South Bay cities in the coming weeks will be flipping the on switch for a new clean-energy alternative that is being presented as a rival to PG&E.
The new utility -- Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) -- is set to roll out in the coming months. Ratepayers will automatically be enrolled in SVCE unless they request to stick with PG&E. By default, new customers will be signed up for SVCE's "GreenStart" program -- a 100-percent carbon-free package, about half of which comes from renewable sources. Even with the clean energy program, SVCE officials believe the basic package should be slightly cheaper than standard PG&E rates.
Starting in April, customers in Mountain View will be gradually added to the new energy alternative unless they opt out. The rollout will occur in three phases in April, July and October, which will begin on the southern side of Mountain View and move north. Specific boundaries for when individual neighborhoods would be added to the new program are not currently available.
Households that want to go further with clean energy can pay a surcharge to sign up for the "GreenPrime" program, which is sourced entirely from renewable power. That program is expected to cost about $4 a month more than the standard "GreenStart" package.
More information on the new clean-energy alternative will be shared at an upcoming Mountain View meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, at the City Council Chambers at 500 Castro St.