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CleanPowerSF Expands Renewable Energy Use in San Francisco

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Thanks to community choice aggregation (CCA), deployment of clean, green, renewable energy is growing in San Francisco. The program began last month with automatic enrollment of thousands of businesses in certain parts of the city (Districts 5, 8 and 10, according to the San Francisco Examiner). The fact that CleanPowerSF is not-for-profit means ratepayer funds will be reinvested locally in energy efficiency programs and new renewable energy facilities, according to the program’s website.

Under a CCA program, cities and counties are permitted by state law to pool residents’ and businesses’ electricity demand to aggregate and leverage demand for cleaner energy – in San Francisco’s case, energy generated by local sources of wind and solar power. CleanPowerSF says CCA will both protect the environment and support the local economy.

“It is exciting to see the CleanPowerSF program roll out in San Francisco,” observed EC San Francisco Director Avni Jamdar. “We, as advocates, hope to see local build-out of energy infrastructure, as well as innovative programs for low-income San Franciscans to access energy efficiency and renewable energy resources.”

CleanPowerSF’s Green plan will provide 35 percent renewable energy to customers whose rates will remain the same per kilowatt-hour (kWh) as those charged by local utility PG&E for 27 percent renewable energy. For two cents more per kWh, customers opting for CleanPowerSF’s SuperGreen program will receive 100 percent California-certified renewable energy. According to the Examiner, that will come to about $6 more a month.

“Choosing renewable energy for your home or business with CleanPowerSF is one of the easiest actions you can take to reduce our carbon footprint in San Francisco,” said San Francisco Department of the Environment Director Debbie Raphael. “CleanPowerSF makes it easy for everyone – homeowners, renters, small business owners – to access 100 percent renewable energy.”

Customers receiving low-income discounts from PG&E will continue to receive those discounts from CleanPowerSF; and customers can opt out of the CCA program if they wish. The Examiner reported that the San Francisco Public Utility Commission, which administers the CCA program, expects an opt-out rate of 20 percent, given the local “green conscious” mindset. In all cases, PG&E will continue to maintain the power grid, respond to outages and issue monthly bills.

CleanPowerSF says it will inform businesses and residents of planned automatic enrollment, adding that customers in neighborhoods not yet targeted for automatic enrollment can sign up at www.cleanpowersf.org.

 

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