General

San José Clean Energy is the new not-for-profit, locally controlled electricity generation service provider for San José residents and businesses. Operated by the City and governed by the City Council, we provide customers with clean energy from sources like solar, wind and hydropower at competitive rates. We source electricity for customers, and PG&E delivers it over existing utility lines, and continues to do maintenance, billing and customer service.

As a government agency, operational surpluses will be reinvested into the community through programs and lower rates. SJCE is also committed to ensuring transparency and accountability for our service; customers are invited to participate in public meetings (City Council and Clean Energy Community Advisory Commission) and make their voices heard.

SJCE was created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help fight climate change. We are committed to achieving our goal of accelerating the state of California’s transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050 while providing cost-competitive power options.

SJCE was created in 2017 to quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and fight climate change. Since launching service in February 2019, we’ve been committed to providing clean energy at competitive prices.

Transitioning to clean sources of energy will lead to better air quality and a healthier environment for you and future generations.

With SJCE service, customers already make a big impact in the fight against climate change. SJCE has a goal of accelerating the state of California’s transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050 while providing cost-competitive power options.

Additional benefits for our customers include:

  • Customer choice: you can choose which option works best for you.
  • Community programs: we reinvest operational surpluses back into the community by providing community programs, such as expanding EV charging infrastructure and energy efficiency programs.
  • Local control: we are governed by the City Council, your elected officials.
  • Accountability and transparency: our rates are set by City Council during public meetings where customers are invited to participate and make their voices heard.

Until February 2019, PG&E was the only electricity provider in San José.

In 2002, California Assembly Bill 117 established Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), a new way for California communities to provide local residents and businesses with a choice of electricity providers. A city or a group of cities pool (aggregate) the electricity demand from residents and businesses in their area and buy electricity for them. CCAs offer cleaner power mix options. SJCE is the new CCA for the City of San José, and we’re the largest city in the country to operate a single-jurisdiction CCA.

While SJCE provides electric generation service, PG&E continues to deliver this electricity to your home and bill you.

No, we are partners in providing your electricity service. SJCE replaces PG&E’s electric generation services with a local, publicly controlled electric generation service. We buy clean electricity for you, which PG&E then distributes to San José homes and businesses. PG&E continues to provide customer and billing services, maintains power lines, and fixes outages. It also provides natural gas service.

Yes, reliability will absolutely stay the same. SJCE provides electric generation services, but PG&E still has responsibility for power transmission, distribution, billing and service, and it continues to maintain the power distribution network as it always has.

As a City department, SJCE is governed by San José City Council, which ensures public transparency. There is also a Community Advisory Commission. The City Council meets weekly, and the Community Advisory Commission meets monthly. All meetings are open to the public and your comments are encouraged.

In addition, we are led by staff with decades of experience in the energy industry and municipal utilities. As a not-for-profit, we keep operating costs low by not having shareholders and maintaining a public service culture of customer accountability.

No. SJCE is entirely self-funded by revenues we receive from customers.

SJCE is a Community Choice Energy (CCE) program, also known as a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA).

In 2002, the California state government passed a law (Assembly Bill 117) allowing local governments to purchase electricity on behalf of their residents and businesses, forming CCEs. The law was passed to:

  1. Give consumers more control over their energy mix and rates. CCEs are governed by elected officials. CCE customers benefit from cleaner energy at competitive rates.
  2. Give consumers a choice for their electricity generation provider – the CCE covering their municipality or the investor-owned utility (here in San José, that’s PG&E). Either way, PG&E remains the sole electricity delivery provider responsible for transmitting the electricity to your home or business, maintaining the powerlines, and responding to outages. PG&E also remains the billing provider.

SJCE is one of over 20 CCEs currently in operation in California, together providing electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses in 200 cities and counties. CCEs have collectively saved customers millions of dollars and cut greenhouse gas emissions drastically since 2010. Learn more about the impact of CCEs.

Yes. SJCE is one of over 20 Community Choice Energy (CCE) programs currently in operation in California, together providing electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses in 200 cities and counties. CCEs have collectively saved customers millions of dollars and cut greenhouse gas emissions drastically since 2010.

As government agencies, they have reinvested revenue into their communities through rate savings and energy programs encouraging adoption of electric vehicles, building electrification, installation of rooftop solar, and more. Learn more about the impact of CCEs.

No. SJCE is “owned” by the City of San José and is a City Department called Community Energy. There are no shareholders, so all revenues stay right here. We don’t have to charge extra to generate a profit, pay dividends or taxes, which helps keep our prices competitive.

SJCE does not go door-to-door. Do not give any personal information (e.g. social security number, PG&E account number, credit card information) to individuals who come to your door falsely representing SJCE.

No. PG&E and SJCE will never call you and demand payment over the phone. If you are concerned about your account, call PG&E or SJCE through phone numbers you obtain from a reliable source.

Three factors allow us to stay competitive with PG&E.

