San Jose, CA — The Mayors of the Bay Area’s three largest cities have issued the following joint statement following the Thursday vote at the California Public Utilities Commission that could increase costs for ratepayers and undermine the state’s clean energy plans.
“Today the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) delivered a severe blow to California ratepayers and the state’s environmental goals. We are extremely disappointed that the CPUC sided with multi-billion-dollar energy corporations like PG&E and against the interests of consumers and the environment. We will explore all options to sustain and protect our cities’ energy consumers and California’s clean energy leadership in the face of this unfortunate decision.
Coming just days after Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 100, this decision flies in the face of California’s new commitment to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Our Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs are implementing the State’s SB100 goals more aggressively than the utilities, even before the State adopted them, and now this decision undermines rather than supports our efforts. It is also very concerning that the CPUC’s rushed vote to impose a steep ‘exit fee’ on utility customers who choose renewable energy sources lacked transparency and opportunity for public input—with just six calendar days before the release of the final proposal and today’s vote.
The CCA programs pioneered by our cities and 16 other jurisdictions are fighting climate change by offering customers affordable, clean power options – with more renewable power and less greenhouse gas emissions than continuing service from PG&E. San Francisco started CleanPowerSF which has already enrolled more than 108,000 customers in renewable energy programs, with 360,000 set to be enrolled by 2019. East Bay Community Energy, which includes the city of Oakland, is set to enroll 555,000 customers by 2019. San Jose Clean Energy just launched in September and will begin offering 100 percent renewable energy options to all residents and businesses in Spring 2019.
These programs will be even more important as California races to reach its new carbon-free energy goals, but unconscionably, the CPUC, a state agency which should be leading the way to meeting SB 100 goals, has instead taken action that creates considerable uncertainty both for CCA programs and the state’s overall progress toward clean power.
When this decision is implemented, for example, San Francisco’s CCA consumers would pay an additional $40 million, which represents about 25 percent of the program’s annual revenues. Today’s action will have increased the exit fee by 250 percent since San Francisco’s CleanPowerSF program launched in 2015.
We strongly rebuke today’s corporate-leaning, anti-environment decision and will redouble our efforts to ensure clean power is an affordable option for the 2.5 million Bay Area residents that we represent.”