Marin Clean Energy
Marin Clean Energy, MCE
Not very many years ago, few people thought much about climate change and clean energy. However, the Tiburon and Belvedere communities were in on the fledgling clean energy and climate change efforts in the mid 2000s.
The Tiburon Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s newest member is Marin Clean Energy (MCE), one of the entities that led the way in this new, and important, endeavor. Over the past 10 years, MCE has grown from a handful of employees serving 10 Marin communities to a staff of 65 providing energy to four Bay Area counties: Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, and Solano.
Sebastian Conn, MCE Community Development Manager, says it all began in 2002 when California Assembly Bill 117 passed which allowed groups of communities to purchase power on behalf of its residents and businesses - completely supported by revenues rather than by taxpayer subsidies. This bill paved Community Choice Aggregation programs in California.
All this has had a huge impact on greenhouse gas reduction rate stability and new, local renewable projects - all without compromising service or reliability. MCE's generation rates have always been less than similar rates charged by PG&E. However, PG&E’s assessment of additional charges on MCE customers results in total cost comparisons that vary. MCE’s total costs are currently slightly more expensive than PG&E service, but MCE has saved customers $68 million in lower energy costs since 2010, being less expensive 70% of the time.
MCE's charge for the generation of electricity includes the cost of electricity to match your home or business energy needs. It replaces a fee that PG&E would collect if they were providing your generation service. This is not an additional charge. Customers who receive their electric supply from a third party provider are billed a franchise fee surcharge (FFS). PG&E collects the FFS from customers who receive their electric supply from PG&E in their bundled generation rate. PG&E acts as a collection agent for this fee.
“MCE provides customers with a higher percentage of clean, renewable energy, which is important because renewables come from replenishable, natural resources,” Conn says. “By turning to sources like solar and wind power instead of fossil fuels, we can help create a clean and secure energy future for our local communities and for California.”
In 2010, former Marin County Supervisor Charles McGlashan, former Tiburon Councilmember Dick Collins and former Belvedere Councilmember Tom Cromwell were among the 10 founding board members of MCE. Tiburon has been a member of MCE ever since then, and 79.9% of all Tiburon electrical customers have joined its ranks.
MCE is a not-for-profit community-based electricity provider that gives customers the choice of having 60% to 100% of their electricity supplied from clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind, biogas, geothermal and small-hydroelectricity at competitive rates. The projects that produce MCE’s electricity are located in California, the Pacific Northwest and Colorado. The exact proportion of each varies with time, based on demand and availability. For example, MCE may use a higher proportion of hydroelectric energy during the spring and summer months when winter run-off generates more power at affordable prices.
By choosing MCE, customers help support in-state and local renewable energy generation.
Those at MCE are pleased that having flipped the switch on cleaner energy sources, with all of the positive changes the members have achieved, entire communities are now helping to stop the escalation of damaging greenhouse gas emissions. They’ve proved that when we all come together, we can make smarter decisions about the environment.
1125 Tamalpais Ave.
San Rafael, CA 94901