  • Renewables Market: We’re taking advantage of low prices for renewable energy, which continue to decrease.
  • Not-for-profit: As a government agency, we do not have to pay dividends to shareholders and can pass savings along to our customers.
  • Efficiency: Community Choice Energy programs like SJCE are leaner and operate more efficiently than investor-owned utilities, spending a smaller percentage of revenue on operating expenses.

San José Clean Energy buys its power from a number of suppliers and invests in new renewable sources. Sources of renewable and carbon-free power include California wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric power from the Pacific Northwest. Like all electricity providers in California, we will report the percentage of each eligible renewable technology to the California Energy Commission (CEC) on a yearly basis in the form of a power content label. You can find our Power Content Label on our Resources page and on the CEC’s website.

PG&E: 1-800-468-4743. Since PG&E remains the electricity transmission and distribution provider, they are still responsible for maintaining powerlines and responding to power outages. PG&E is also responsible for notifying customers of planned power outages.

SJCE works diligently to ensure that we have procured enough power to meet our customer requirements. In addition, the California Independent State Operator (CAISO, the CA grid operator) dispatches generation resources to ensure that there is enough power to meet customer needs throughout the state. CAISO then bills SJCE and other providers for the energy procured by CAISO on their behalf. SJCE, along with other CCAs, is working diligently to ensure California maintains reliability while transitioning to a clean energy future.

Yes, you will continue to receive the credit as an SJCE customer. You don’t need to do anything to receive it; it’s automatically applied to your bill. Learn more about the California Climate Credit.

Yes. The California Public Utilities Commission authorizes PG&E to collect fees (called public goods charges) from all customers to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy incentive programs. PG&E will still collect these fees and SJCE customers can receive these incentives and services. Learn more about Energy Efficiency incentives.

Yes. Since PG&E employee discounts are applied to the electricity delivery portion of electricity bills, former and current PG&E employees will continue to receive their employee discount after becoming SJCE customers.

If you have questions about San José Clean Energy you can call us toll free at 833-432-2454. Or email us at customerservice@sanjosecleanenergy.org. If you have questions about PG&E, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

Energy Choices

All customers are automatically enrolled in GreenSource, SJCE’s default electric generation service offering 55% renewable energy from solar and wind farms. Learn more about GreenSource.

You can join your neighbors in upgrading to TotalGreen, SJCE’s premium 100% renewable electric generation service at any time. You can enroll online or call us at 833-432-2454 with your PG&E account information (account number, last name or business name on the account, and service ZIP code) on hand.

TotalGreen is sourced entirely from solar energy while requiring no extra equipment.

SJCE introduced a new, low-cost GreenValue service option that is competitive with PG&E rates in May 2021. GreenValue provides 36% renewable energy and is SJCE’s lowest cost option for customers not enrolled in CARE or FERA financial assistance programs.

GreenValue is open to all customers. You can enroll any time online or by calling 833-432-2454 with your PG&E account information on hand.

Learn more about GreenValue.

SJCE is committed to increasing renewable energy content for all customers. In May 2021, SJCE introduced SJ Cares, a program that allows customers who are enrolled in state electricity financial assistance programs CARE (California Alternate Rates for Electricity) or FERA (Family Electric Rate Assistance) to pay the lowest generation charges (GreenValue) but remain under GreenSource service, receiving 55% renewable energy.
Existing CARE/FERA customers were automatically enrolled in SJ Cares – no action is needed. Customers are automatically enrolled in SJ Cares once they enroll in CARE or FERA.

For more information on SJ Cares, CARE, and FERA, visit our Discount Programs page.

Yes. All SJCE service options (GreenValue, GreenSource, and TotalGreen) are open to all customers, and you can switch your service whenever you choose. And if it’s not right for you, you can switch back to your previous service at no charge.

You can also decide to remain entirely with PG&E; please see our Terms and Conditions.

SJCE sources clean and renewable electricity for our customers. Our electricity products have a different percentage of renewable energy. GreenSource, our default product, is 55% renewable. You can choose to pay a small premium for TotalGreen and receive 100% renewable energy. TotalGreen costs the average home about $4 more per month than GreenSource. GreenValue is our lowest cost option and offers 36% renewable energy.

Yes. We report annually to the California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission. They verify the amount of renewable energy procured for our customers. This is the same verification standard used by other California utilities, including PG&E.

In addition, our 100% renewable product, TotalGreen is Green-e® Energy certified, and meets the environmental and consumer-protection standards set forth by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions. Learn more on our TotalGreen page.

San José Clean Energy buys its power from a number of suppliers and invests in new renewable resources. Sources of renewable and carbon-free power include California wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric power from the Pacific Northwest. Like all electricity providers in California, we will report the percentage of each eligible renewable technology to the California Energy Commission (CEC) on a yearly basis in the form of a power content label. You can find our Power Content Label on our Resources page and on the CEC’s website.

