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Pleasanton council approves renewable energy options

Brilliant 100/Renewable 100 picked as defaults under EBCE; residents can opt out, stick with PG&E

Pleasanton residents will now have the option of receiving carbon-free electricity in their homes after the City Council unanimously adopted several service levels from East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) on Tuesday night.

Before voting that evening, Mayor Karla Brown said, "The idea of choice is important to give our residents that choice and that range of options, all the way up to 100% renewable carbon-free."

The city's municipal accounts will receive the default service level of Renewable 100, while residential and commercial customers will receive Brilliant 100 and customers on CARE/FERA medical baseline programs will be enrolled in "Bright Choice."

Depending on the option chosen, customers may have a power bill that is less, more or equal to PG&E service.

Bright Choice provides 38% renewable energy with 85% carbon-free energy rates approximately 1.5% lower than PG&E, while Brilliant 100 provides 40% renewable energy with 100% carbon-free at equal rates. Renewable 100 provides 100% renewable and 100% carbon-free energy at rates one penny per kWh more than PG&E.

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In 2019, the city joined EBCE, the not-for-profit public agency that provides clean and renewable electricity to residents in Alameda and San Joaquin counties.

“As the city updates its Climate Action Plan 2.0 to be carbon neutral by 2045, the roll out of the EBCE service is a step toward achieving overall greenhouse gas emissions reduction in Pleasanton,” Brown said in a statement after the council hearing.

Customers will automatically begin receiving electricity from EBCE in April but still have the choice to opt-up or opt-down to different service levels with EBCE. They can also continue purchasing power directly from PG&E, which will remain in charge of power delivery, grid maintenance and billing management.

Alex DiGiorgio, public engagement manager for EBCE, told the council that customers can change their service levels "as often as their billing cycle, more or less."

"The only real restriction is if people opt out of PG&E after their first 60 days of service, by PG&E's terms and conditions, they'll have to wait for a year before they could return to EBCE," DiGiorgio said. "If they opt out before the 60 days of service (are up), then it doesn't apply."

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Information about the opt-up or opt-down and opt-out options will be sent to residential and business customers in the coming weeks, city officials said.

In other business

* The council agreed to lower the limit along parts of Stoneridge Drive from 45 mph to 40 mph, among other traffic-related items addressed on Tuesday.

Each year the city's traffic engineering division reviews and update speed limits as needed.

A recent engineering and traffic survey found support for changing the posted speed limit from 45 mph to 40 mph on Stoneridge Drive between both Stoneridge Mall Road and Johnson Drive, and Johnson and Hopyard Road.

Critical speeds and roadway conditions were conducive for reduced speed along both stretches of Stoneridge, according to staff, though state law prohibits lowering the speed from 40 mph between Johnson and Hopyard for any reason.

Though consent agenda items are normally considered routine in nature and voted on in one council motion, Councilwoman Kathy Narum asked "if we can agree that we'll survey that section immediately from Foothill to Stoneridge Mall Road to see if it makes sense to lower that down to 40."

City traffic engineer Mike Tassano said, "Those are actually the only two sections of roadway on Stoneridge Drive that are currently 45. The small section you're asking about between Foothill and Stoneridge Mall Road is actually already 40mph."

"But to your point on would we go and do that, we would -- and in fact we did," Tassano added. "The one section was actually surveyed in 2019 and it was below the critical speed then. But I didn't want to just bring that one section, so when we did this next section, we combined the two to bring them both to you."

A one-time cost of $2,000 to replace existing speed limit signs is funded through the annual traffic buttons and line markers capital improvement project.

* Oversized vehicles will no longer be allowed to park on a residential street near the Interstate 580 off-ramp in northern Pleasanton, after the council unanimously approved the move on Tuesday.

Vehicles over 20 feet in length are now prohibited from parking on the north side of the I-580 freeway soundwall on Pimlico Drive, just east of Brockton Drive.

According to staff, the north side of Pimlico Drive has "consistently experienced parking of oversized vehicles such as recreational vehicles, moving trucks, oversized commercial vehicles, and long trailers."

As a result, "residents have raised concerns that this section of Pimlico has become a location for vehicle storage which has subsequently resulted in debris and garbage left behind in the area."

Signs will be posted giving notice of the new parking restrictions along approximately 1,500 feet of the north side of Pimlico Drive. There are no new costs associated with the changes, and are included in the city's operating budget.

