EBCE and Clearway Energy Group Announce Partnership to Support Local COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Grants totaling $250,000 will help fund community-based organizations serving East Bay residents and businesses and supply personal protective equipment for frontline workers in Alameda County

OAKLAND, CA – East Bay Community Energy (“EBCE”) and Clearway Energy Group (“Clearway”) announced the distribution of a community benefit fund to support COVID-19 relief efforts in Alameda County. The grants, totaling $250,000, have been allocated to more than two dozen community-based organizations and will also enable the purchase of personal protective equipment for area frontline workers and at-risk community members.

In 2019, EBCE signed a power purchase agreement for a portion of Clearway’s 192 MW Rosamond Central solar energy project currently under construction. At the time, EBCE and Clearway also established a community benefit fund to invest in Alameda County, which is now being deployed to meet today’s urgent need for support.

These community donations during the COVID-19 crisis include:

• $140,000 in grants to Alameda County-based organizations that provide support for energy or utility bills, food security, rent, and health and wellness.

• $50,000 towards the purchase of masks and hand sanitizer to be distributed to community members in need and frontline workers in Alameda County.

• $60,000 in additional donations that have yet to be allocated.

“As a mission-driven public agency, our top priority is to provide vital resources to the communities we serve–particularly those that are historically underserved. This partnership, where we are building a new renewable energy project and delivering critical investments in our community, is something we see as a model for the energy transition,” said Nick Chaset, Chief Executive Officer.

“This crisis has shown us the essential and heroic role of all those working to deliver food, medical resources, and relief to those in need,” said Patrick Sullivan, Clearway’s vice president of development. “With so many of our employees calling the Bay Area – and the East Bay in particular – home, we are humbled to play a small part in supporting organizations and relief efforts in our own community.”

A complete list of grant recipients from this funding appears below.

1. Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
2. Bay Area Community Services (BACS)
3. Centerville Free Dining Room
4. Centro Legal De la Raza
5. Choices for Freedom
6. City Slicker Farms
7. Creating New Hope
8. Drivers for Survivors
9. East Bay Agency for Children
10. East Bay FeedER
11. Easterseals Northern California
12. Eden Area Interfaith Council
13. Healthy Communities, Inc/Healthy Oakland
14. Hively
15. Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay
16. LifeLong Medical Care
17. Local Ecology and Agriculture Fremont (LEAF)
18. Mercy Retirement & Care Center’s Mercy Brown Bag Program
19. Mujeres Unidas y Activas
20. Oakland Communities United for Equity & Justice – Self-Help Hunger Program
21. Partners for Change Tri-Valley
22. Prospera Community Development
23. Re-plate, Inc
24. Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments
25. Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County
26. Spectrum Community Services
27. St. Mary’s Center
28. The Berkeley Food Network

For more information on EBCE’s COVID-19 relief efforts, please visit https://ebce.org/covid.

###

About East Bay Community Energy (EBCE)
EBCE is a not-for-profit public agency that operates a Community Choice Energy program for Alameda County and eleven incorporated cities, serving more than 550,000 residential and commercial customers throughout the county. EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and will expand to the cities of Pleasanton, Newark, and Tracy in 2021. As one of 19 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California, EBCE is part of the movement to expedite the climate action goals of their communities and those of California. EBCE is committed to providing clean power at competitive rates while reinvesting in our local communities. For more information about East Bay Community Energy, visit https://ebce.org/.

About Clearway Energy Group
Clearway Energy Group is accelerating the world’s transformation to a clean energy future. With more than 4.3 gigawatts of solar and wind energy assets in 25 states and a development pipeline across the country, we are offsetting the equivalent of nearly 9 million tons of carbon emissions for our customers. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, CA with offices in Carlsbad, CA; Scottsdale, AZ; Houston, TX; and New York, NY. For more information, visit www.clearwayenergygroup.com.

CONTACT
Dan Lieberman
925-579-1592
dlieberman@ebce.org

EBCE Encourages Customers to Enroll in Energy Bill Discount Program

The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, that provides up to 35% off electric bills, is available for furloughed and laid-off workers

Oakland, Calif. (May 5, 2020) – East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) launched a campaign today aimed at increasing the number of local residents enrolled in energy discount programs. The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program provides low-income customers up to a 35 percent discount on their electric bill and a 20 percent discount on their natural gas bill. Eligibility for the program is based on household income and is open to recently furloughed and laid-off workers. EBCE’s campaign includes print and digital advertising, a web page with original content, social media, targeted email, communications through city newsletters, and more.

This campaign is part of EBCE’s current efforts to provide financial relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. EBCE has already committed over $1.5 million to the cities they serve and to local charities. Details available at https://ebce.org/covid/.

“Many customers in the East Bay struggle to pay their bills, and this has only gotten worse during the pandemic, as our economy has slowed and some people have lost their jobs. EBCE wants low-income customers, as well as customers who have recently been laid off or furloughed, to access the significant discounts that are available to them on their energy bills,” said EBCE CEO Nick Chaset.