Clean energy is energy that emits little to no greenhouse gas emissions and includes renewable and carbon-free sources. This is in contrast to fossil fuels, which produce a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide and methane, which drive climate change. Renewable energy is energy that comes from resources that are naturally replenished such as sunlight and wind. Unlike fossil fuels, such as oil, natural gas, and coal, which cannot be replaced, renewable energy regenerates naturally in a short period of time. Nuclear power and even large hydropower are not considered renewable by California state law but do not emit greenhouse gas emissions, making them carbon-free sources of power.

  • Examples of renewable energy sources: wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and small hydropower
  • Examples of carbon-free energy sources: large hydropower and nuclear as well as all renewable energy resources listed above
  • Examples of fossil fuel energy sources: natural gas, coal, and oil

SJCE’s default GreenSource product contains 55% renewable energy from solar and wind, and 90% carbon-free power. GreenValue, SJCE’s new lowest cost option, offers 36% renewable energy and 80% carbon-free power. Customers can also upgrade to TotalGreen for 100% renewable energy, 100% carbon-free energy. Learn about the benefits of renewable energy.

According to the 2020 Joint Rate Mailer, PG&E’s base plan offered 29% renewable energy in 2019.

No – electric utilities worldwide buy power for their customers on an annual basis rather than hourly. So, a customer’s annual usage is summed up, and the utility ensures they procure enough renewable energy over the course of the year to meet their customers’ total usage.

That said, California is steering utilities towards an hourly accounting method – where usage is matched up with supply on an hour by hour basis – to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Solar production is abundant during the day, and wind is typically more abundant overnight. In the afternoon and evening, between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., demand is higher but renewable energy availability is lower. Dispatchable and baseload carbon-free energy sources and battery storage can be used to meet demand during this time and will become a progressively bigger part of the solution as these technologies progress and prices fall. Dispatchable sources provide energy on demand and can be turned on and off as needed. These resources typically include natural gas and battery storage. With battery storage, renewable energy generated during the day is stored and distributed during the evening peak hours. In the future, renewable fuels such as hydrogen may also help meet customer demand and replace natural gas plants.

If you are billed directly and have your own electric meter, yes, you can upgrade to TotalGreen. If you are billed through a property manager or landlord, then your apartment is likely submetered and you cannot individually upgrade to TotalGreen. However, the property manager could upgrade your building to TotalGreen.

Mobile home parks are generally billed as commercial customers with a master meter. Therefore, individual mobile homes cannot upgrade to TotalGreen or opt out of SJCE service. However, the property manager or equivalent could upgrade to TotalGreen or opt out of service. You can confirm what rate you’re on by looking at your PG&E bill if you receive one.

If you have questions about San José Clean Energy you can call us toll free at 833-432-2454 or email us at customerservice@sanjosecleanenergy.org. If you have questions about PG&E, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

Enrollment and Opting Out

State law requires that as we begin to implement our service, we contact our customers in writing a minimum of four times. We will do this starting two months before your service begins and for two months after.

Section 26.40.020 of the San José Municipal Code requires SJCE to notice customers about any upcoming rate increases above 5% 30-45 days prior to the City Council meeting when rates are to be considered.

Historically, PG&E has been the default power provider for most customers in San José. When state legislators passed California’s Community Choice Aggregation law, the default provider status was transferred from PG&E to a local community choice program like SJCE, if a program is in place. This is true throughout the State. In May 2017, the San José City Council voted to create San José Clean Energy.

California’s CCA law requires that SJCE is now the default provider of electric generation for customers within our service area, and that we operate as an “opt out” program. Customer choice is very important to us, so we provide four written notices—two before and two after enrollment—so that you can choose where your electricity comes from and how your dollars are spent.

Unfortunately, no. You can only participate in SJCE if your home or business address is located within the City of San José. But many other Bay Area communities are or will soon be served by a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program.

Refer to CalCCA’s website to see if your local community is served by a CCA.

If you have received an enrollment notice, you can choose to opt out. While we don’t want to lose you as a customer, you always have the choice to opt out. You can opt out online or by calling 833-432-2454.

There is no charge for opting out of SJCE.

If you opt out before starting SJCE service or within the first 60 days of service you may return at any time, free of charge. Customers who opt out after the first 60 days of service with SJCE are prohibited by California regulation from returning to SJCE for one year.

We began serving City-owned accounts in September 2018 and most San José residents and businesses in February 2019. The last customer group to be enrolled was our rooftop solar customers, who were enrolled in multiple phases in 2020 and 2021.

Rates and Billing

SJCE’s default electric generation service GreenSource is cleaner than PG&E standard service, with 26% more renewable energy, and costs 8% more than PG&E, or about $3-4 more per month for the average residential customer.

SJCE’s GreenValue service costs the same as PG&E but includes customer benefits like cleaner power, community programs, local control, and transparency and accountability.

SJCE’s premium service offering, TotalGreen, offers 100% renewable energy and costs the average residential home about $4 more per month than GreenSource (in total, about $8 more per month than PG&E).

