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Tell PG&E and the Public Utilities Commission: Not to Charge More Fees to Richmond and other Community Choice Communities

This petition had 30 supporters


Cities and governments in the Bay Area and throughout California are moving faster to cleaner energy than Big Utility companies who rely more on natural gas and polluting power plants.

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) or Community Choice Energy is an alternative to the corporate investor owned utility like PG&E, that empowers cities and counties to pool electricity customers to form a local power agency. Communities can then provide clean power to local customers by purchasing renewable energy on the open market or by building local clean energy jobs.  Utility companies like PG&E rely on electricity from dirty and carbon-intensive sources that cause climate change, while Community Choice programs choose clean, green and renewable power that benefits locally, rather than to the shareholders of a big energy corporation.

Communities should have the right to choose where they get their energy and should not be penalized for wanting cleaner and greener renewable energy sources like solar coming to their home. 

In the Bay Area, PG&E is currently authorized to impose excessive fees on Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) customers, increasing the community cost to choose local, renewable energy supply.  The Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) fee requires customers to pay for energy that they will never use. The excessive charge disproportionately impacts low or fixed-income customers, comprising more than 10% of their electric charges and more than $70 dollars per year. PG&E is the only Investor-Owned Utility in California to impose these fees on low-income customers, therefore the fee should be immediately waived.

Background

PG&E’s Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) fee is billed monthly and based on electricity usage. This fee covers the cost of energy bought by PG&E before a customer is enrolled in a Community Choice energy program. Essentially, this charge requires that customers pay for energy that they will never use.  Therefore, if you leave PG&E to join a Community Choice Energy program than you get charged a fee.

For example, Marin Clean Energy (MCE), California’s first non-profit, Community Choice energy program, was founded in 2008 and began serving customers in 2010. MCE provides 50% and 100% Renewable and 100% Local Solar to customers in the following cities: City of Richmond, City of Belvedere, City of Benicia, Town of Corte Madera Sloan Bailey, Town of El Cerrito, Town of Fairfax, City of Larkspur, County of Marin, City of Mill Valley, County of Napa, City of Novato, City of Richmond, Town of Ross, Town of San Anselmo, City of San Pablo, City of San Rafael, City of Sausalito and the Town of Tiburon. 

A typical MCE household in the City of Richmond will pay about $70 in fees to PG&E every year.  In 2015, MCE estimates all of its customers will pay $19.3 million in PCIA exit fees to PG&E.  

Tom Butt, the Mayor of Richmond and Vice‐Chairman of MCE’s Board of Directors states, “Richmond is proud to be a member of MCE and has offered the CPUC a venue to directly hear from our constituents—we hope that the CPUC will accept and include the voices of our citizens within its administrative process.” (Read more)

This money could stay in customer’s pockets or could go toward putting more local solar panels on homes and schools.

In the Bay Area, Alameda County, City of San Pablo and other cities are joining the clean energy and Community Choice movement. We need to ramp up solutions to reduce climate impacts and PG&E should not penalize the desire of Californian's wanting cleaner energy options.

Please sign our petition to ask PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission to waive the fee from low-income and Community Choice customers.  

Communities for a Better Environment is supporting low-income and clean energy advocates to tell PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission to stop charging additional fees to Community Choice customers.



Today: Communities for a Better Environment is counting on you

Communities for a Better Environment CBE needs your help with “California Public Utilities Commission, Mike Florio: Tell PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission to Stop Charging Customers for Wanting Cleaner Energy!”. Join Communities for a Better Environment and 29 supporters today.