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Welcome John Passmann,
Account Services Manager

We are happy to introduce John Passmann, our new Account Services Manager and your new point of contact for topics related to clean energy and sustainability goals for your business.

Prior to joining SJCE, John worked as a Management Analyst for the Bay Area Rapid Transit – Silicon Valley Extension Project at Santa Clara Valley Transportation Agency (VTA). He also has experience working at other public agencies to advance community development and sustainability initiatives. John is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration.

As Account Services Manager, John can meet with you to:

  • Help with data collection and analysis
  • Explain rate structures and savings projections
  • Provide power mix information for sustainability reporting
  • Help you achieve sustainability goals - like powering your business with 100% renewable energy through our TotalGreen product
Join us welcome him to SJCE! You can reach John at john.passmann@sanjoseca.gov.

Five-Year Pilot Program Offers Higher Incentives

This summer, commercial customers can cash in on higher incentives with the Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) to receive $2/kWh for reducing usage on critical days when potential supply shortages are forecasted. This year’s incentive doubles the $1/kWh from last summer and presents an excellent opportunity to offset higher electricity costs while improving grid resiliency.

Through the ELRP, the Public Utilities Commission is piloting a new Demand Response approach that helps avoid rotating outages during peak summer electricity usage periods from May through October. In this program, PG&E will notify participants of load reduction “events,” typically a day ahead of time. Events can occur any day of the week from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and can last between 1-5 hours. However, events will total no more than 60 hours per year. Enrollees are paid for load reduction measured relative to energy consumption on other days preceding the event day during hours similar to the event hours.

Unplanned outages are disruptive to your business. But planned reductions of electricity usage can lead to financial savings for your business while also reducing stress on the grid. Proactive steps can be as in-depth as setting controls in an energy management system and delaying energy intensive operations or as simple as turning off lights and setting thermostats a few degrees warmer.

To sign up, customers must commit to a specific load reduction compared to their normal usage, so planning is important. Even though participants cannot opt out of events, they will not be penalized if they don’t meet their demand targets. This means a low risk of participation in the program with the potential for high rewards. During ELRP events, customers can use any means to offset load except for diesel backup generators unless special circumstances apply.

For more information, view FAQs or contact PG&E and Olivine, who is managing PG&E’s ELRP. To enroll, you will need your PG&E account number and meter number.

Take Back the Power: Options for Managing Rising Energy Costs

Energy costs have been rising across the board due to inflation, world conflict, and supply chain issues. In particular, fossil fuels like natural gas have been driving electricity costs higher across the country. These trends underline the value proposition of renewables as we continue to make investments that will insulate us from fossil fuel price shocks in the long run. However, in the meantime, we want to remind our customers struggling with high rates that you have powerful tools at your disposal to make costs more manageable.

First, an effective strategy to contain costs is to save energy where you can and adjust your usage as much as possible to follow time-of-use price signals. We encourage you to shift usage to lower-cost hours as much as possible to avoid $15/kW demand charges. Programs like Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) in the article above can further reward you for reducing load during peak hours on critical days.

In addition, customers on our standard GreenSource product can save 8% by switching to our lowest cost GreenValue product. It’s easy to enroll online, by phone at 833-432-2454, or by emailing info@sanjosecleanenergy.org. You will receive less renewable energy than GreenSource (40% compared to 60%) but GreenValue rates are priced competitively with PG&E and allow your business to support and benefit from community programs, local control, and more transparency and accessibility.

We understand that high energy costs can be particularly burdensome in the current uncertain economic conditions. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team if you are having trouble with your electricity bill. We are happy to explore additional options to manage costs with you.

What to Do If Your Business Is Behind on Bills

Is your business behind on electricity bills? There are options available to help you pay off your debt and avoid PG&E disconnecting your power. PG&E resumed its collection and disconnection process for commercial customers in March 2022. To protect customers from disconnection, the state required PG&E to automatically enroll small businesses with balances more than 60 days past due into the COVID Relief Payment Plan. Visit PG&E's website to learn more about this payment plan.

If you were not enrolled into this payment plan or stopped making payments, it’s important to call PG&E at (800) 468-4743 to set up a new one. PG&E will not disconnect your business if you are on a payment plan and making payments. We care about our commercial customers and know that having your power turned off will prevent you from running your business.

SJCE Enters into Second Long Duration Storage Joint Contract

In May, SJCE joined five other community choice aggregators (CCAs) in procuring a second contract for long-duration energy storage (LDS). The 50-megawatt (MW) Goal Line project will have eight hours of discharge duration and has an expected online date of 2025.

This is the second joint contract for LDS for California Community Power (CC Power), the CCA Joint Powers Agency that is leveraging member CCAs’ buying power to meet local and state climate and reliability requirements more cost-effectively while maintaining local control.

Developer Onward Energy will construct the lithium-ion battery storage project in Escondido, CA. The San José City Council approved SJCE’s participation in the joint contract and ability to procure up to 20 MW on May 4.

SJCE is also contracting for up to 25 MW of LDS through CC Power’s 69-MW Tumbleweed Project. CC Power’s innovative and collaborative structure is helping drive markets for new technologies.

“Combined with the approval of the Tumbleweed project in January 2022 – the first CC Power long-duration storage contract, the Goal Line contract demonstrates the commitment of member CCAs to confront the reliability needs of the power grid to hit California’s greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2030,” said Tim Haines, CC Power Interim General Manager.

Silicon Valley Energy & Sustainability Summit Tackles Clean Energy

SJCE was proud to sponsor Silicon Valley Leadership Group's 2022 Energy and Sustainability Summit, Race to Net Zero. The hybrid event was hosted at the Oracle Conference Center on June 16. Attendees heard from special guests like former Vice President Al Gore, CA State Controller Betty Yee, and several Silicon Valley sustainability executives.

SJCE Assistant Director Zach Struyk was a panelist on the topic of community choice aggregators (CCAs). The expert panel discussed how California CCAs are decarbonizing energy, addressing challenges, and innovating solutions.

Watch a recording of the informative and inspiring summit on YouTube!

For sponsorship opportunities and speaking engagements, please contact Amanda Orozco, Senior Public Information Representative.

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