We are committed to offering you rates that are stable and competitive. As a not-for-profit, we keep operating costs low by not having shareholders and maintaining a public service culture of customer accountability. Operational surpluses are reinvested into the community through competitive rates and programs.

For detailed rate information, please see our Residential Rates page and our Commercial Rates page.

No. PG&E must provide the same rates for all customers in its service area.

No. We work together with PG&E so you get just one bill from PG&E each month. San José Clean Energy charges are included as a line item for electricity generation on your PG&E bill. SJCE charges for sourcing the electricity you use. The charges for generation that previously went to PG&E instead go to SJCE – there are no duplicate charges for electricity generation. PG&E will continue to charge for transmitting and delivering electricity, along with a variety of other regulatory and program charges at the same rates they always have.

Yes, they do. Your electricity service has two parts: generation (the source of the electricity) and delivery (how it gets to your home). Generation is provided by SJCE or PG&E, while only PG&E provides delivery. So, everyone pays PG&E delivery charges.

The San José City Council sets SJCE rates.  Rates are developed, discussed, evaluated and approved at public meetings, where the public is welcome to speak and give feedback.

SJCE is committed to providing clean electricity at competitive rates. As a not-for-profit public agency, SJCE’s mission is to serve and benefit all of the residents and businesses in the City. We do not have shareholders that we need to serve, which helps us keep rates competitive. We work for you, our customers.

Section 26.40.020 of the San José Municipal Code requires SJCE to notice customers about any upcoming rate increase above 5% 30-45 days prior to the City Council meeting when rates are to be considered.

The Board is committed to providing the cleanest electricity at the most competitive prices possible. The price of electricity does fluctuate. As a public agency, SJCE’s mission is to serve and benefit all of the residents and businesses in the City. We do not have shareholders that we need to serve, which helps us keep rates competitive. We work for you, our customers.

All PG&E added fees – the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment, or PCIA, and Franchise Fee Surcharge – are factored into SJCE’s rate setting process so that, in total, SJCE service is priced competitively with PG&E. Both fees are calculated based on the number of kilowatt-hours used each month. All electricity customers in PG&E territory pay the PCIA fee, which PG&E uses to cover its above-market energy costs from its power plants and legacy energy contracts. (For customers receiving generation service from PG&E, the PCIA is embedded in their electricity rates.) The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) updates PG&E’s PCIA every year based on their projected costs and CPUC estimates of the value of their energy portfolio. PG&E’s PCIA has grown 900% since 2013, and as the PCIA has grown, SJCE has lowered its rates so that SJCE service remains competitive with PG&E.

The current regulatory system does not incentivize PG&E and other investor-owned utilities to keep operating costs down or maximize the value of their energy resources. Under state law, energy contract costs are only recoverable through the PCIA if the costs are unavoidable. It is the investor owned utilities’ responsibility to prudently manage their generation portfolios and take all reasonable steps to minimize above-market costs.

As of now, the CPUC has not set an expiration date for how long the PCIA can be charged to CCE customers. Community Choice Energy programs, including SJCE, are collectively advocating with the CPUC and Legislature for better PG&E management of its above-market costs.

PG&E assesses other fees such as non-bypassable charges and taxes exactly the same for customers receiving their electric generation service from SJCE or PG&E.

Your electricity service has always been split into two parts: generation (the source of the electricity) and delivery (how that gets to your home). Before SJCE launched in February 2019, everyone had just one choice for these services: PG&E. These services were bundled together under one “electric charges” line item on your bill.

Now, generation is provided by SJCE or PG&E – it’s your choice. Delivery is provided only by PG&E, so everyone pays the PG&E delivery charge, even if they’ve opted out of SJCE. And now on your bill, generation and delivery are split into separate line items.

SJCE does not currently offer a Balanced Payment Plan (BPP) or comparable budget billing program. Customers currently enrolled in PG&E’s BPP will remain on the program, however the BPP only applies to the PG&E (electricity delivery) portion of the bill.

SJCE only provides electricity generation; we are not involved in metering services. We don’t have any control over whether or not our customers receive Smart Meters from PG&E. If you wish to opt out of a Smart Meter, please contact PG&E directly at 1-800-743-5000.

As an SJCE customer, you will continue to receive one bill through PG&E. If you previously signed up for automatic bill pay, this will continue under SJCE – you don’t have to do a thing.

No. SmartRate is a program offered only to PG&E electricity generation customers.

Yes. State electricity bill discount programs CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline are available to SJCE customers, as well as PG&E customers, and provide the same discount regardless of which service you use. Customers enrolled in SJCE automatically continue to receive their CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline discount within their PG&E delivery charges; there is no need to reapply. New CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline enrollments or renewals must still be done through PG&E’s customer service center or website.

SJCE customers enrolled in CARE or FERA are automatically enrolled in SJ Cares and receive a higher renewable energy content (55%) at our lowest possible rates – essentially, GreenSource energy at GreenValue rates.

Learn more about these programs on our Discount Programs page.

