City of Burlingame Opts for 100% Renewable Electricity

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This press release was issued by the City of Burlingame on 7/5/17. 

The City of Burlingame

OFFICE OF THE CITY HALL — 501 PRIMROSE ROAD

CITY MANAGER BURLINGAME, CALIFORNIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 5, 2017

Contact: Sigalle Michael, Sustainability Coordinator smichael@burlingame.org Phone: 650-558-7261

City of Burlingame Opts for 100% Renewable Electricity

BURLINGAME, CA – Starting this month, the City of Burlingame will be purchasing 100% renewable energy for all of its electricity needs. Burlingame will be part of Peninsula Clean Energy’s ECO100 program, an opt-up option available to all San Mateo County residents interested in purchasing 100% renewable energy.

Peninsula Clean Energy is San Mateo County’s official electricity provider. Burlingame participated in the early development of Peninsula Clean Energy and officially enrolled as a customer last October at the default rate, known as ECOplus. ECOplus offers 50% renewable energy at a cost five percent less than PG&E’s.

With the adoption of the budget in June, Burlingame now has the funding to opt-up to Peninsula Clean Energy’s ECO100 rate. “We believe the City should serve as a role model for others and support renewable energy the best way we can,” Mayor Ricardo Ortiz explains. “Purchasing 100% renewable energy significantly reduces our greenhouse gas emissions through minimal hassle and effort.”

Purchasing 100% renewable energy will reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions by 1,000 tons per year. That is equivalent to removing 218 cars from the road, or avoiding the burning of one million pounds of coal, or planting 26,000 tree seeds.

Peninsula Clean Energy completed its county-wide enrollment this past April, and now all San Mateo County residents and businesses are part of Peninsula Clean Energy at the ECOplus default rate. Fewer than two percent of customers countywide have chosen to opt-out of the program and remain PG&E customers, while approximately one percent of customers have opted up to the ECO100 rate. ECO100 costs about five percent more than PG&E rates. For the average household, this equals about four dollars extra a month.

Peninsula Clean Energy purchases renewable power from small hydro, wind, and solar projects. This year, the agency approved an agreement to purchase solar electricity from a new solar power plant to be built in Merced Country. The power plant will generate enough solar energy to power over 75,000 California households.

Council Member Donna Colson, who serves as Burlingame’s representative on Peninsula Clean Energy’s Board of Directors, urges Burlingame residents to consider opting-up to ECO100 just as the City has done. “For those looking to support renewable energy or wishing to take a real action for our environment, opting up to ECO100 is the easiest and most effective way to make a difference.”

The Clean Energy Revolution in San Mateo County

100% Clean Energy: Of the county, for the county, by the county

Buena Vista Wind Facility

Buena Vista Wind Facility

Hey, San Mateo County residents and business owners, did you hear that clean energy explosion at midnight on April 1, 2017?  It was a massive attack of carbon-free electricity, shocked right into your home and office. Solar, wind and hydro kilowatts seizing your cable box, refrigerator and smartphone.

Can you hear it now? Probably not. But listen up: it’s a revolution!

Hey, San Mateo County residents and business owners, did you hear that clean energy explosion at midnight on April 1, 2017?  It was a massive attack of carbon-free electricity, shocked right into your home and office. Solar, wind and hydro kilowatts seizing your cable box, refrigerator and smartphone.

Can you hear it now? Probably not. But listen up: it’s a revolution!

This quiet but brilliant move was beautifully orchestrated on our behalf by city and county leaders in early 2016. Leveraging a little-known state law, AB117 from 2002, they embraced cleaner and greener electricity by forming a CCA (Community Choice Aggregation) entity. Never heard of CCA? Not many outside the power industry have. But you should. It’s a clean energy uprising – of the people, for the people, by the people. In our case, the people of San Mateo County.

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Congratulations, Peninsula Clean Energy!

