What You Need to Know About Your New Energy Provider
After a decade of organizing and advocacy by multiple community organizations, including Kehilla’s
Greening Committee, an Alameda County Community Choice Energy program designed to address environmental, economic and social justice needs of East Bay communities will become your energy provider next month (November.) EBCE, like other community choice energy programs, enables cities and counties to choose where their electricity comes from, allowing them to choose from renewable energy sources, either by purchase or by developing local renewable energy sources, promoting local jobs and businesses. (The existing monopoly utility, locally PG&E, continues to transmit, service and bill.)
An unprecedented coalition of community organizations and local labor groups helped to negotiate inclusion in EBCE’s governing rules a local development business plan that provides for emphasis on building and developing local renewable energy sources and creating local jobs with family-sustaining wages.
The new agency, East Bay Community Energy (EBCE,) will offer you 3 choices:
1. The default (you will be automatically enrolled unless you actively make another choice) is called Bright Choice. It will provide more electricity from renewable sources at a rate about 1.5% lower than PG&E.
2. Or you can choose Brilliant 100 for electricity that is 100% carbon-free, but includes power from large hydroelectric projects, which is not considered renewable because of the environmental damage from big dams. This choice is at same rates as PG&E. It is not
recommended by the Greening Committee. (Some cities have chosen this as default for their residents; check www.ebce.org to see if you are in those areas.)
3. You will also be able to choose Renewable 100, which will be 100% renewable energy at slightly higher rates (estimated at about $4/month for average customers.)
If you prefer to remain with PG&E, you will be able to do so by opting out of any of these 3 choices. Currently the Alameda County cities that have opted to be part of EBCE are Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Oakland, Piedmont, San Leandro and Union City. So, if you live in any of these cities, monitor your mailings from PG&E and EBCE to make your choice.