Peninsula Clean Energy: Is It Too Good to Be True?


Peninsula Clean Energy is a community choice energy program that provides clean, renewable energy to residents and businesses in San Mateo County, California. Established in 2016, Peninsula Clean Energy is a joint powers authority made up of the county and its cities, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy options to its customers.

The mission of Peninsula Clean Energy is to reduce the county’s carbon footprint and combat climate change by offering cleaner energy choices. By sourcing electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, Peninsula Clean Energy aims to transition away from fossil fuels and promote a more sustainable future for the community.

Understanding the Benefits of Peninsula Clean Energy

There are numerous benefits to using clean energy, both for individuals and the environment. Clean energy sources produce little to no greenhouse gas emissions, reducing air pollution and mitigating climate change. By choosing clean energy options, customers can contribute to a healthier environment and a more sustainable future.

Peninsula Clean Energy supports these benefits by offering customers the option to choose between different energy plans that prioritize renewable sources. Customers can opt for 100% renewable energy or choose a slightly cheaper option that includes a mix of renewable and carbon-free sources. This flexibility allows customers to align their energy consumption with their values and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

How Peninsula Clean Energy Works

Peninsula Clean Energy sources its clean energy from various renewable sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. The organization enters into long-term contracts with renewable energy providers to ensure a stable supply of clean electricity for its customers.

While Peninsula Clean Energy is responsible for sourcing and delivering the clean energy, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) continues to maintain the transmission and distribution infrastructure. PG&E is still responsible for delivering the electricity to customers’ homes or businesses, regardless of whether they are enrolled in Peninsula Clean Energy or remain with PG&E’s default service.

The Cost of Peninsula Clean Energy

One of the concerns often associated with clean energy is its cost. However, Peninsula Clean Energy is committed to providing affordable energy options to its customers. In fact, Peninsula Clean Energy’s rates are competitive with PG&E’s rates, and in some cases, even lower.

Peninsula Clean Energy keeps costs low by leveraging its ability to negotiate long-term contracts with renewable energy providers. By securing favorable rates for clean energy, Peninsula Clean Energy can pass on the savings to its customers. Additionally, Peninsula Clean Energy operates as a not-for-profit agency, which means any excess revenue is reinvested back into the community or used to further reduce rates.

The Environmental Impact of Peninsula Clean Energy

The environmental impact of using clean energy cannot be overstated. By transitioning away from fossil fuels and relying on renewable sources, Peninsula Clean Energy significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This reduction in emissions helps combat climate change and improves air quality, leading to a healthier environment for all.

Peninsula Clean Energy’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is evident in its energy mix. As of 2021, over 90% of the electricity provided by Peninsula Clean Energy comes from renewable sources, with the remaining portion coming from carbon-free sources. This significant reduction in carbon emissions helps San Mateo County make progress towards its climate action goals.

The Role of Peninsula Clean Energy in the Local Community

Peninsula Clean Energy not only provides clean energy options but also plays an active role in supporting the local community. As a community choice energy program, Peninsula Clean Energy reinvests its revenue back into the community through various initiatives and programs.

One example of Peninsula Clean Energy’s community support is its Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program. Through this program, Peninsula Clean Energy provides funding for solar installations on affordable housing complexes, helping to reduce energy costs for low-income residents and promote clean energy adoption.

Additionally, Peninsula Clean Energy offers various energy efficiency programs and incentives to help customers reduce their energy consumption and save money. These programs include rebates for energy-efficient appliances, free energy audits, and assistance with financing solar installations.

The Challenges Facing Peninsula Clean Energy

While Peninsula Clean Energy has made significant strides in promoting clean energy adoption, it still faces several challenges in the industry. One of the main challenges is the competition from other clean energy providers. As more community choice energy programs emerge in California, Peninsula Clean Energy must differentiate itself and continue to provide competitive rates and reliable service.

Another challenge is the need for continued investment in renewable energy infrastructure. As the demand for clean energy grows, Peninsula Clean Energy must ensure a stable supply of renewable electricity by supporting the development of new projects and expanding its portfolio of renewable contracts.

The Future of Peninsula Clean Energy

Looking ahead, Peninsula Clean Energy has ambitious plans to expand and improve its services. The organization aims to increase its renewable energy portfolio to reach 100% renewable energy by 2025, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting a cleaner future.

Peninsula Clean Energy also plans to invest in local renewable projects to support the local economy and create jobs. By partnering with local developers and contractors, Peninsula Clean Energy can stimulate economic growth while advancing its mission of providing clean, affordable energy.

The Competition for Peninsula Clean Energy

While Peninsula Clean Energy faces competition from other community choice energy programs in California, it stands out in the industry due to its commitment to providing affordable rates and reliable service. Peninsula Clean Energy’s rates are competitive with PG&E’s rates, making it an attractive option for customers looking to switch to clean energy without breaking the bank.

Furthermore, Peninsula Clean Energy’s focus on community engagement and reinvestment sets it apart from other providers. By actively supporting local initiatives and programs, Peninsula Clean Energy demonstrates its commitment to the community and its dedication to making a positive impact beyond just providing clean energy.

The Customer Experience with Peninsula Clean Energy

The customer experience with Peninsula Clean Energy has been overwhelmingly positive. Customers appreciate the ability to choose between different energy plans that align with their values and the option to support renewable energy sources. The organization also provides excellent customer service, with knowledgeable representatives available to answer any questions or concerns.

Customer satisfaction surveys consistently show high levels of satisfaction with Peninsula Clean Energy’s rates, reliability, and environmental impact. Customers appreciate the transparency and accountability of Peninsula Clean Energy, as well as the opportunity to contribute to a more sustainable future.

Is Peninsula Clean Energy Too Good to Be True?

In conclusion, Peninsula Clean Energy is not too good to be true. It is a viable option for consumers looking to switch to clean energy and reduce their carbon footprint. With competitive rates, reliable service, and a commitment to the local community, Peninsula Clean Energy offers a compelling alternative to traditional energy providers.

By choosing Peninsula Clean Energy, customers can support renewable energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to a more sustainable future. With ambitious plans for expansion and improvement, Peninsula Clean Energy is poised to continue making a positive impact in San Mateo County and beyond.