Launched in October 2016 and fully operational as of April, Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) is our CCA entity. By springtime, almost every San Mateo resident and business was automatically switched to PCE’s cleaner and greener electricity. While PG&E still delivers power through existing lines, bills us and answers maintenance calls, the company no longer generates our electricity. We do. We, of PCE. We, the 765,000 clean energy warriors of San Mateo County.

And the revolution continues. Without much fanfare, PCE celebrated its first birthday in October 2017. With only 15 employees but 300,000 accounts, this joint powers authority (JPA), governed by the county and its 20 cities, is our baby – by us, for us, of us. And it’s already a quiet giant running free, clean and green. Its total electrical load is almost 4 million megawatt-hours, delivered daily to our stores, homes, streetlights and more.

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Go 100% Clean Energy with ECO100

PCE’s ECOplus baseline electricity option, delivered to most of our homes and businesses, is clean and green at 50 percent renewable and 80 percent carbon-free – a level that supports our county’s climate goals. ECOplus is much better for our planet than PG&E’s approximately 30 percent renewable, 70 percent carbon-free portfolio. And it’s cheaper than PG&E by $2/month for the average home.

But San Mateo County residents and business owners have an even better option: ECO100, – which offers 100 percent renewable and 100 percent carbon-free electricity for about $2/month per home more than PG&E. They also have the option to switch from ECOplus back to PG&E’s more expensive and less clean selection.

For Eco-Heroes who want 100 percent clean energy, ECO100 is just a click away. To opt up to ECO100, go to peninsulacleanenergy.com/opt-up. If you want to stay with ECOplus, there’s no need to do anything. You’re already there.

Whether you choose ECO100 or ECOplus, PCE’s not-for-profit earnings will be pumped right back into local programs within the county borders. To benefit “we the people,” not board room execs and shareholders.

Dave Pine and Jan Pepper

Dave Pine and Jan Pepper

100% Clean – and Proud of It!

So how did we get here?

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our local leaders – including Dave Pine (SMC Board of Supervisors, PCE Board of Directors Chairman), Jim Eggemeyer (SMC Office of Sustainability Director), Jan Pepper (PCE Chief Executive Officer) and many others.

As Peninsula Clean Energy moves into their second year, let’s opt for more clean energy and green tech growth. And a better planet for our next generation!

Author Doug Silverstein is a multi-generation Bay Area native and passionate contributor to the Citizens Environmental Council of Burlingame and Sustainable San Mateo County. Doug runs a local tech marketing agency and interests include hiking, travel, music, and family.

#OptUpBurlingame - Business Incentive Program

Yea!Mac employee next to #OptUpBurlingame sign.

Yea!Mac employee next to #OptUpBurlingame sign.

The first 200 Burlingame businesses that switch to ECO100 by 3/31/18 get:

  1. Window sign – inspiring 8.5” x 11” #OptUpBurlingame business sign

  2. Newsletter call outs – in Burlingame, CEC, & PCE e-newsletters

  3. Social media shout outs – Burlingame, CEC, PCE & SM county pages.

  4. Website heros – extended presence on #OptUpBurlingame and PCE page

To receive items, enter info and any proof of OptUp on the CONTACT US page by 3/31. 

 

#OptUpBurlingame Window Sign

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#OptUpBurlingame - Resident Incentive Program

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The first 500 Burlingame residents that opt up to PCE’s ECO100 by 3/30/18, will receive a gift from their choice of one of the following businesses that already switched ECO100:

  1. Salad or smoothie (up to $10) from Que SeRaw SeRaw - healthy, delicious foods at 1160 Capuchino Ave

  2. $10 gift certificate from Shama Thai Massage – Massage and gifts at 1100-B Howard Ave

  3. Lightning Cable from Yea!Mac – Mac, iPad & iPhone experts at 277 Primrose Rd

To receive complimentary item, email the following to dsilverstein68@gmail.com by 3/30/18:

  1. Choice of gift – select from one of three

  2. Any proof of ECO100 Opt Up within last 3 months - i.e. PCE confirmation number or picture of completed opt up postcard

Then, CEC will email coupon for redemption. No substitutions. Valid until 4/30/18.