Yes. As long as SJCE customers meet PG&E’s eligibility requirements, they can participate in Arrearage Management Plan (AMP). You can learn more about the AMP program on our Discount Programs page.

  • Try reducing your energy usage. Our Energy Efficiency page can help you find free resources and incentives to make your home more comfortable and efficient.
  • Consider changing your rate plan. There are two main types: tiered and time-of-use (TOU). Currently, 94% of San José homes are on tiered plans, where the price of electricity is based on how much is used and prices increase with higher energy use (tiers). The remainder are on time-of-use (TOU) plans, where the price of electricity is based on when it’s used.Most customers (approximately 75% of SJCE customers) would save on a TOU rate plan without changing any of their habits. However, further shifting your energy use to outside peak pricing periods, when the electric grid is the cleanest and cheapest, can help reduce your electricity bill even more.As part of a statewide initiative to ensure grid reliability and support clean energy, most residential customers are being transitioned to E-TOU-C (peak pricing 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. every day). This mean electricity will cost less before 4:00 p.m. and after 9:00 p.m. SJCE residential customers will transition in June 2021. To learn more about the upcoming transition including your options and bill protection, visit our TOU webpage.

SJCE rate plan options mirror PG&E’s. You can utilize PG&E’s Rate Comparison tool to determine the best rate plan for you. You can learn more, compare your usage on different plans, and choose a new rate plan at pge.com; PG&E will communicate your selection to us.

  • BayREN offers FREE energy saving kits to residents, which include products like LED light bulbs and advanced power strips. Just take a free online home energy evaluation to receive your kit.
  • See if you qualify for a bill discount program. Low-income households can receive discounts on their electricity bills through state programs.
  1. California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE): 30-35% discount on electricity
  2. Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA): 18% discount

Applications are handled through PG&E, but the full discounts also apply to SJCE customers. Learn more about state electricity discount programs.

Time-of-use (TOU) rate plans have varying prices for electricity throughout the day based on the time energy is being used. Electricity use is generally the highest in the evening from 4:00 p.m. to –9:00 p.m., also known as the “peak” period. This is the most expensive time for utilities to procure electricity and when renewable energy availability is lowest. The goal of TOU rate plans is to better reflect the true cost of procuring energy through price signals to the customer and to incentivize customers to use less energy during high-demand, peak hours. TOU rate plans also help ensure greater grid reliability, fight climate change, and support a cleaner and healthier energy future.

In 2015, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted a series of changes to residential rate structures to align rates with the actual cost of providing electricity service. One of these changes requires all electric utilities to automatically enroll (“transition”) most of its residential customers in a TOU rate by a certain date.

PG&E, SJCE, and Silicon Valley Clean Energy will transition most residential customers in June 2021.

Visit our TOU page for more information.

If you have questions about the San José Clean Energy portion of your bill, you can call us toll free at 833-432-2454 or email us at customerservice@sanjosecleanenergy.org. If you have questions about the rest of your PG&E bill, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

Bill Discount Programs (CARE, FERA, & Medical Baseline)

This State program is administered by PG&E and offers a monthly discount of 30%-35% on electricity and 20% on gas. Customers must qualify through income guidelines or be enrolled in select public assistance programs. SJCE customers are eligible for this state-funded program and must apply and reapply through PG&E.

Customers must renew eligibility every two years or every four years if customer is on a fixed income.

When applying you do not have to provide proof of income. However, at a later date you may be selected at random to provide proof of income.

If you have recently lost your job, even if you’re receiving unemployment benefits, you may qualify for the CARE program.

The CARE discount shows up on your next bill after enrollment.

If a customer does not qualify for the CARE program, they may still qualify for the FERA program.

This State program is administered by PG&E and offers an 18% discount on electricity only. This discount is specifically for households of three or more people who meet the income guidelines.

Customers must renew eligibility every two years. You will receive a letter and application from PG&E three months before the discount expires. If you still qualify under the income guidelines at that time, you can reapply.

When applying you do not have to provide proof of income. However, at a later date you may be selected at random to provide proof of income.

If you have recently lost your job, even if you’re receiving unemployment benefits, you may qualify for the FERA program.

Yes. As long as SJCE customers meet PG&E’s eligibility requirements, they can participate in Arrearage Management Plan (AMP). You can learn more about the AMP program on our Discount Programs page.

SJCE is committed to increasing renewable energy content for all customers. In May 2021, SJCE introduced SJ Cares, a program that allows customers who are enrolled in state electricity financial assistance programs CARE (California Alternate Rates for Electricity) or FERA (Family Electric Rate Assistance) to pay the lowest generation charges (GreenValue) but remain under GreenSource service, receiving 55% renewable energy.

Existing CARE/FERA customers were automatically enrolled in SJ Cares – no action is needed. Customers are automatically enrolled in SJ Cares once they enroll in CARE or FERA. For more information on SJ Cares, CARE, and FERA, visit our Discount Programs page.

