San José Clean Energy, which will become largest single-city CCE in nation, will give customers a choice of electricity provider, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and generate local jobs
SAN JOSE, Calif. – On Tuesday May 16th, the San José City Council voted to form a Community Choice Energy (CCE) program that will provide renewable energy choices to customers, lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increase local control, and stimulate the economy.
“While leaders in Washington continue to languish in a petroleum-fueled past, cities like San Jose will chart the path to a more sustainable future,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “Through our CCE program, we will significantly lower our greenhouse gas emissions and boost our renewable energy supply, while also providing cost-competitive electricity rates for our residents and businesses.”
The San José Clean Energy (SJCE) initiative will make San José the largest city in the nation to operate its own CCE, adding momentum to the growing renewable-energy movement. It also takes a major step toward achieving the City’s ambitious GHG emission reduction goals.
“San José Clean Energy will offer more renewable energy choices for our San José community as well as reduce our carbon footprint and air pollution,” said Kerrie Romanow, Environmental Services Director with the City of San José. “It will also spur local green energy production and boost the San José economy.”
SJCE will give customers the choice of buying a greener blend of power than the mix they currently receive from PG&E, while ensuring competitive rates and funding new green energy projects. The program will buy renewable energy on the open market and deliver it to customers using PGE’s transmission system.
The City Council voted to require that SJCE provide customers at least one option with 10 percent more renewable energy than PG&E’s power blend and to offer a 100 percent GHG-free power mix option as soon as feasibly possible. In addition, SJCE will provide at least one option with a rate equal to or cheaper than PG&E’s rate.
The SJCE program has the potential to bring significant environmental benefits to San José. According to a SJCE business plan developed by EES Consulting, if all consumers chose an electricity option with 10 percent more renewables than PG&E, San José would see an estimated 10 to 18 percent reduction in GHG emissions from electricity generation. This is the equivalent of removing approximately 56,000 passenger vehicles from the road or the annual energy use of 28,000 homes.
The program is expected to launch in 2018 and will ramp up to serve roughly 300,000 customers by 2019. The transition will be seamless for business and residential customers, who will continue to receive their electric bills from PG&E. Customers will automatically be enrolled into SJCE and can choose to opt out of the program and continue to receive their power from PG&E.
Eight CCE operations have launched in California since 2010, most of which are in the Bay Area. Several more are expected to begin service by 2019 – half of the state’s power load could be provided by CCE programs within five years.
For more information about SJCE, including a draft business plan, visit: www.sjenvironment.org/sjce.