CleanPowerSF, one of the SFPUC’s renewable electricity service programs, is announcing new initiatives that will offer access to 100 percent renewable energy at a 20 percent discount for eligible residential customers. One of the initiatives invites local community-based organizations to participate as project sponsors.
The programs, supported by the California Public Utilities Commission, are designed to increase renewable energy use in the state’s disadvantaged communities (DACs), as defined by CalEnviroScreen. This mapping tool helps identify California communities most affected by multiple sources of pollution and where people are especially vulnerable to those impacts.
The first of the two programs, called the CleanPowerSF Disadvantaged Communities Green Tariff program, is expected to begin to serve customers early next year. The program must utilize renewable energy from a new project located in Northern California. Eligible customers must live in a DAC in CleanPowerSF’s service area and must be low-income (eligible for the state’s CARE or FERA discount programs). CleanPowerSF expects to initially serve at least 1,200 customer accounts with this program.
The CleanPowerSF Community Solar program, the second initiative, will begin to serve customers by mid-decade. Eligible projects must be solar and located in a DAC that is within five miles of the subscribing customers. To be eligible to subscribe, customers must live in a DAC, and at least 50 percent of the project’s capacity must be subscribed by low-income customers. CleanPowerSF expects to serve about 350 customer accounts with this program.
The Community Solar program also requires at least one local organization serve as a sponsor. The role of the sponsor(s) is to support outreach and engagement associated with the project(s) being developed to serve customers in the DAC Community Solar program. Sponsors that meet certain requirements are also eligible to benefit from the DAC Community Solar program by receiving 100 percent clean energy produced by the project and a 20 percent bill discount. The solar project developer, not CleanPowerSF, is responsible for vetting, selecting, and working with the sponsor.
To qualify as a sponsor, organizations must be a non-profit or community-based organization. To qualify for the 20 percent discount, sponsors must be a CleanPowerSF customer, have their office property located in a disadvantaged community, and be situated within five miles of the solar project. Also, at least 50 percent of the project’s capacity must be subscribed by low-income customers.