After 12 years of diligent advocacy, local environmental and community groups today cheered the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s (SFPUC’s) launch of the CleanPowerSF community choice energy program. CleanPowerSF will have a cleaner energy mix and lower rates than those of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and begins service to customers on May 1, 2016.
On May 12, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission approved not-to-exceed rates for CleanPowerSF, moving the City’s local renewable energy program one step closer to launch. 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.
This weekend was the conference on Dirty Energy and Clean Solutions. Ironically, the conference in San Francisco came at the same time that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee proposed to cut the entire $19 million dollar budget that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors had set aside to create a renewable power option for city residents looking for an alternative to PG&E power.
Eight months after the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission effectively halted the San Francisco City and County’s renewable power program, San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos introduced legislation that would require the City and County to at least study the option of joining Marin Clean Energy, Marin County’s renewable power program. Supervisors London Breed, Scott Wiener, David Campos and Eric Mar are co-sponsoring the legislation.
The so-called Greenest City in the Country has withered on the vine ever since a much-criticized decision to ban certain trade unions from working on municipal solar projects led to what is believed to be the nation’s first community protest and work stoppage at a solar installation and a nine-month delay in breaking ground on new solar projects.