Cleaner and Greener Energy on the Way to Milpitas

By , in Green on .

 

Photo Submitted by Silicon Valley Clean Energy 

 

A cleaner, greener future is on the horizon for the City of Milpitas.

Last November 2017, the Milpitas City Council voted to authorize the implementation of a Community Choice Energy (CCE) Program, with Silicon Valley Clean Energy as the provider of renewable and carbon-free electricity. While PG&E would still maintain the power lines and deliver the energy, SVCE will step in to ensure the buying and building of energy supplies that will pave the way toward cultivating a more sustainable community.

Milpitas has been working with Silicon Valley Clean Energy over the past several months in preparation for the shift.

Community Outreach Manager Pamela Leonard spoke at the Milpitas City Council meeting on March 20 to discuss the outreach program and the efforts that are already being made to alert residents of the upcoming change.

 

Photo Submitted by Silicon Valley Clean Energy

 

The launch date is set for June 1. Milpitas residents were sent a letter in the mail earlier in the month in regards to the switch. Three other mailings will go out — one before the launch, and two after.

Any resident who decides to opt out will be able to do so with no penalty, as long as they’re in the four month enrollment window, which would be 60 days before and 60 days after the switch; this can be done online, over the phone, or by postal mail. After the 60 days of the start of service, there’s a one-time $5 fee to opt out.

Some time in July, after a full month of service, “Silicon Valley Clean Energy Electric generation charges” will show up as a separate line item on customers’ bills. “It’s super important to note that that line item is replacing PG&E charges at a lower rate. Oftentimes people see that second line item and think they’re being charged more. But they’re not. Milpitas residents will actually be saving a little money,” said Leonard in an interview. “There will be a split in cost now, between PG&E and SVCE; it will be two different things now, and not just one bundled cost as it has always been.”

After the shift is made, there will be a generation credit line, which will show what PG&E is crediting back to each resident, based on what they would’ve charged for generating the power.

 

Photo Submitted by Silicon Valley Clean Energy

 

Leonard mentioned that SVCE is planning to make it out to different community events over the next couple of months. At present, they’re working to nail down some dates for an upcoming Farmers’ Market, as well as a community meeting. 

Another big event coming up: SVCE has an upcoming scholarship competition called Bike to the Future, which is happening on Saturday, May 5, at Gilroy Gardens. Student high school teams were all given $1000 to convert a regular bike into an electric bike, and will compete in a series of challenges. The first place team will win $5,000.

“We’re excited. We have seven teams competing. And we’re happy to have a team of students from Milpitas High School too,” said Leonard.

The free event will go from 9am to 1pm, and the first 100 guests will receive a free ticket to Gilroy Gardens amusement park.

The next community meeting will be held on Monday, May 14 from 6:30 – 7:30 PM. It will be at the Barbara Lee Senior Center, Community Room, 40 N Milpitas Blvd., Milpitas, CA 95035

To learn about SVCE, go to: https://www.svcleanenergy.org

 

 

Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro works as a journalist and media consultant in the Bay Area. She has written for both the Tri-City Voice and the Mercury News, and is the founder of Chi Media Company, which works with nonprofit organizations to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also an author; her first book will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in mid-2019. Her YouTube channel, which features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment, has amassed thousands of subscribers. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s founder.
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