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Pleasanton council approves renewable energy options

Brilliant 100/Renewable 100 picked as defaults under EBCE; residents can opt out, stick with PG&E

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Jan 21, 2021, 4:56 pm

Pleasanton residents will now have the option of receiving carbon-free electricity in their homes after the City Council unanimously adopted several service levels from East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) on Tuesday night.

Before voting that evening, Mayor Karla Brown said, "The idea of choice is important to give our residents that choice and that range of options, all the way up to 100% renewable carbon-free."

The city's municipal accounts will receive the default service level of Renewable 100, while residential and commercial customers will receive Brilliant 100 and customers on CARE/FERA medical baseline programs will be enrolled in "Bright Choice."

Depending on the option chosen, customers may have a power bill that is less, more or equal to PG&E service.

Bright Choice provides 38% renewable energy with 85% carbon-free energy rates approximately 1.5% lower than PG&E, while Brilliant 100 provides 40% renewable energy with 100% carbon-free at equal rates. Renewable 100 provides 100% renewable and 100% carbon-free energy at rates one penny per kWh more than PG&E.

In 2019, the city joined EBCE, the not-for-profit public agency that provides clean and renewable electricity to residents in Alameda and San Joaquin counties.

“As the city updates its Climate Action Plan 2.0 to be carbon neutral by 2045, the roll out of the EBCE service is a step toward achieving overall greenhouse gas emissions reduction in Pleasanton,” Brown said in a statement after the council hearing.

Customers will automatically begin receiving electricity from EBCE in April but still have the choice to opt-up or opt-down to different service levels with EBCE. They can also continue purchasing power directly from PG&E, which will remain in charge of power delivery, grid maintenance and billing management.

Alex DiGiorgio, public engagement manager for EBCE, told the council that customers can change their service levels "as often as their billing cycle, more or less."

"The only real restriction is if people opt out of PG&E after their first 60 days of service, by PG&E's terms and conditions, they'll have to wait for a year before they could return to EBCE," DiGiorgio said. "If they opt out before the 60 days of service (are up), then it doesn't apply."

Information about the opt-up or opt-down and opt-out options will be sent to residential and business customers in the coming weeks, city officials said.

In other business

* The council agreed to lower the limit along parts of Stoneridge Drive from 45 mph to 40 mph, among other traffic-related items addressed on Tuesday.

Each year the city's traffic engineering division reviews and update speed limits as needed.

A recent engineering and traffic survey found support for changing the posted speed limit from 45 mph to 40 mph on Stoneridge Drive between both Stoneridge Mall Road and Johnson Drive, and Johnson and Hopyard Road.

Critical speeds and roadway conditions were conducive for reduced speed along both stretches of Stoneridge, according to staff, though state law prohibits lowering the speed from 40 mph between Johnson and Hopyard for any reason.

Though consent agenda items are normally considered routine in nature and voted on in one council motion, Councilwoman Kathy Narum asked "if we can agree that we'll survey that section immediately from Foothill to Stoneridge Mall Road to see if it makes sense to lower that down to 40."

City traffic engineer Mike Tassano said, "Those are actually the only two sections of roadway on Stoneridge Drive that are currently 45. The small section you're asking about between Foothill and Stoneridge Mall Road is actually already 40mph."

"But to your point on would we go and do that, we would -- and in fact we did," Tassano added. "The one section was actually surveyed in 2019 and it was below the critical speed then. But I didn't want to just bring that one section, so when we did this next section, we combined the two to bring them both to you."

A one-time cost of $2,000 to replace existing speed limit signs is funded through the annual traffic buttons and line markers capital improvement project.

* Oversized vehicles will no longer be allowed to park on a residential street near the Interstate 580 off-ramp in northern Pleasanton, after the council unanimously approved the move on Tuesday.

Vehicles over 20 feet in length are now prohibited from parking on the north side of the I-580 freeway soundwall on Pimlico Drive, just east of Brockton Drive.

According to staff, the north side of Pimlico Drive has "consistently experienced parking of oversized vehicles such as recreational vehicles, moving trucks, oversized commercial vehicles, and long trailers."

As a result, "residents have raised concerns that this section of Pimlico has become a location for vehicle storage which has subsequently resulted in debris and garbage left behind in the area."

Signs will be posted giving notice of the new parking restrictions along approximately 1,500 feet of the north side of Pimlico Drive. There are no new costs associated with the changes, and are included in the city's operating budget.

Comments

Becky Dennis
Registered user
Foxborough Estates
on Jan 22, 2021 at 9:42 am
Becky Dennis, Foxborough Estates
Registered user
on Jan 22, 2021 at 9:42 am

Thank you, Mayor Brown and City Council.