This State program administered by PG&E is an assistance program for qualifying residential customers who have medical conditions that require special energy needs. Residents that qualify for Medical Baseline may receive an allowance of approximately 500 kWh of electricity and/or 25 therms of gas at the lowest rate each month based on medical condition and/or medical device.

You can qualify by completing the “Medical Baseline Allowance” application form and submitting it online or sending a complete application to the address below. Due to COVID-19 shelter-in-place requirements and changing medical practitioner priorities, customers applying for the program do not need a doctor’s signature. SJCE customers are eligible for Medical Baseline and must apply and reapply through PG&E.

Address:
PG&E
Attention: Medical Baseline
P.O. Box 8329
Stockton, CA 95208

Customers must re-certify after 1 year. You will be sent a reminder about new regulations and to re-certify.

  • Paraplegic, hemiplegic or quadriplegic condition
  • Multiple sclerosis with special heating and/or cooling needs
  • Scleroderma with special heating needs
  • Life-threatening illness or compromised immune system, and special heating and/or cooling are needed to sustain life or prevent medical deterioration
  • Asthma and/or sleep apnea
  • Motorized wheelchair/scooter
  • IPPB or CPAP machines
  • Respirator (all types)
  • Hemodialysis machine
  • Iron lung

Rooftop Solar and Electric Vehicles (EVs)

Yes. SJCE’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) program for solar and other distributed electricity generation systems (wind, biogas and fuel cells) is similar to PG&E’s, but with a few extra benefits.

SJCE enrolled residential and small commercial customers who installed their solar systems before February 2019 in four phases from April 2020 to January 2021. Learn more about our NEM program and your enrollment.

SJCE is a central pillar of Climate Smart San José, a people-centered plan for a low-carbon city that drastically increases the community’s energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy, and dramatically reduces car emissions, all while promoting living better today for tomorrow. Part of Climate Smart San José is a goal to make us the first city with 1 GW of solar distributed generation.

SJCE deferred enrollment of residential and small commercial customers with rooftop solar until 2020 to ensure that they can be enrolled into the program with minimal disruption to their NEM value and with as much time as possible to get comfortable with San José Clean Energy.

When an existing solar Net Energy Metering (NEM) customer is enrolled into a Community Choice Energy program like SJCE, PG&E requires them to true-up their account. This means that any current charges must be paid to PG&E and any current NEM credits are zeroed out. Because of this, most Community Choice Energy programs enroll solar customers on an extended timeline with multiple enrollment periods.

Learn more about our NEM enrollment on our Rooftop Solar page.

For most solar customers, no. SJCE’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) program is the same as PG&E’s NEM program, keeping customers’ return on investment of their systems the same:

  • SJCE provides all customers with full retail credit for their generation charges.
  • NEM credits carry over month to month but must be used within a single true-up period.
  • NEM credits offset the same charges.

SJCE’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) program is similar to PG&E’s, with a few benefits:

  • Option to be billed monthly or annually
  • Our Net Surplus Compensation rate is 25% higher than PG&E for customers that are annual net generators of power (set annually; view the current Net Surplus Compensation on our Rooftop Solar page)
  • Service by SJCE does not affect your rate plan or legacy NEM status, and SJCE honors all PG&E rate plans
  • Option to receive 100% renewable energy with TotalGreen
    • If you are a TotalGreen customer, the extra $0.01/kWh premium applies when you are drawing power from the grid as well as when you are generating power and sending it back to the grid.

When you enroll as a TotalGreen customer, you are helping bring more renewable energy onto the power grid. Customers may enroll in TotalGreen at any time using the form on our website or by calling 833-432-2454. TotalGreen costs the average home with solar about $3 more per month.

As a solar customer, the extra premium for TotalGreen applies when you are drawing power from the grid as well as when you are generating power and sending it back to the grid. So, the $0.01/kWh premium for TotalGreen applies to both your charges and your NEM credits. Your NEM credits are generally exported at more valuable Time of Use periods, so you may still zero out your bill, even if you import more power than you export.

PG&E adds a fee to SJCE customer bills called the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA). All electric consumers in PG&E territory pay the PCIA to cover PG&E’s above-market costs from legacy energy contracts and power plant operations (the PCIA is embedded in the electricity rate for customers receiving generation service from PG&E). SJCE’s rate setting always takes the PCIA into account so that rates stay competitive with PG&E.

Because many NEM customers were part of SJCE’s last enrollment phase, you may be charged a slightly different PCIA than other customers. To ensure all SJCE customers pay the same PCIA amount, we make a small adjustment (credit or charge) called the “PCIA Enrollment Year Adjustment” on the SJCE portion of your bill.

Yes. If you enroll with SJCE, you keep your NEM 1.0 status. The non-bypassable charges that NEM 2.0 customers must pay when they export power are distribution charges on the PG&E side of the bill, so SJCE treats NEM 1.0 and NEM 2.0 customers the same for all generation charges. If you later decide to opt out and remain entirely with PG&E, you still retain your NEM 1.0 status.

