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Community Choice Energy Will Help San Jose Chart A More Sustainable Future

All too often, calls for environmental sustainability resemble a doctor’s prescription, urging that we indulge less, sweat more, and take bad-tasting medicine. Fortunately, life sometimes gives us happier options. On May 16, the San Jose City Council voted to establish a Community Choice Energy (CCE) program, which will enable our residents and businesses to choose the source of their electricity. By becoming the largest U.S. city to do so, we will save consumers money, boost our renewable energy supply, and invest in energy efficiency projects. For decades, San Jose consumers have purchased their electricity from an investor-owned utility, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). CCE programs offer our residents a choice, by providing an alternative source of wholesale energy purchases, while PG&E continues distributing the electricity through its own power lines, and handling all billing. Residents can then choose to purchase their electricity from the local CCE, or “opt out” to PG&E, after comparing rates, environmental benefits, rebates, and other criteria. […]