Beginning in April 2017, unincorporated Santa Clara County communities started receiving 100% carbon-free electricity.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) is a new non-profit, public agency, formed in Spring 2016 by twelve South Bay communities, including Santa Clara County, to source clean electricity on our behalf at costs below PG&E's comparative generation rates.
Here's how it works:
PG&E is still an essential partner as they will continue to deliver electricity over existing power lines, maintain the lines, send bills, and provide customer service. Enrollment for SVCE was automatic and took place in two phases - April and July 2017.
Customers with existing PG&E accounts are automatically enrolled in SVCE's GreenStart electric generation service, which is 100% carbon-free. The energy is sourced from 50% renewables such as wind and solar, and 50% from large hydro. For a small premium, residents may also choose to upgrade to GreenPrime to receive 100% renewable and 100% carbon-free power. Getting 100% renewable energy for your home only costs an extra $3 - $5 per month for a typical residential customer.
Customers may also opt out of enrolling in SVCE and remain on PG&E's bundled service.
Rate structures with PG&E will remain the same, and SVCE customers remain eligible for most PG&E efficiency programs. So if you are an EV driver, your car will be powered by 100% carbon-free energy. For rooftop solar customers, you will be enrolled on a date close to your annual true-up date, and SVCE's Net Energy Metering program offers better incentives and payouts than PG&E's program. For customers on a special discounted rate like CARE, FERA, or Medical Baseline, your discount will not change and you don't have to take any action to maintain your discounted rate.
Right now, electricity used to power our homes and businesses creates about a quarter of our region's emissions. Using more renewable energy is an easy, economical way to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and improve our carbon footprint. It's the single most effective way to curb emissions and secure a clean energy future.
For more information, please visit SVCleanEnergy.org or call 1-844-474-SVCE (7823).