Yes. SJCE matches all active rates offered by PG&E and enrollment in a Community Choice Energy program like SJCE does not impact your eligibility in any way. If you later decide to opt out and remain entirely with PG&E, you would keep your E-6 rate, even though it is no longer offered to new customers.

When your electricity generation provider changes to SJCE or back to PG&E, both PG&E and SJCE will perform a settlement of your account’s net charges and credits (known as a “true-up”). This settlement will result in a balance due for any usage charges owed to-date, or alternatively any excess credits will be zeroed out.

Yes. By default, SJCE residential solar NEM customers receive monthly energy statements and a single annual true-up bill, but they can elect to receive an actual bill each month. Monthly billed solar customers will still not be able to carry NEM credits over between 12 month true-up periods, but they will pay for the generation charges they accrue each month.

Monthly billing will only apply to the SJCE generation charges, and PG&E will still employ an annual true-up bill for all distribution charges. Customers should consult with their solar company prior to selecting monthly billing, since under a monthly billing system, they may pay for charges they would otherwise have been able to offset with NEM credits later in the year.

One of the most important ways that SJCE will support local solar is through its upcoming programs and incentives. Other Community Choice Energy programs have helped promote electric vehicles, electric vehicle charging, battery storage, and building electrification. The more thoroughly we electrify and decarbonize our economy, the more economic value solar will have. If you are interested in the programs and incentives being developed and deployed by SJCE, please consider following our Community Advisory Commission. The Commission will play an important role in prioritizing and designing SJCE’s programs.

Once you’re enrolled in SJCE service, you’ll have two true-up dates: one with PG&E, who remains your provider for electric delivery, and one with SJCE, your new electricity generation provider.

Your PG&E true-up date will be the date of your enrollment with SJCE. On that date, your net charges and credits for electric delivery and non-bypassable charges will be settled.

Your SJCE true-up date will be your April billing date, when your net charges and credits for electric generation will be settled. For new customers, the annual true-up period for the first year will cover the period starting on the date that the customer began SJCE service through the customer’s April billing date. In cases where a new customer has received SJCE service for less than 10 billing cycles in their first annual true-up period, the annual true-up period will be extended to the following April billing date.

Customers with electric vehicles are eligible for specialized charging rates. If you are already enrolled in PG&E’s EV charging rate plan, these rates will continue to applicable once enrolled with SJCE. PG&E maintains all customer account information, so all rate change selections are still made through PG&E. If you would like to enroll on an EV rate, contact PG&E’s customer support line. Your rate selection will be communicated to us by PG&E.

View Residential Rates for peak, partial-peak, and off-peak EV charging rates.

Our EV rates incentivize customers to charge during low-demand periods; customers benefit from cheaper rates for doing so. Year round, charging should be minimized during peak hours as electricity is more expensive during these times.

On July 1, 2019, PG&E discontinued its EV-A rate and offered a new rate plan, EV-2. Time-of-use peak hours are from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. instead of 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

In November 2019, all EV-A customers were moved to the new rate, except for solar net energy metering (NEM) customers eligible for grandfathered treatment, who can refuse transition to EV-2. In addition, EV-B customers, who have a separate meter for their EV charging outlet, were not automatically moved to EV-2.

SJCE started offering a similar EV-2 rate in July 2019 with the same time-of-use periods. SJCE also mirrored the PG&E transition of EV to EV-2 in November 2019.

If you elected to enroll in the EV2-A rate through PG&E before the November transition, you were automatically transitioned to the SJCE EV-2 generation rate.

On July 1, 2019, PG&E discontinued its EV-A rate and offered a new rate plan, EV-2. SJCE offers a similar EV-2 rate with the same time-of-use periods.

Two customers group did not have to transition to EV-2:

  • EV-B customers, who have a separate meter for their EV charging outlet
  • Net energy metering (NEM) customers eligible for grandfathered treatment can refuse transition to EV-2.

All other EV-A customers were moved to the new rate in November 2019. SJCE mirrored the PG&E transition of EV to EV-2 in November 2019. Customers do not have to do anything.

If you elected to enroll in the EV-2 rate through PG&E before the November transition, you were automatically transitioned to the SJCE EV-2 generation rate.

If you have questions about San José Clean Energy you can call us toll free at 833-432-2454 or email us at customerservice@sanjosecleanenergy.org. If you have questions about PG&E, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

Commercial Customers

Direct Access (DA) customer accounts are not automatically enrolled with SJCE. DA customers in our service area will stay with their current DA provider, unless you choose to change providers and enroll in SJCE’s generation service.

SJCE’s commercial rate schedules “parallel” PG&E rate schedules and apply to generation-related charges only. For instance, SJCE maintains an equivalent schedule for all current commercial rate schedules (e.g. A-1, A-10, E-19) provided by PG&E. This includes time-of-use and NEM rate schedules.

SJCE rate schedules describe only the generation-related charges. By law, PG&E delivery charges remain the same, whether you receive generation services from SJCE or PG&E.

