SF’s power program gains state approval 

The plan to set up a new power program in The City that aims to foster competition with PG&E garnered approval from the state, leaving a handful of hurdles before utility users could be switched to a new provider.

The proposal, called CleanPowerSF, is a city-backed program that’s being pushed to be set up before voters go to the ballot in June to vote on Proposition 16. The statewide measure, if passed, would require a two-thirds approval before public funds are used to set up power programs.

On Tuesday, the California Public Utilities Commission approved The City’s CleanPowerSF implementation plan.

Because negotiations are ongoing, it’s unclear how much the power will cost users or when it will be switched on. San Francisco utility users would be enrolled in the program and need to opt out to go back to PG&E service.

Approval of the implementation plan marked the first of four key milestones needed before power sales can begin, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission General Manager Ed Harrington said.

Next week, the agency hopes to finalize negotiations with PG&E regarding use of its transmission lines and other assets, according to Harrington. The program will sell power to San Francisco businesses and residents using PG&E’s cables.

The week after, the agency plans to send a $100,000 check to California needed to begin the program.

The final key milestone will be signing a finalized contract with Power Choice, which assembled the team that plans to run the program.

On Thursday, state regulators are scheduled to rule on a city bid to limit PG&E’s efforts to convince customers to remain with the utility company.

jupton@sfexaminer.com

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Monday, Sep 26, 2016

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