profit electricity purchasing company.  Customers benefit by less expensive electricity that uses more renewable energy and being able to make their own energy choices. A CCE is managed by a board of directors that meets locally and is directly accountable to the citizens it serves, rather than being run by a large corporation. As nonprofits, CCEs can choose to make investments in renewable energy projects, rather than paying profits to shareholders. While the CCE purchases energy for its customers, energy is still delivered through PG&E’s infrastructure and is billed by PG&E as in the past, making the changeover process seamless for customers. Both local CCEs have competitive net metering programs for solar customers, too.

Two local CCEs:

·    Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) for all of San Mateo County. Service began in October 2016 for many customers, with an additional enrollment group (including some residents, large businesses, and agricultural users) set to start in April 2017. PCE customers can choose the default ECOPlus rate to get 50 percent renewable electricity for 5 percent less than PG&E’s rate, or the ECO100 rate to receive 100 percent renewables for slightly more than PG&E’s rate. 

·    Silicon Valley Clean Energy for all of Santa Clara County except San Jose, Milpitas, Santa Clara, and Palo Alto. Service begins April 2017 and early adopters can sign up now. Customers may choose between the GreenStart plan that is 1 percent less expensive than PG&E’s rates and has 50 percent renewables and 50 percent hydropower (all 100 percent carbon free) and the GreenPrime plan with 10 percent renewable and carbon-free electricity for $3 to $5 more per month than PG&E’s rate.

For comparison, PG&E’s electricity is a mix of 30 percent renewables and 70 percent from natural gas, nuclear power, hydropower, and other sources. 

* CCEs are also sometimes called CCAs (Community Choice Aggregations), where a local city decides to aggregate its utility customers into one purchasing block.