Marin Clean Energy Talking Points

We deserve choice!
Marin Clean Energy (MCE) gives res­i­dents and busi­nesses the choice of cleaner energy for the same price they cur­rently pay to the util­ity. Any­one who chooses to stay with the util­ity can do so.
Com­mu­nity Choice Power is already a decade-long suc­cess story
in Mass­a­chu­setts and Ohio, where cus­tomers enjoy greener power and lower rates.

MCE is a bar­gain — the most eco­nom­i­cal way to fight global warm­ing.
State law (AB32) requires cities and coun­ties to meet spe­cific tar­gets. MCE is more effec­tive at reduc­ing green­house gas emis­sions than any­thing else we could do as indi­vid­u­als, busi­nesses or gov­ern­ment, because MCE already has a reg­u­lar, reli­able stream of rev­enue from our monthly elec­tric­ity bills. All other ways to address cli­mate change must find new sources of funding.
MCE is the best use of the money we already spend for elec­tric­ity.
Marin res­i­dents and busi­nesses already spend over a hun­dred mil­lion of dol­lars a year for elec­tric­ity. We can elim­i­nate vir­tu­ally all the green­house gas emis­sions from our elec­tric­ity sim­ply by re-directing where our money goes. Our cur­rent util­ity fre­quently raises rates to pay for its 12% guar­an­teed prof­its, plus dozens of high-paid lawyers and lob­by­ists work­ing to under­mine clean energy reg­u­la­tion and fight com­mu­nity con­trol, plus mil­lions of dol­lars of adver­tis­ing and pub­lic rela­tions to try to fool the pub­lic about the company’s shortcomings.

MCE will be twice as green as our cur­rent util­ity from Day One,
and our lead will only grow from there. MCE’s first elec­tric­ity ser­vices con­tract guar­an­tees a min­i­mum of 25% renew­ables with no rate increase. This increases to 50% in five years. By state law, PG&E was sup­posed to pro­vide 20% renew­able energy by 2010, but it missed the tar­get and has less than 15% renew­ables today. It opposed rais­ing the state’s tar­get to 33%. Half of PG&E’s so-called “clean” or “green” power is from risky, expen­sive, accident-prone nuclear power.
Marin Clean Energy (MCE) means local con­trol.
Board mem­bers are local City Coun­cil mem­bers, answer­able to us, not Wall Street. MCE is non-profit, trans­par­ent, and acces­si­ble, and account­able to the com­mu­nity. Boards and man­agers of community-run power agen­cies tend to be more care­ful with the public’s money and more respon­sive to their concerns.

Com­mu­nity con­trol of elec­tric­ity has served Cal­i­for­nia well for 100 years;
aver­ag­ing 20% lower rates than “investor-owned util­i­ties” like PG&E. Today, one of four Cal­i­for­nia homes gets its elec­tric­ity from a pub­lic agency – in Los Ange­les, Sacra­mento, Palo Alto, Alameda, and approx­i­mately 40 other cities. Munis were largely unaf­fected by the energy cri­sis, when PG&E went bank­rupt; the best munis offer the clean­est energy in California.
The pur­pose of MCE is to min­i­mize risk and expense through­out the tran­si­tion to green power.
MCE under­went a five-year plan­ning process with fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies by top Cal­i­for­nia energy experts. The next step (going on right now) is to con­tract with an estab­lished energy provider as a bridge to get through the five-year start-up phase. The con­tract ensures that the provider, not MCE, will be at risk for any unex­pected price shifts, and the provider, not MCE, will be respon­si­ble for the tech­ni­cal aspects of power pur­chas­ing, sched­ul­ing, main­tain­ing reserves, etc.

Local eco­nomic ben­e­fits from local clean energy resources.
Once MCE begins deliv­er­ing power in June 2010, it can use some of the money we pay every month to finance con­struc­tion of local renew­ables and energy effi­ciency. MCE’s con­trac­tor is required to sub­sti­tute power from local renew­able energy facil­i­ties as quickly as MCE can build them.
No cost to cities and coun­ties.
There has never been a cost for cities to launch MCE, and the gen­eral funds of the county and mem­ber cities are com­pletely pro­tected in the future because MCE should have plenty of money from our util­ity bills, and our con­tract with the elec­tric­ity provider allows for an orderly ter­mi­na­tion in case of prob­lems. There is a fire­wall between the City bud­get and the MEA bud­get that is cod­i­fied by State law and explic­itly re-stated in MCE’s ini­tial agree­ment and our Oper­at­ing Rules and Regulations.

No extra cost to indi­vid­u­als.
Peo­ple who can’t afford to pay more for cleaner energy, or don’t have the time or incli­na­tion to think about their elec­tric­ity ser­vice, will still be included in MCE’s green energy ser­vice. With MCE, we all go green together with no rate increase.
MCE will make us proud.
MCE has taken a slow, cau­tious route, but it is on track to be the very first Com­mu­nity Choice power provider in Cal­i­for­nia. Many other cities and coun­ties are watch­ing our progress and may fol­low suit; our clean energy pro­grams have the poten­tial to inspire the nation.

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