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.