Menlo Park joins community choice energy program


Menlo Park electric energy users may soon have an alternative to PG&E that will supply more energy from renewable sources at rates competitive with PG&E's.

The Menlo Park City Council on Jan. 26 gave final approval to the city joining a San Mateo County community choice energy program, known as Peninsula Clean Energy.

The program will be governed by a Joint Powers Authority board, made up of representatives from member cities and towns in San Mateo County. Energy consumers will have the choice to buy electricity from a source other than PG&E. The intent is that the Joint Powers Authority will arrange for the purchase of electric power from renewable sources and sell it to end users at rates comparable to PG&E's. The power will be delivered over PG&E's grid.

Menlo Park's council has appointed Councilwoman Catherine Carlton as the city's board member. Councilman and Mayor Rich Cline is the alternate.

The board will make decisions about what percentage of renewable energy will be offered to consumers and at what rates. Ms. Carlton says she will return to the council with the board's proposals before casting her vote.

The goal is to launch the program in October.

Many other cities and towns have joined or plan to join the community choice energy program. As of Jan. 29, San Mateo, Atherton and Menlo Park have signed on. Several others plan to join and have only to give final approval to an ordinance to that effect. They include Woodside, Portola Valley, Half Moon Bay, East Palo Alto, Daly City and San Carlos. Stay updated on the status of other cities in the county using this online chart.

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