Mike
Registered user
Val Vista
on Jan 22, 2021 at 9:50 am
Mike, Val Vista
Registered user
on Jan 22, 2021 at 9:50 am

I am all for energy choice but I oppose forced choices. The city has gone too far by selecting the power choice for everyone. The opt out window of time has been too narrow as I have heard from our friends to the east of us. Many Livermore residents were confused or thought the ECBE letters were junk mail and then their energy bills went up. This should have been a choice where residents can opt into the service instead of having to opt out.


James Michael
Registered user
Val Vista
on Jan 22, 2021 at 11:26 am
James Michael, Val Vista
Registered user
on Jan 22, 2021 at 11:26 am

I've said it before and I will say it again...nobody should have to opt out, they should be given the choice to opt in. If the product from EBCE is so great then why are they slamming the populace into it. Most mail is now junk mail and they know this and so most people will ignore it and that's what EBCE is hoping for. They say that they will save you between 1 and 2% on your power bill, but at what cost. The people at EBCE aren't working for free...they have to be paid and they will also get those magical government pensions, so your taxes will go up. Just another level of government which we don't need.

And as to those mail cards alerting you to opt out, my cousin in Dublin never got one.


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 23, 2021 at 10:02 am
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 10:02 am

"I am all for energy choice but I oppose forced choices. The city has gone too far by selecting the power choice for everyone."


This is just the beginning of being "forced" to do things and pretty soon there will be no choice at all. Expect anything related to fossil fuels to be regulated to the point of being cost/legally prohibitive, no matter how disruptive to city residents, as part of the "Climate Action Plan". Has anyone thought about where all of this "carbon free energy" is going to come from in 2045 - or do we just have to get rid of existing energy sources (oil/natural gas) and punish anyone using them regardless?


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Jan 23, 2021 at 10:40 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 10:40 am

To my knowledge, we have not received a notice to opt out, and I’m uncertain at this point what we would choose to do. But I do have one question. If we have 1 in 8 or 9 Americans living in this state and there is a problem with global warming or climate change, what are we going to do to limit our negative exposure if we do not start doing the right things now? I’m not saying this is the right thing or the now thing, but I am curious about when we start to change in order to be part of helping the world recover.


dknute
Registered user
Golden Eagle
on Jan 23, 2021 at 10:47 am
dknute, Golden Eagle
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 10:47 am

I'm not exactly sure what i'm opting 'for or against'....change is not good for this person.....1 or 2%...Really? so opting out of what you've done for 80 years to get into something 'new' untried is better? Really? and opting out, you can't opt back in for maybe a year? really? That's all so comforting!. What kind of choice? The New Normal? The New American Way?...


James Michael
Registered user
Val Vista
on Jan 23, 2021 at 10:49 am
James Michael, Val Vista
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 10:49 am

Consider this, even though most people hate PG&E, but PG&E met the state's 2020 renewable energy mandate in 2017 3 years ahead of time (renewableenergyworld.com). Your power is still coming from PG&E, EBCE provides nothing except another level of government. And I guess that's why they exist...to have some sort of apparatus in place to take over PG&E. Because that's the goal, isn't it. State run utility, state run health care, state run everything. And you thought Reagan defeated communism.


James Michael
Registered user
Val Vista
on Jan 23, 2021 at 11:36 am
James Michael, Val Vista
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 11:36 am

Kathleen...the cards are supposed to be sent starting in February for the opt-out. EBCE is not scheduled to start until April.


Dan Lieberman
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2021 at 12:31 pm
Dan Lieberman, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 12:31 pm

hi- this is Dan, marketing director at East Bay Community Energy. I'm reading the comments with interest want to make a few clarifying points.

We'll start mailing enrollment notices in February and do four notices on a monthly basis. The first one will be in a standard envelope to everyone, and following that we'll switch to email for people who have an email address on file with PG&E, and continue with monthly mailers for those without an email on file with PG&E. We'll also being doing outreach with the City, host informative webinars, place advertisements, posts on Nextdoor, etc.

By the law the program is opt-out. There is no opportunity to run this as an opt-in approach.

Our Bright Choice option has lower rates than PG&E, and we've saved customers over $20 million since we launched in 2018. Employees of EBCE do not have pensions. We are a very lean agency, with about 30 employees running a >$400 million per year agency. We've also donated over $2 million to local covid relief efforts and have ongoing grants programs for local non-profits. Unlike PG&E, we don't have shareholders and can utilize excess revenues for that purpose. Web Link

EBCE is not just a layer of government selling PG&E power. We have contracted for 550 megawatts of new wind and solar to serve our customers. The first solar project (192 MW) came online this month, and in April we'll add 57.5 MW of wind here in Alameda county. Details: Web Link

We look forward to serving you! If you have questions, email me at [email protected] or call our call center at 1-833-699-3223.


