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Sonoma Clean Power: What it Means for You

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Sonoma Clean Power:  What it Means for You

by Geof Syphers, CEO

For quite a long time, we have lived with a single electricity provider, without any input into where our power comes from. Beginning in May of this year, that will all change.

Sonoma Clean Power is starting service for a little over 20,000 customers in May, with two products that help advance Sonoma County—whether you're a conservative Republican or a West County leftie.

The default service, called CleanStart, has 30 percent lower greenhouse emissions than PG&E’s service and costs 2 to 3 percent less. It’s a big win for the county because it advances our environmental goals while saving everyone money, making it an easy choice.

But the most exciting part of Sonoma Clean Power is a product that has never been offered anywhere in California before. EverGreen is an optional power product that will provide your electricity from 100 percent renewable sources inside Sonoma County for a premium of about 20 percent on your power bill.

We’re excited about EverGreen because it is the first time we’ve been able to source our power locally, from truly clean power. And it all starts with something as odd as a toilet.

After people in Santa Rosa and Windsor flush their toilets, the water gets treated like normal, and then something unusual happens. A series of pumps drives the treated water up to a dormant volcano on the northern border of Sonoma County and down into a fissure deep into the earth. Hot rocks turn the water into steam, which expands, turning a set of turbines and producing clean geothermal power around the clock.

It’s special because geothermal power operates all of the time. Most renewable power sources can’t do that. Solar power can’t run at night, and wind power can’t run when the wind isn’t blowing. As a result, this geothermal power is an ideal starting point for building Sonoma County’s clean power mix.

Because of the benefits EverGreen provides to the local economy, we’re offering it to everyone in the participating cities of Windsor, Cotati, Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Sonoma and all of the unincorporated areas of the county—even if you’re not eligible for CleanStart yet. The cities of Petaluma, Rohnert Park and Cloverdale are not currently participating in Sonoma Clean Power, so customers in those areas cannot sign up. And the City of Healdsburg already has its own power utility.

How it works

SCP was formed from an alliance of environmental and business interests looking to create a truly profitable way to support environmental benefits.

By partnering with PG&E to deliver power, it’s a great combination because you get the same reliability you’re used to, but with more renewable power. In simple terms, SCP fills the wires with cleaner power – and PG&E delivers it. You still call PG&E to start and stop service, and report outages and emergencies. You’ll get just one combined bill every month from PG&E.

Competition = Choice

Until recently, you didn’t have a choice about the energy that powers your home or business. Because SCP is competing for your business, now you do. That means choice and competitive pricing.

When it’s available

Using a phased approach, the first 20,000 accounts – most of them commercial – will be automatically enrolled in SCP’s default thirty three percent renewable product, with service beginning May 2014.

Phases II and III – each with about 60,000 primarily residential accounts – will be automatically enrolled in early 2015 and 2016, respectively. Opting out and continuing to receive service from PG&E is as easy as calling or going online.

What it means to you

Whether you want choices, to reduce your carbon footprint, cleaner energy, competitive prices or a stronger local economy, choosing Sonoma Clean Power means you can have it all. Real choice, local sources, and cleaner power at competitive prices… a true win/win.

Learn more

For answers to frequently asked questions including discount programs, information for solar customers and more, visit sonomacleanpower.org.