gmhTODAY 20 gmhToday June July 2018 - Page 38

“We want to hit our reserve targets in 2019 and we’re on track to get there, with cash reserves, a rainy-day fund, and active ongoing legislation/regulatory risk mitigation.” Are your rates competitive? “Yes. The 2017 rates offered carbon-free and renewable electricity at a one percent discount compared with electricity from PG&E. The new rates which took effect in April 2018 are more competitive with PG&E, offering a six percent discount. PG&E electric generation rates increased by an average of nine percent from 2017, and their added fees increased as well. “An average residential customer with a monthly electric bill of $100 per month, will save about $40 per year with the new rates. The new difference in rates means an estimated $20 million of on-bill savings for SVCE customers for 2018.” Pamela Garcia Member, Customer Program Advisory Group SVCE Understanding Your Electric Service Fees “The housing market is tight. Land- lords don’t need to offer incentives to get renters. We want them to know about energy efficiency and rebates to install EV charging stations, electric hot water heaters, or even solar panels. As SVCE customers they can generate renewable energy, offer it to their tenants and make a little profit.” • • • • • With SVCE, we paid less in 2017 for cleaner, greener electricity compared with PG&E. As SVCE customers whose electric service is still delivered by PG&E, we get a Generation Credit, but we pay PCIA and Franchise Fee Surcharges The PCIA (Power Charge Indifference Adjustment) fee is set by the California Public Utilities Commission to recover PG&E’s above-market costs for energy contracts acquired prior to the switch to SVCE. This is the elephant in the room. In state-level hearings, the CCAs have asked for more transparency and accountability about this fee, which could impose dramatic increases to customers for years to come. SVCE customers pay a Franchise Fee Surcharge (PG&E collects fees imposed by cities and counties in PG&E’s service territory for all customers) With new SVCE rates set in April 2018, SVCE customers are saving even more on cleaner, greener electricity. Read more about the potential impact of the PCIA: cleanpowerexchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/PCIA-Policy-Points-CCA-Perspective-CPX-Version-v2.pdf. How is SVCE governed? Dan Harney Founding board member of SVCE Gilroy City Councilman “With solar, energy generation peaks during the day but energy demand peaks at night. In the day, we have an oversupply. At night, the grid has to ramp up production by turning on facilities that burn carbon. We need the ability to store this energy and provide it on demand. We need to get to the point where we’re always operating off storage, and manage the oversupply on the market rather than waste it.” 38 “The agency is a joint powers authority, locally governed by a board of directors including one elected official from each member community. Currently there are 13 board members representing 12 cities and unincorporated Santa Clara County. “Representing South County are Gilroy City Councilmembers Dan Harney and Peter Leroe-Munoz (alternate); as well as Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate and City of Morgan Hill Program Administrator Anthony Eulo (alternate). Reporting is transparent and rate-setting meetings are open to the public. “We formed a Customer Program Advisory Group (CPAG) through our member agencies, issuing an open call for applications. CPAG is gathering community input throughout a nine-month program goal-setting and design process. Programs are focused on energy demand management, energy efficiency, and fuel-switching from fossil fuels to clean electricity in the areas of transportation, buildings and infrastructure.” How would you describe the current market? “Trading in electricity is a very liquid market with smaller and larger players. Right now, energy market prices are depressed. The grid is changing. There’s a lot of lunch- time power being generated. We need more dinner-time power. Battery storage allows us to store and redistribute. We’re negotiating contracts for long-term power, wind, solar and energy storage; investing in such a way that our purchases will cause new plants to be built. We’re investing at a level ten times higher than regulators require us to. This effort is supply-related: it doesn’t change the current use of PG&E as the distribution channel.” GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN JUNE/JULY 2018 gmhtoday.com