PG&E plan to go green may undercut San Francisco 

click to enlarge PG&E released their Green Option on Thursday. - GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Getty Images File Photo
  • PG&E released their Green Option on Thursday.

PG&E signaled Thursday that the highest rates for its forthcoming Green Option may be about 25 percent cheaper than the maximum rates for The City’s own CleanPowerSF renewable energy plan.

With both providers hoping to debut clean power within 12 months, PG&E’s plans revolve around constructing local or in-state renewable facilities in the foreseeable future. While CleanPowerSF boasts a similar goal, no plan to achieve it has been devised.

PG&E spokesman Jonathan Marshall pegged the cost of its Green Option at as much as 11.4 cents per kilowatt hour — with the expectation that prices will soon decline. CleanPowerSF’s rates aren’t yet set, but based on its tentative maximum, customers could pay as much as 15.2 cents per kilowatt hour.

“This is a lot less than anything CleanPowerSF has put on the table,” said attorney Matthew Freedman of The Utility Reform Network, the leading party during settlement talks.

When PG&E first submitted its plan, the power would have been supplied entirely by “renewable energy credits” that would have let it call conventional power renewable without changing the actual source. Dissatisfaction with that proposal triggered the legal proceedings that led to Thursday’s proposed settlement before the California Public Utilities Commission.

Until new resources are developed to serve Green Option subscribers, the proposed settlement states that energy will be provided from “recently developed and operating renewable energy projects” located within PG&E service territory.

“The whole point of this is that it will fund new renewable facilities in PG&E service territory,” said Marc Joseph, the attorney representing the Coalition of California Utility Employees, one of the parties that negotiated the
settlement.

Marshall added that power would emanate from almost exclusively solar sources. “We’re intending for it to be solar,” he said.

joe.eskenazi@sfweekly.com

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