In this email:

Introducing Joe Flores, New Deputy Director

We’re thrilled to introduce San José Clean Energy’s new Deputy Director of Account Management, Marketing, and Programs – Joe Flores. Joe will serve as the new point of contact for large commercial customers.

Joe has an extensive background in the utility sector, having previously served as the Marketing Manager for the City of Burbank Water and Power and as a Key Account Representative at the City of Glendale. Previous clients include the Walt Disney Company, the Hollywood Burbank Airport, Nestlé USA, and other Fortune 500 companies.

He has spent many years in major construction and private energy services and understands how municipal and private industry partnerships support the transition to a clean energy future. Recently, Joe led the development of a cost-effective workplace charging infrastructure program at the City of Burbank.

“Public, not for profit, locally-managed utility service providers like SJCE are in the right position to be the trusted partner that helps companies find solutions to some of the challenges they face as they electrify their buildings and transportation. Being good environmental stewards is good business. It aligns corporate values with the values of employees, customers, and stockholders.”

Joe can be reached at

New Commercial Program Offers High Incentives

Following last August’s rolling blackouts, the California Public Utilities Commission required investor-owned utilities like PG&E to create programs that reduce the stress on the electric grid between May and October each year. Commercial customers can cash in to receive $1/kWh for reducing usage on “critical days” with PG&E’s new Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP).

Here is how it works. PG&E notifies customers of load reduction “events”, typically a day ahead of time but sometimes the same day. Events can occur any day of the week from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and can last anywhere from one to five hours. However, events will total no more than 60 hours per year. Events may be called on consecutive days.

Unplanned outages are disruptive to your business. But planned reduction of electric use may be less disruptive to your business. Proactive steps can be as in-depth as setting controls in an energy management system, deciding to test and run backup generators, or turning off banks of lights and setting thermostats a few degrees higher.

Customers signing up for ELRP must commit to a specific load reduction compared to their normal usage so planning is important. To get paid for reducing load, businesses must have achieved at least 50% of their load reduction commitment. Even though customers cannot opt out of events, they will not be penalized if they don’t meet their demand targets. This means a lower risk of participation with the potential for high rewards. During ELRP events, customers can use what they want to offset load (for example conservation, battery storage, or diesel backup), but they will have to disclose to PG&E the backup generation source they’re using. If you do some arithmetic, you may discover that $1 per kWh will add up quickly to provide big incentives, plus your business will be proactive to help avoid rolling blackouts.

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.

PG&E T&D Rate Increases and Proposals

On June 30, PG&E filed its 2023 General Rate Case (GRC) proposal to the CPUC. The proposal calls for about an 18% increase over current rates starting in 2023, citing the need for investments in energy system improvements.

As part of this and other filings, the average PG&E residential customer bill is expected to increase 5% annually, on average, from 2021 to 2026. If the CPUC approves the GRC investments in their entirety, the average monthly bill for a typical resident would increase by roughly $1 a day.

More pressingly, commercial customers saw a smaller rate hike on August 1: about 0.7% increase on transmission and about 1% increase on distribution.

The last major rate hike, a roughly 5% increase in transmission and delivery charges, took place on March 1, continuing an overall trend of rising costs.

SB 612, a Bill to Reform the PCIA, was Deferred to the Next Session

Ratepayer equity bill Senate Bill 612 (Portantino) has been designated a two-year bill by the California Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy. The bill had the support of well over 100 California communities, environmental justice organizations, technology companies, environmental groups, and clean energy providers. It cleared the Senate floor on June 1 with a vote of 33-6.

SB 612 requires that California electric ratepayers have fair and equal access to benefits associated with investor-owned utility legacy energy resources and that the resources are actively managed to maximize their value.

SB 612 was scheduled for its first vote in the Assembly on June 30. At the last minute, the bill was removed from the Committee on Utilities and Energy hearing agenda by Chair Chris Holden, even as support for the bill continued to grow.

Many SJCE customers and allies wrote letters in support of SB 612 – thank you for your support. We continue to advocate for this vital ratepayer equity bill. While SB 612 was removed from the committee agenda, preventing a vote, the opportunity remains for SB 612 to continue to move through the legislative process next session. We’ll keep our customers updated on the next steps on this critical issue and potential opportunities to support the next legislative session.

State Extends Protections for Small Business Electricity Customers

To provide relief for small business customers with energy bill debt, the CPUC extended the suspension of disconnections through September 30, 2021. Additionally, all energy utilities must automatically enroll these small business customers in payment plans with payoff terms long enough so that the debt payments are no more than 10% over their average bill, or for small business customers located in disadvantaged communities, no more than 5% over their average bill.

SJCE will keep small business customers informed of any new developments.

SJCE's New Service Options

On May 15, 2021, we introduced new service and rate changes for commercial and residential customers.

  • TotalGreen continues to be an easy, cost-effective solution for businesses that want to take climate leadership or meet sustainability goals by powering their business with 100% renewable and carbon-free energy. TotalGreen costs an extra $0.005-$0.01/kWh than our default service GreenSource. It is Green-e certified by the Center for Resource Solutions.
  • GreenValue is SJCE's new, lowest-cost service option that contains 36% renewable energy and 80% carbon-free energy. GreenValue rates are priced the same as PG&E standard rates, and this service option is open to all customers.
  • GreenSource continues to be SJCE's default service, now with even more clean energy: 55% renewable energy and 90% carbon-free energy at competitive rates. That’s more than 20% more renewable energy than PG&E standard service (31%) and the California State average (33%). Customers enrolled in GreenSource saw a 3% bill increase in mid-May.

These service changes provide customers a clean energy choice that is right for them. Excluding PG&E added fees, GreenSource generation rates are still about 30% lower than PG&E generation rates.

SJCE also created a new discount program for low-income customers, SJ Cares. Through SJ Cares, customers who receive discounts through CARE or FERA state programs automatically pay the lowest generation charges but remain in GreenSource service, receiving 55% renewable energy.

Customers can choose GreenValue, GreenSource, or TotalGreen at any time online. For a detailed rate comparison, visit our Commercial Rates page.

Copyright © City of San José 2021, All rights reserved.

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