Price tag jumps for SF clean power


After having no choice in their electricity provider for decades, San Franciscans may soon get a menu of choices — along with a much steeper bill.

The recently-approved CleanPowerSF just got a lot more expensive, just eleven months before its scheduled rollout. And there’s the possibility rates will climb even more before the Board of Supervisors votes to finalize them in March.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission revised its proposed rates for the new alternative power option last week, bumping up the estimated increase cost to customers by about 20 percent.

The PUC now estimates bills will climb for initial CleanPowerSF customers from between about $11 for thrifty “Tier 1” power consumers, to about $94 for high-usage, “Tier 5” customers.

Checking out the energy usage at SFBay world headquarters over the last year, the roughly 500 kilowatt-hours we burn through every month will cost us between $35 and $50 extra.

The premium prices go toward the purchase of 100 percent of power from renewable — and more expensive — sources.

Selected San Francisco residents will be automatically enrolled in the program for its planned October launch, though four “opt-out” notices — before and after the switch — offer customers the chance to back out and stay with PG&E.

PG&E, meanwhile, is expected to launch their own green power initiative in the same timeframe as CleanPowerSF, giving San Franciscans a choice of pricy renewable power providers.

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as associate professor at San Francisco State University.

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