Should the City of El Cerrito join MCE Clean Energy at this time in order to provide El Cerrito electricity consumers a choice in where their energy is sourced and to help the City reach its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals?
At its regular meeting on December 16, 2014, the City Council will consider an ordinance to join Marin Clean Energy (MCE) to give electric customers in El Cerrito the choice to purchase greener, affordable electricity as an alternative to PG&E. MCE is a not-for-profit power agency that partners with PG&E to provide electricity services in Marin County, Napa County, and the City of Richmond, and will begin serving the cities of San Pablo and Benicia early next year. For more information about Marin Clean Energy, visit MCE’s website. (Use the back arrow in your browser to return to the forum from any link to another website).
The City is currently seeking community input on joining MCE. Please take a few minutes to learn more about CCA and then join the conversation online by clicking the "Post" button below. You can also learn more and provide comments at a Community Meeting on Joining MCE, to be held Wednesday, Dec. 3, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, El Cerrito City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito.
What is Community Choice Aggregation and MCE?
In 2002, California passed a Community Choice Aggregation law (AB 117). This legislation enables public agencies to combine, or “aggregate,” the electricity demands of their constituents to more easily acquire electricity from preferred sources. Partnering with MCE, PG&E still handles electric delivery, power line maintenance, and sends the monthly bill. MCE replaces PG&E’s job of determining power sources, called electric generation. So instead of paying PG&E for both electric delivery and generation services, customers pay MCE for generation and PG&E for delivery.
Participation in a CCA is automatic for all electricity account holders within the jurisdiction that offers CCA. But customers who do not want to participate and prefer to purchase power from PG&E can opt out of the CCA.
Is Electricity from MCE Cleaner?
By acquiring a greater percentage of electricity from renewable electricity generators (such as solar and wind power), MCE supports new in-state and local renewable energy projects and is able to reduce the percentage of fossil fuel energy in the electricity purchased by its customers. At present, MCE offers customers the choice of purchasing 50-100% renewable energy, with it's default "Light Green" option at prices lower than PG&E.
Why is the City of El Cerrito interested in a CCA?
The El Cerrito Climate Action Plan (CAP) identified joining a CCA with a strong renewable energy portfolio as one of the more cost-effective ways to reduce the pollution that causes climate change, because it results in large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions with little investment on the part of the City. In addition, joining MCE provides the following benefits for its customers.
Benefits for Customers:
- MCE provides customers with a choice to purchase higher levels of renewable energy (visit http://www.mcecleanenergy.org/power-choices/ for more information)
- MCE currently provides electricity at lower rates than PG&E (visit http://www.mcecleanenergy.org/residential-rates/)
- MCE supports local solar by providing generous Net Energy Metering rates for exisitng and new solar installations (visit http://www.mcecleanenergy.org/residential-solar/)
- MCE provides easy-to-access energy efficiency programs specifically designed for its customers (visit http://www.mcecleanenergy.org/home-savings/)
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