Mark Jacobson’s 3200 square foot all-electric home near Stanford University flaunts energy efficient features that will make any efficiency aficionado green with envy. Within seconds of arrival, visitors are captivated by the home’s carefully planned daylit design and visible all-electric appliances- there is no gas line on the property. Instead, electricity powers mini-split ductless heat pumps, an induction cooktop, and a heat recovery ventilation system housed in an entryway closet that serves to cool the home on hot days just by leaving the door ajar given the heat pump water heater that also sits inside the closet. The home is primarily powered by rooftop solar plus backup batteries. Still, Jacobson found building his dream zero-net carbon home an achievable and affordable reality. With decreasing financial barriers, building green from the ground up has become attainable for an increasing number of Santa Clara County residents.
Jacobson found SVCE’s 100% renewable GreenPrime offering the obvious choice for connecting his exemplary home to the grid. He cites SCVE’s competitively priced 100% renewable electricity offering as a key variable in his decision. “I work to understand air pollution and climate problems, and try to solve the problems through clean and renewable energy. One of the big complaints that people have around the country and the world is that renewable electricity is more expensive; and because they think it will cost them more, they’re afraid to use it. What I liked about the Silicon Valley Clean Energy portfolio was that the cleaner 100% renewable energy cost was just a tad different than PG&E’s cost, which is unlike what other people have been saying. While SVCE’s base offering costs less than PG&E, there is hardly any cost difference between SVCE’s 100% renewable energy option and what the utility charges.”
“On top of that, I really liked SVCE’s solar payback plan,” says Jacobson in praise of SVCE’s Net Energy Metering plan, which credits customers at the retail rate of electricity instead of the wholesale rate. “My previous utility would credit back the cost at the time of use of the electricity, but only down to net zero electricity use, so if I over-generated they would only pay back at the wholesale rate at the end of the year. With Silicon Valley Clean Energy, the rate of overpaying is at the actual time of use. So, I like that Silicon Valley Clean Energy seems more fair and reasonable.”
The ability to choose from a variety of competitively-priced electricity generation portfolios gave Jacobson the sort of customer satisfaction that the Community Choice Energy movement was built on. SVCE stands on the pillars of community choice and carbon-free power at competitive rates, and reinvests a portion of returns into the community to support additional beneficial electrification. “I think this is a great incentive for consumers, because it will spur more people to put solar on their roofs, to use SVCE’s low-cost grid electricity and to actually get on board with 100% renewable clean energy, which is the end goal.”