This is not East Bay Community Energy’s first campaign to enroll customers in income-qualifying discount programs. In 2019, EBCE solicited and funded community outreach efforts by Spectrum Community Services, Inc based in Hayward, and California Interfaith Power and Light (CIPL) based in Oakland to enroll customers in CARE and Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) programs.

For more information on the CARE program, please visit https://ebce.org/care/.

###

About East Bay Community Energy (EBCE)
EBCE is a not-for-profit public agency that operates a Community Choice Energy program for Alameda County and eleven incorporated cities, serving more than 550,000 residential and commercial customers throughout the county. EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and will expand to the cities of Pleasanton, Newark, and Tracy in 2021. As one of 19 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California, EBCE is part of the movement to expedite the climate action goals of their communities and those of California. EBCE is committed to providing clean power at competitive rates while reinvesting in our local communities. For more information about East Bay Community Energy, visit https://ebce.org/.

CONTACT
Dan Lieberman
925-579-1591
dlieberman@ebce.org

EBCE Awards $220,000 in Grants to Support Local COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Funds will help community-based organizations serving East Bay residents and businesses

Oakland, Calif. (April 30, 2020) – East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) has taken several immediate actions to help our communities during the COVID-19 crisis, including the launch of a grant solicitation for community-based organizations (CBOs) serving EBCE residents and/or businesses. Twenty-two organizations were each awarded grants of $10,000 to address immediate relief efforts related to assistance in energy or utility bills, food security, rent support, and health and wellness.

A complete list of grant recipients from this round of funding appears below.

Maureen Silva, Director of Development and Innovation at Mandela Partners, said, “Mandela Partners recognized early on in this pandemic that food-insecure residents and our small business community would be hardest hit, especially in under-resourced neighborhoods of Alameda County. This generous support from East Bay Community Energy allows us to immediately respond through our free produce and meal distribution service, and uplift the economic vitality of the family farmers we work with by sourcing produce directly from them.”

In addition to addressing food insecurity, EBCE also awarded local organizations prioritizing the accessibility of health services. “Tri-City Health Center continues to be at the forefront in helping address COVID-19 in southern Alameda County. With support from East Bay Community Energy, we will be able to provide emergency rental assistance and financial support for basic needs for patients who are low-income, suffering from financial hardship, and are facing potential eviction from a missed rental payment due to the pandemic,” said Marc Gannon, COO of Tri-City Health Center.

Additionally, EBCE is now embarking on an outreach campaign to help spread the word about how low-income customers can get discounted energy bills. EBCE will be offering a webinar and other informational materials on programs that offer assistance to eligible residential customers on their energy bill. The California Alternate Rates for Energy Program (CARE) program offers a monthly discount of 35% on electricity and 20% on natural gas. The Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA) offers a monthly discount of 18% on electricity only. Participants in these programs qualify through income guidelines or if enrolled in certain public assistance programs. Information is available at ebce.org/care.

List of Grant Recipients:

