Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a community-owned electricity provider for the majority of Silicon Valley communities, including Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas , Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale and unincorporated Santa Clara County. We provide residential and commercial electricity customers with clean, carbon free electricity options at competitive prices, from sources like solar, wind and hydropower. We source the electricity, and PG&E delivers it over existing utility lines, and continues to do maintenance, billing and customer service. This type of model is known as Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) or Community Choice Energy (CCE).
Silicon Valley Clean Energy sources renewable and carbon-free electricity at competitive rates, and PG&E delivers it through its existing utility lines. PG&E continues to do billing, maintain the power lines and handle new service requests and emergencies.
SVCE customers are eligible for PG&E energy efficiency rebates and programs.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy offers service in a majority of Silicon Valley communities, including Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale and unincorporated County of Santa Clara. Anyone that lives or owns a business in these communities may participate in Silicon Valley Clean Energy.
No. Customers can only participate when their home or business address is located within a community being served by Silicon Valley Clean Energy.
There are many Community Choice Energy agencies throughout the Bay Area and California. To learn if you live in an area with Community Choice, please visit CalCCA: https://cal-cca.org/.
California’s CCA law (AB 117, 2002) requires Silicon Valley Clean Energy to become the default provider of electric generation for customers within our service area, and operate as an opt out program. Customer choice is very important to us, so we provided four written notices to our customers – two before and two after enrollment – so that you can choose where your electricity comes from, and how your dollars are spent.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy sources clean and renewable electricity on behalf of our customers. All electricity products are carbon free, but each has a different percentage of renewable energy. GreenStart, our standard product is at least 50% renewable, and is carbon free. Customers can elect to pay a small premium (less than one cent per kilowatt-hour) for GreenPrime, which is 100% renewable and carbon-free.
See our 2019 power content in our Power Content Label.
Historically, PG&E has been the default power provider for most customers. However, in 2002 when state legislators passed California’s Community Choice Aggregation law (AB 117, Migden), this default status is transferred from PG&E to local community choice programs like Silicon Valley Clean Energy, if and when such a community choice program is put in place. For a long time, customers had no choice about their electricity provider, but today you have a choice.
No. Silicon Valley Clean Energy replaces PG&E’s electric generation services with a local, publicly controlled electric generation service. SVCE purchases clean, carbon-free electricity, which PG&E then distributes to homes and businesses. PG&E continues to provide billing service, starts and stops when you move, resolves outages, performs power line maintenance and remains responsible for all gas services.
In March 2016, twelve communities in Santa Clara County formed the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority, a community-owned agency established to operate a Community Choice Aggregation program.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy began serving customers through a two-phase enrollment period. The initial group of customers were enrolled in April 2017, phase two took place in July 2017. Customers received a total of four enrollment notices, two in the 60-day period prior to their enrollment date, and two in the 60 days following. Customers in the City of Milpitas began service with SVCE in June 2018.
A renewable energy resource is a power source that can be replenished by natural sources that are readily available, such as photovoltaic solar panels or wind generation. Carbon-free sources are sources that do not generate any carbon emissions into the atmosphere when producing electric power such as hydroelectric generation.
Electric generation from renewable energy facilities produces two products: 1) the actual electricity produced by the facility and 2) the renewable attributes of that generation know as renewable energy certificates, or RECs . These renewable attributes can be sold separately (“unbundled”) or retired with the purchaser of the renewable power. A REC can be created only if the renewable electricity was produced, and only one certificate may be issued for each unit of renewable energy produced.
We have short and long-term contracts with a variety of power suppliers to meet the energy needs of our customers. We also operate a Net Energy Metering program, for residential and commercial customers with on-site solar systems that offset all or part of their electricity consumption.
Our energy is procured from carbon-free sources such as solar, wind and hydro. The projects that produce our electricity are located in California, and on the western grid. The exact proportion of each varies with time, based on demand and availability. Silicon Valley Clean Energy provides detailed information about our power supply in our annual Power Content Label reporting.
See our 2019 power content in our Power Content Label.
When California deregulated the energy market in 1997, many Californians switched to alternative energy providers. Following the energy crisis of 2000-01, consumer choice of electricity providers was suspended. In response, Assembly Bill 117 was passed in 2002 to establish Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) also known as Community Choice Energy (CCE), a new way for California communities to provide local residents and businesses with a choice of electric providers and sources of electricity.
There are currently 13 operational CCEs throughout the state, with many more communities forming their programs. Some of the existing CCEs include: MCE Clean Energy, serving Marin, Napa and parts of Contra Costa County; Sonoma Clean Power, serving Sonoma and Mendocino counties; Lancaster Choice Energy, serving the City of Lancaster; CleanPowerSF, serving the city and county of San Francisco; Peninsula Clean Energy, serving San Mateo County; Redwood Coast Energy Authority, serving Humboldt County; and Apple Valley Choice Energy, serving the Town of Apple Valley.
For more information about the Community Choice Energy movement throughout the state, visit the California Community Choice Association at Cal-CCA.org.
SVCE sources its energy from many different carbon-free generators to meet the total annual demand of all its customers. These generators are required by state law to identify their resources and file a detailed report on the content of their generated power. SVCE is also required to submit this information to state regulators to ensure compliance with the law.
Electrical energy is generated by many methods which use different resources. These resources vary in their carbon emitting attributes and how they add to the greenhouse gases, which are the main culprit of climate change. Resources such as wind, solar, hydro and nuclear, which do not produce greenhouse gases are considered carbon free, and the power generated from these resources is considered carbon-free energy.
We are required to report to the California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission on an annual basis to verify the amount of renewable energy procured for our customers. This is the same standard used by other California utilities, such as PG&E, for verification purposes.
As a result of the 2018 Power Charge Indifference Adjustment proceeding, the California Public Utilities Commission directed PG&E to allocate carbon-free attributes from its hydropower and nuclear energy sources at no additional cost to CCAs.
For more than a year, the SVCE Board of Directors discussed whether to accept the allocation during six public meetings from Sept. 2019 to Oct. 2020.
Accepting an allocation of carbon-free attributes from PG&E, generated by the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, benefits SVCE and our customers in the following ways:
- Our customers are already paying for it.
- This is a prudent financial decision since failure to accept the allocations unfairly credits PG&E for resources paid for by SVCE customers through utility exit fees. If we do not take the allocation and want to stay carbon-free, we will pay double for this portion of our power.
- It is a carbon-free energy resource.
- It will not lead to building new nuclear or keeping Diablo Canyon open longer – the facility is being retired in 2025.
- The allocation will help us cost-effectively meet our overall carbon-free objectives until we have our longer-term resources built.
- It saves our customers money.
- SVCE saved $600,000 in 2020.
- We are projected to save approximately $1.8 million in 2021.
- The cost savings from the nuclear allocation will be directed to specific SVCE customer programs focused on improving equity and reducing emissions.