PG&E Looking To Raise Fee On Green Energy

by Lizzie Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle

coal plant at Morro Rock

Phelan Riessen / Creative Commons

Early last month, the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. quietly filed an application to as much as double its exit fee for customers transferring to local green energy programs like CleanPowerSF, Marin Clean Energy and Sonoma Clean Power. The fee, called a Power Charge Indifference Adjustment, or PCIA, helps PG&E pay for energy it contracted for when it had more customers.

Critics say the increase is another attempt by PG&E to dissuade residents from joining CleanPowerSF, a city-run green energy program that launches this spring, and Peninsula Clean Energy, which will provide electricity in San Mateo County beginning in August. The programs will compete directly with the power company.

The fee is influenced by several market factors, including the price of energy, but has largely remained stable the past few years. But under the proposed 2016 increase, customers making the switch to local green energy programs would get smacked with a hefty exit fee. Marin Clean Energy customers are projected to pay more than $30.6 million, up from $19.3 million in 2015. The cost for each residential customer would nearly double from about $6.70 each month to $13.

In San Francisco, the proposed exit fee for residents moving to CleanPowerSF would jump by 100.26 percent.

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