James Michael
Registered user
Val Vista
on Jan 23, 2021 at 1:07 pm
James Michael, Val Vista
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 1:07 pm

Nice try, Dan. But your links are just to your own website. Now, if you were actually a new power company providing an alternative then that would be a different story. But you are not!


Dan Lieberman
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2021 at 1:29 pm
Dan Lieberman, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 1:29 pm

Hi James. Here is a link to PG&E's website with them comparing our rates to theirs:
Web Link

Here is a link to the California Energy Commission with our latest annual power disclosure report as an energy supplier (reporting is delayed, this is most recent year published):
Web Link

And it might be worth noting that your local elected officials serve on our Board and are good resources on how we operate. Our Board meetings are open to the public (currently hosted on Zoom due to the pandemic but you can still attend and make public comments):
Web Link
The staff reports include financial updates, power contracting details, etc.

I hope that additional info is of interest.
Best,
Dan


James Michael
Registered user
Val Vista
on Jan 23, 2021 at 2:01 pm
James Michael, Val Vista
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 2:01 pm

Thanks Dan. I will check those links out later. Need to go run now before it rains. One question, at you leisure, but who funds you? What I mean is who signs your paycheck? I know you don't work for free, just like PG&E.


BobB
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Jan 23, 2021 at 2:06 pm
BobB, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 2:06 pm

And California's irrational fear of nuclear power persists.


Dan Lieberman
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2021 at 3:38 pm
Dan Lieberman, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 3:38 pm

Hi James - EBCE staff are paid out of the revenues we get from selling electricity. We don't charge any tax to anyone, we're not paid by PG&E. When we launched, we got a loan for the County and a line of credit from a bank, but we repaid that quickly in full. Here's the scoop:
Web Link
Dan


BobB
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2021 at 4:33 pm
BobB, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 4:33 pm

Dan Lieberman,

Why only 1% nuclear power? Why not much more. Diablo Canyon nuclear power is some of the cheapest and safest electricity available. With automobile and bus transportation turning more to electricity and hydrogen power, nuclear can pay a key role going forward. Why not promote buying more of that and building out more nuclear capacity? The technology is available now and is safe and reliable.


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 23, 2021 at 10:29 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 10:29 pm

BobB, BobB,
If one person could potentially get cancer and die from nuclear energy we should just shut it down until we can all get vaccinated against exposure to nuclear energy. Why can’t you just wear a hazmat suit.


James Michael
Registered user
Val Vista
on Jan 23, 2021 at 11:09 pm
James Michael, Val Vista
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 11:09 pm

Dan, you just lead me back to your own EBCE website. Who signs your paycheck? Never mind...I think I know. And I will opt out because you are providing nothing but propaganda.


Jake Waters
Registered user
Birdland
on Jan 27, 2021 at 9:16 am
Jake Waters, Birdland
Registered user
on Jan 27, 2021 at 9:16 am

The debate is over, the science is in, Livermore and Pleasanton have decided that you will be forced to participate in their cult of Climate Change. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. Further down the rabbit hole we go. Opt out, opt in, it doesn’t matter, because either way you are going to pay for ‘their feelings’ about a story they have decided upon for the earth.

These actions, just as the actions by Newsom for 2030 and 2035, are meant to solidify their commitment toward enriching groups of elites hiding behind the curtain. Make no mistake, for this I am well educated in, the earth is not in trouble, CO2 is not causing the seasonal changes in weather, and civilization has been subjected to this hoax during different periods of time for over a hundred and twenty years, just as we were subjected to the Russian hoax for 4 years.

There is an enormous amount of information out there from good sound people if you choose to look, listen, and read.

And yes BobB, though we disagree on a few subjects, you are correct about nuclear power plants.


James Michael
Registered user
Val Vista
on Feb 3, 2021 at 11:51 am
James Michael, Val Vista
Registered user
on Feb 3, 2021 at 11:51 am

Wow, it's February already. Just waiting for that OPT OUT notice in the mail.


James Michael
Registered user
Val Vista
on Feb 15, 2021 at 4:28 pm
James Michael, Val Vista
Registered user
on Feb 15, 2021 at 4:28 pm

I finally got my opt out letter. Check your mail citizens and do your research.


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