Clean energy supporters hail key milestone: CleanPowerSF not-to-exceed rates approved by SFPUC will meet or beat PG&E

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by Eric Brooks

San Francisco – On May 12, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) approved not-to-exceed rates for CleanPowerSF, moving the City’s local renewable energy program one step closer to launch. Voting to approve the rates were Commissioners Anson Moran, Vince Courtney and Ike Kwon. Commission President Ann Moller Caen and Vice President Francesca Vietor were not present, but both sent in statements of strong support for moving forward with the program.

A strong response to CleanPowerSF will greatly increase the demand for rooftop solar, creating jobs in manufacturing and installing the panels – jobs that will be welcomed by the job-starved Black community.
A strong response to CleanPowerSF will greatly increase the demand for rooftop solar, creating jobs in manufacturing and installing the panels – jobs that will be welcomed by the job-starved Black community.

The commission’s approval action establishes that CleanPowerSF rates will not exceed the standard power rates of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) which – until CleanPowerSF launches early next year – is the monopoly provider of energy to San Francisco customers.

The approval sets the stage for CleanPowerSF to deliver greener power to customers at lower rates than PG&E. California’s two operating community choice programs, in Marin and Sonoma counties, have already provided greener energy at lower rates to customers.

Currently PG&E provides 25 percent renewable energy to customers. CleanPowerSF is expected to provide 33-50 percent renewable energy at launch, with the option for customers to pay a small premium and opt up to buy 100 percent renewable electricity.

Jed Holtzman, co-coordinator of 350 San Francisco, said: “This action by the SFPUC is a major step forward in spurring the clean energy transformation that San Francisco needs to aggressively reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and do its part to curb climate chaos. These competitive rates clearly show that the time is now for communities to transition to clean, renewable energy and away from fossil fuel energy that damages our communities and public health.”

“We’re thrilled to see such a diverse coalition of community groups, labor unions and city leadership come together to support San Francisco’s clean energy future,” said Jess Dervin-Ackerman, conservation manager for the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter. “Moving past this hurdle with the support of so many makes us excited for what we can achieve through the launch of CleanPowerSF: a reduction of carbon pollution, reinvestment in our communities that need it most, good-paying union jobs, and a program that is for and by the community.”

The approval sets the stage for CleanPowerSF to deliver greener power to customers at lower rates than PG&E.

Al Weinrub, coordinator of Local Clean Energy Alliance, said: “Now that competitive rates are set for CleanPowerSF, we can determine the amount of revenue that can be leveraged for the most important objective of the program: that of putting thousands of people to work as the City builds out hundreds of megawatts of local clean energy and efficiency installations on homes, businesses and government buildings. This is a big day for addressing both the climate crisis and the economic crisis in one decisive program.”

Eric Brooks, a leading advocate for clean energy, can be reached at info@ourcitysf.org.

4 COMMENTS

  1. The best way to bring solar energy to San Francisco is for the Supervisor to pass a Solar Payment Policy that requires PG&E to pay solar home owners $0.99 kwh.
    Develop the Mission Rock Project so each home and building has 100+ solar panels.
    This development could generate 4X more energy than it uses and sell the surplus to PG&E. This will create hundreds of real solar jobs, local JOBS, for our young people.

    Next, every house that adds a new roof, or does over 50% remodeling, should be required to add 50 solar panels. Lancaster, Ca., only allows the building of solar homes that are 100% solar. This will create more jobs.

    Credit Union need to offer lower interest loans to anyone adding solar.

    Why $0.99 kwh?? Because the actual cost of all energy is $0.99 kwh, when you add in the costs of: an atomic meltdown, US imperialist Oil Wars stealing oil from Africa: Libya, Nigeria, Niger, Kenya, etc., fracking pollution clean up costs, etc. Why not require consumers to pay solar homeowners who sell solar onto the grid the true cost of energy: $0.99 kwh???

    Is it better to spend the money on the front end, paying solar homeowners for clean, safe, free, solar energy, than to try to clean up our water after fracking or an atomic meltdown, on the back end??

    I would rather pay $5. a month more to solar homeowners to generate solar than to try to clean fracking chemical out of our water. The average German tenant  spends twice as much on beer, as they pay to solar homeowners with 100+ panels. Solar homeowner are becoming the major money makers from solar in Germany.

    PGE is actually just People's Green Energy, if we requires PGE to pay $0.99 kwh.
    I would rather do that, than to be suckered into Clean Power SF, ( which is actually just more CENTRALIZED corporate control of energy). We do not want giant solar farms on our deserts in S. California. Boycott CleanPowerSF.

    We need DECENTRALIZE home roof top solar, where the homeowners earn the lion's share of the money from solar. No more money to energy corporations and corporate solar farms on the desert.

    Whose grid? Our grid!!

    Batteries are not necessary if we control our grid.
    We do not need to be off the grid.
    We should use our grid to make money, create JOBS for young people, and shut down Diablo Canyon. If we play our cards right, we can use our grid to ban fracking and make money for solar homeowners.

    The cost of solar energy is now similar to fossil fuels, but will fall dramatically once 60% of the homes have 100+ solar panels. By 2041, the cost of energy in Germany will be $0.06 kwh, because the cost of solar is FREE.

    The cost of a phone call from SF to NY was $20 in 2001. Now it is FREE. By 2040 the cost of a solar house with 100 panels will be FREE, because people will be making $400./ month from selling solar onto our grid..

    Build homes with 100 solar panels. Boycott CleanPower SF.
    Theresa Coleman & Paul Kangas

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