New PG&E Program Allows Customers To Fund Solar Projects


Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) has reached an agreement with a group of consumer and other organizations to modify its proposed ‘Green Option’ to give electric customers an opportunity to support 100% renewable energy.

The revised proposal, which has been submitted for approval by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), would provide participating customers with energy from new small- and midsize solar projects located in PG&E's service area.

PG&E's original proposal, issued last year with widespread support from elected officials and the environmental community, provided customers with an option to buy renewable energy certificates from new and existing projects, including those outside of PG&E's service area. The new proposal would allow customers to directly support the development of new projects that generate clean energy in and around the communities that PG&E serves, the utility explains.

Under the new plan, participants will pay the full cost of the new renewable energy supplies built in direct response to their enrollment. Those additional supplies – provided under long-term contracts by third-party developers – will be incremental to the clean energy that PG&E already purchases for all of its customers. Participating customers will also receive credits for avoided PG&E generation costs, making the program more affordable.

PG&E says it is asking the CPUC to approve the enhanced program this year, so that it can begin offering the option soon thereafter.

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