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What is East Bay Community Energy (ebce) about?

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:37 pm
by mxp
Hi,
I am in the SF Bay Area, specifically in the East Bay - Fremont.
I received a flyer in the mail last week about East Bay Community Energy (ebce.org).

I read some of the information, but I am skeptical about the clean power savings (which isn't a whole lot) and fear that if I switch out of PG&E, the situation might get bad over time and I would be unable to go back. Furthermore, I would lose access to PG&E Smart Rate program and Solar Choice.

I will be planning to perform an "opt-out" of ebce, but I wanted to check-in with the folks here on the forum and see what everyone thinks...

Thanks for any comments.

Re: What is East Bay Community Energy (ebce) about?

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:10 pm
by GRA
See https://ebce.org/ for more details.

You aren't 'switching out' of PG&E, they remain responsible for transmission, distribution, repairs and billing. See here for plan/pricing details:

https://ebce.org/residents/

Re: What is East Bay Community Energy (ebce) about?

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:18 am
by mxp
Hi,
Typically for these programs, do you know if I opt-out today, will I have the opportunity to get back in again - say in 3 years out?

Thanks.
GRA wrote:See https://ebce.org/ for more details.

You aren't 'switching out' of PG&E, they remain responsible for transmission, distribution, repairs and billing. See here for plan/pricing details:

https://ebce.org/residents/

Re: What is East Bay Community Energy (ebce) about?

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:24 am
by SageBrush
Sounds like a CCA. Read their contract.
As for your skepticism regarding "clean energy savings," are you suggesting that clean energy at the same price as dirty energy is not worthwhile ?

Re: What is East Bay Community Energy (ebce) about?

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:31 pm
by wtkwok
I live in Lafayette CA and in Sept 2016 our city (like yours) voted to give consumers a choice of electricity providers: MCE (formerly known as Marin Clean Energy) and PG&E. Over 90-95% of residents and businesses go with the new provider, while 5-10% choose to stay with PG&E.

One of the main benefits of the new provider is that we can get greener electricity FOR LESS. i looked up the EBCE options for you which are:

Option 1: Stay with PG&E (33% renewable portfolio). Avg household currently pays $91.22/mo

Option 2: EBCE Bright Choice (38% renewable portfolio). Avg household will pay $90.60/mo)

Option 3: EBCE Brilliant 100 (40% renewable portfolio). Avg household will pay $91.22/mo)

Option 4: EBCE Renewable 100 (100% renewable portfolio). Avg household will pay $94.99/mo)

EBCE RENEWABLES are defined as 50% solar and 50% wind, mostly generated in California (so you can say you're voting with your wallet so that all your dollars are flowing to jobs and the California renewable economy).

I myself picked Option 4, which costs a typical homeowner less than $5 more per month, but I get to honestly say my LEAF is powered by 100% renewable energy ("My car is a 100% wind and solar powered car.") We don't actually have to wait for the Jetsons to drive a solar powered car, the technology and pricing is available NOW to solve the climate crisis.

References:
https://ebce.org/power-mix/
https://ebce.org/residents/

As for your specific comments, here are some thoughts:

"I read some of the information, but I am skeptical about the clean power savings (which isn't a whole lot)"

If you're skeptical how it's possible to actually "pay less $ and get more clean energy" that's the benefit of introducing competition into the market. When there is a monopoly, you don't really expect a great price. But when competitors enter, they need to offer more for less. This is what's happening in a deregulated electricity market. Also, EBCE is a not-for-profit public agency, so they don't have to have a profit to pay shareholders. This extra savings can flow to consumers.

"and fear that if I switch out of PG&E, the situation might get bad over time and I would be unable to go back."

If the situation "got bad" any customer can switch back to PG&E at any time, at no charge. See details here.
https://ebce.org/frequently-asked-questions/

There is no risk to trying it.


"Furthermore, I would lose access to PG&E Smart Rate program and Solar Choice."

I'm not sure about the Smart Rate program, but if you don't want to do EBCE, you can go with PG&E's 100% solar option "Solar Choice" priced as follows:

Option 5: PG&E Solar Choice (100% solar portfolio). Avg household will pay $98.77/mo)

Note that this costs $4 more than EBCE's 100% wind/solar option at $94.99/mo.

In summary, the arrival of competition in the SF Bay Area electricity industry offers us more choices for less. Hopefully the explanation of your 5 options above helps you with a decision. Let us know what you decided!

Wei-Tai Kwok
Volunteer Board Memer
Sustainable Lafayette
weitai@sustainablelafayette.org