Portola Valley's Town Council is set to consider on May 25 a venture that would give every household a choice in electricity suppliers starting in April 2017, but from a baseline that would have every household receiving 100 percent of its electricity from renewable non-fossil-fuel sources.
Customers would have easy options to reduce that percentage, say to 50 percent green electricity, or 35 percent, or to just stay with Pacific Gas & Electric company, but the customer would have to make a choice to avoid a 100 percent green supply.
The council meeting starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, at the Historic Schoolhouse at 765 Portola Road in Portola Valley.
The Office of Sustainability in San Mateo County has been working with elected officials from the incorporated communities in the county to establish and jointly manage Peninsula Clean Energy, a program to enter into contracts with sources of renewable electricity as an alternative to PG&E.
In Phase 1 of the Peninsula Clean Energy program, set for October 2016, most PG&E residential customers in the county will likely be assigned to the program at a percentage of green electricity yet to be determined.
If the Portola Valley council were to commit the community to 100 percent green electricity as the baseline condition, that would delay the town's participation until April 2017 -- to avoid confusion and to allow additional time "to procure the power for those interested cities," said Brandi de Garmeaux, who manages sustainability programs for the town.
The 100 percent option is also likely to raise residents' rates. Program officials anticipate a premium over PG&E rates of about $3 -- between $5 and $20 a month for larger houses, Councilman Jeff Aalfs said in a recent letter to the town's online discussion group, PV-Forum.
Also on the May 25 council agenda: A proposed rate increase of approximately 3 percent for collection of garbage and materials for recycling and compost in town.