Power program may start soon 

A program to bring in a power company to compete with PG&E in The City has been formally introduced and could begin as early as this year.

Under CleanPowerSF, electricity would be sold by startup Power Choice using PG&E’s power lines, billing systems and other assets.

PG&E customers will be automatically enrolled as CleanPowerSF customers unless they opt out of the program, which is made possible by California’s community choice aggregation laws.

If CleanPowerSF bills fail to cover the cost of buying and producing energy during the first three years of the program, up to $400 million will be borrowed and repaid over subsequent years, according to city power official Barbara Hale.

That will provide predictable rates during CleanPowerSF’s formative years, but it could mean prices rise in later years after a fee is introduced to switch between PG&E and The City’s program.

Under the program, city officials say the average household PG&E customer will initially pay $9 more per year for 60 percent greener power.

When CleanPowerSF launches, 24 percent of its power will come from renewable sources, according to Hale. Nearly 15 percent of PG&E’s power presently comes from renewable sources, California utilities figures show.

The legislation needed to review and launch CleanPowerSF was introduced to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

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