Yes, but only slightly. Large commercial energy customers are usually on rate schedules that have demand charges, which have generation, distribution and transmission-related components. Demand charges are based on peak monthly kilowatt demand for a given interval. The distribution and transmission portion of the demand charge remains unchanged with PG&E, because it’s on the current PG&E rate schedule. The rate for the generation portion of the demand charge is set by SJCE.

As part of a larger change to Time of Use periods, PG&E will be discontinuing its Peak Day Pricing Program in the near future. SJCE is currently evaluating its own demand response programs. If you are interested in participating in a pilot Demand Response program, or are concerned about a loss of value from the discontinuation of Peak Day Pricing, please contact info@sanjosecleanenergy.org, and our Account Services team will get in touch with you.

You can remain on the same rate schedule, including closed rate schedules such as E-6, regardless of a transition to or from service with SJCE. There are only a few rate schedules that are not open to SJCE customers, such as SmartRate and Peak Day Pricing.

PG&E Power Shutoffs

During PG&E’s power shutoff events, also known as Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events, PG&E can shut off power to their distribution and transmission lines (also known as de-energizing) to prevent their equipment from starting a wildfire. Power could remain off for multiple days.

In May 2019, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) gave PG&E full discretion in deciding whether to call a power shutoff, though PG&E is directed to work with the relevant local government agencies to communicate in advance about the possibility of de-energization and during a power shutoff. This means the City of San José or other government agencies are not able to stop a power shutoff from happening.

PG&E will use a number of factors determine whether to call a power shutoff event, including

  • Low humidity levels
  • Forecasted high winds
  • A Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service
  • Condition of dry material on the ground and vegetation near lines
  • On-the-ground, real-time observations

This year, PG&E’s decision-making process is evolving to also account for the presence of trees tall enough to strike power lines.

The CPUC has identified the areas surrounding San José as elevated fire-threat, with some parts as extreme fire-threat.

If PG&E shuts off power to one of its transmission lines, the South Bay could be affected. PG&E’s transmission and distribution lines pass through areas surrounding San José that the CPUC has identified as elevated fire-threat, with some parts as extreme fire-threat.

Since everyone in San José is a PG&E customer for electric delivery, anyone could be impacted by a PG&E PSPS if power is shut off in your area.

San José Clean Energy provides electric generation service only, while PG&E provides electric delivery and owns, operates and maintains all transmission and distribution infrastructure.

No. In May 2019, the California Public Utilities Commission gave PG&E full discretion in deciding whether to call PSPS events. This means the City of San José or other government agencies are not able to stop a PSPS from happening.

If possible, PG&E has indicated it will warn customers 48 and 24 hours in advance through emails, calls and text messages. It’s important to make sure your contact information with PG&E is up-to-date. Visit www.pge.com/psps to update it.

As soon it has PSPS information from PG&E, the City of San José will also inform residents and businesses through Nextdoor, Twitter, Facebook, and alert notifications to mobile devices and emails.

Call 1-866-743-6589 or visit www.pge.com/psps to update your contact information or create an online profile.

PG&E estimates PSPS events could last as long as seven days, depending on the heat, humidity, and wind.

If PG&E shuts off power to one of its transmission lines, the outage could last longer and a larger part of the South Bay could be affected.

PG&E anticipates that PSPS events could occur several times per year in its service area, but it is impossible to predict when and where they will occur.

From PG&E’s website www.pge.com/psps:

First, make sure your contact information with PG&E is up-to-date so you can get advance notice (if possible) of a PSPS. Visit www.pge.com/psps to update it

Second, create an emergency plan that accounts for all family member needs for a multi-day power shutoff, including:

  • Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers
  • Plan for any medical needs like medications that need to be refrigerated or devices that require power
  • Know how to manually open your garage door
  • Ensure any backup generators are ready to safely operate

Ultimately, PG&E has full discretion to evaluate real-time and on the ground information to determine whether to call a PSPS. PG&E said these factors can include: red flag warnings (weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior), low humidity levels, forecasted sustained winds above 25 mph, wind gusts in excess of approximately 45 mph, and condition of dry fuel.

If PG&E shuts off a powerline, all customers who receive power from that line would be affected.

PG&E’s website says it will notify Medical Baseline customers based on their preferred contact method before a PSPS. PG&E said if it doesn’t speak to you or a family member directly, or receive confirmation of the email or text they send, they will follow up with a phone call. If a phone call is not successful, PG&E says it will make every effort to attempt to notify you in person at your address.

On its website (www.pge.com/psps), PG&E asks all customers, including Medical Baseline customers, to develop an emergency plan.

PG&E has indicated it may open customer resource centers during a PSPS event to provide information, water, and charging for small devices. PG&E has indicated it will not be a shelter or cooling center.

Your solar system will probably NOT be producing electricity during a PSPS event, unless you have a special inverter or battery storage. This is because utility rules mandate that in the event of a power outage, solar arrays must automatically shut down to ensure repair crew safety. During an outage, the power utility sends out crews to repair powerlines; a solar array would leak power onto grid lines and endanger them.

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