Tag Archives: Marin Clean Energy

PG&E wants Marin Clean Energy customers to pay more for exit ticket

By Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal

The California Public Utilities Commission will rule this month on requests from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. that some say if granted could hinder the effort to boost renewable energy use in the state. PG&E is seeking permission to nearly double the monthly fee it levies on customers of Marin Clean Energy and other community choice electricity suppliers. The investor-owned utility is also proposing a change in net metering policy that would substantially reduce the financial incentive for installing residential solar power systems.

When a PG&E customer opts to buy electricity from another energy supplier, such as Marin Clean Energy or Sonoma Clean Power, the company is permitted to charge that customer an exit fee to compensate it for the power contracts it previously entered into to supply that customer’s electricity. The average Marin Clean Energy customer pays an exit fee of $6.70 per month. PG&E is requesting permission to nearly double the exit fee to about $13 for an average Marin Clean Energy customer. The increase would mean that, for the first time in several years, Marin Clean Energy customers would be paying more for their electricity than PG&E customers.

When PG&E loses a customer to another energy supplier, it sells the excess electricity that it purchased for that customer. The company might earn or lose money, depending on market conditions. So far, PG&E has stockpiled more than $1 billion from transactions in which it earned money. In conjunction with its request for a hike in the exit fee, PG&E initially asked the CPUC’s permission to absorb this money. Marin Clean Energy objected. The CPUC rejected Marin Clean Energy’s request that the money be used to offset the need for additional exit fee revenue and directed PG&E to submit an alternative proposal outlining its plans for the $1 billion next year.

Read full article in the Marin Independent Journal

Critics: Marin Clean Energy not so clean and green

By Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal

A union representing Pacific Gas and Electric Co. workers and a San Francisco consumer group are taking aim at the common use of energy credits by groups including Marin Clean Energy. They’re pushing an initiative in San Francisco and new state legislation designed to curb such practices. Their contention: Marin Clean Energy and other purchasers of those credits, such as the city of Palo Alto, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, are using paper certificates to “greenwash” their energy. At issue is something known as an “unbundled, renewable energy certificate”—a credit that, when purchased, allows the buyer to legally claim ownership of 1 Mwh of renewable electricity. It has been “unbundled” from the actual renewable electricity that was generated.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1245, which represents PG&E’s electrical workers, is collecting signatures for a ballot measure that would bar San Francisco from promoting its electricity as clean or green if it uses unbundled RECs.  A second offensive is being mounted against the use of unbundled RECs in the state Legislature. Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, has introduced AB 1110, which would prohibit an adjustment in the calculation of emissions of greenhouse gases through the application of unbundled RECs. The legislation is sponsored by The Utility Reform Network, a consumer advocacy organization based in San Francisco.

Read full article in the Marin Independent Journal