Abode Services: Abode will assist in supporting utility bills for clients who are unable to pay them on time, support and subsidize rent for clients housed by Abode, provide food for food insecure clients, and provide shelter, transportation, and linkage to medical care for clients who are sick and who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Adamika Village: Adamika Village has been leading the charge in organizing the Oakland Frontline Healers, a collection of 20+ Black nonprofits in the flat land communities of Oakland. Adamika Village seeks to provide care packages and referral to services including their own in-house licensed therapist.
Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS): BOSS develops solutions to mass homelessness, mass incarceration, and community violence. Grant funds will be used to serve those experiencing homelessness, people of disabilities, and very low income by keeping stock on cleaning and PPE supplies and providing updates from health depts.
Center for Elders’ Independence: Funds will be used to expand CEI’s Healthy Meals for Frail Seniors program, ensuring that participants eat nutritious food regularly, maintain a healthy weight, avoid additional health problems, and live at home safely and independently.
Cornerstone Community Development Corporation: The mission of Building Futures with Women and Children is to build communities with underserved women and children, where they are safely and supportively housed, free from homelessness and domestic violence. Funds will be used for rent stabilization and wellness efforts.
Covenant House California: In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Covenant House CA is working hard to maintain and increase the level of service they provide to youth experiencing homelessness. Funds will be used to expand medical facilities in their shelters and increase access to programs such as the Rapid Rehousing program.
Daily Bowl: Daily Bowl rescues excess edible blemished fresh and prepared food from farmers’ markets, restaurant distributors, farms, co-ops, ethnic grocery stores, institutional kitchens, hospitals, restaurants, and catering companies. They distribute this resource to various non-profit agencies across Southern and Central Alameda County to feed the people who are hungry and vulnerable.
East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC): EBALDC provides affordable housing options and robust social and financial consulting services. SparkPoint Oakland provides financial and workforce services with a set of partners for low to moderate-income (LMI) Oakland residents, such as transitioning resident finances online.
East Oakland Grocery Coop: In response to our community’s dire need for food resources, the East Oakland Grocery Cooperative (EOGC) and partners will come together to increase weekly food and resource distribution services in Oakland, via delivery and pick-up.
Eden Housing: Eden Housing works to maintain affordable housing communities for lower-income families, seniors, and persons with disabilities. They have created an emergency “Tenant Relief Fund” to offset the cost of rent and expanded services for our most at-risk low-income residents.
Eden I&R: Eden I&R’s largest program, 211 Alameda County, is a free, three-digit phone number that connects callers with a live Phone Resource Specialist 24/7 for health, housing, and human services information. Funds will be used to expand their services to best serve Alameda County.
First Presbyterian Church of Hayward: First Presbyterian Church of Hayward supports nearly 2,000 people in the Hayward-Castro Valley (Eden) area. Funds will be used to meet urgent medical needs among the houseless community and increase health and safety precautions for their overnight shelters, especially amidst this pandemic.
Fremont Family Resource Center Corporation: Fremont Family Resource Center provides quality services for the Fremont community such as tax preparation, mental health services, child care support, and homeless service assistance. Funds will be allocated to support families with their energy/ utility bills and meal programs.
Healthy Black Families, Inc.: Founded in Berkeley in 2013, Healthy Black Families, Inc. (HBF) is one of few Black women-led organizations dedicated to providing culturally relevant peer support to African American women and their families. Funds will be used to cover rent, basic needs such as groceries, and health and wellness equipment for households.
Mandela Partners: For 15+ years, Mandela Partners has been leading health and wealth building initiatives to ensure that under-resourced regional farmers gain access to markets, low-income low-access residents gain access to healthy food, workers have dignified jobs opportunities, and local entrepreneurs have access to the resources and support needed to build intergenerational wealth. Funds will be used to provide free produce boxes and meal kits at relief partners sites.
NorCal Resilience Network: NorCal Resilience Network is leveraging their existing coalition of organizations and Resilience Hubs program to address critical food security needs that can scale up and replicate in a number of communities through their new program: Produce for the People. Funds will be used for expanding their garden efforts, food distribution and supplies, and scaling up.
Pacific Center for Human Growth: Pacific Center is a respected, grass-roots non-profit organization that has been serving LGBTQ youth, adults, and seniors in Alameda County, as well as the surrounding counties. Funds will go towards the cost associated with running their programs and services virtually, including therapy sessions and peer support groups.
Street Level Health Project: Street Level Health Project has been responsive to the needs of day laborers, low-to-no income uninsured, under-insured, and recently arrived immigrants. Funds will be used to support their food distribution programs, mental health consultations, and other existing services such as their hotline number providing advice on food assistance and translation support for Mam speakers.
Sunflower Hill: Sunflower Hill is dedicated to building independent residential communities for adults with developmental disabilities. Funds will go to maintaining the Sunflower Hill Garden for the purpose of harvesting and donating produce. Additionally, staff will work collaboratively to develop creative virtual options to keep their program participants engaged and connected.
The Davis Street Community Center: Davis Street is a multi-service organization, supporting children, families, seniors, and individuals in need throughout San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Castro Valley, Ashland, and the Eden Area. Funds will be used to purchase food, cleaning supplies, and protective equipment for their food bank.
Tri-City Health Center (TCHC): TCHC supports patients in need of emergency rental assistance suffering from financial hardship or potential eviction. Funds will also support patients most at-risk, enrolled in the HIV Care Program that provides comprehensive HIV services, case management, medication support, early intervention services, access to behavioral health care, and assistance with housing, food, and other basic needs.
Tri-Valley Haven for Women (TVH): Tri-Valley Haven’s mission is to create homes free from abuse and poverty and ensuring vital services are accessible during the COVID-19 outbreak. Funds will be used to provide groceries for families and individuals in economic need as well as providing financial support for the TVH staff overseeing the largest food pantry in the Tri-Valley.

For more information on EBCE’s COVID-19 relief efforts, please visit https://ebce.org/covid.

###

About East Bay Community Energy (EBCE)
EBCE is a not-for-profit public agency that operates a Community Choice Energy program for Alameda County and eleven incorporated cities, serving more than 550,000 residential and commercial customers throughout the county. EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and will expand to the cities of Pleasanton, Newark, and Tracy in 2021. As one of 19 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California, EBCE is part of the movement to expedite the climate action goals of their communities and those of California. EBCE is committed to providing clean power at competitive rates while reinvesting in our local communities. For more information about East Bay Community Energy, visit ebce.org.

CONTACT
Dan Lieberman
925-579-1592
dlieberman@ebce.org

How Bay Area “Community Choice” energy programs are supporting us during COVID-19

Source: Sierra Club

While many of us are stuck inside, it is likely that our energy usage has changed. For others who have lost work in this crisis, paying your electric bill may now be a concern. To help navigate your energy resources during this confusing time, we’ve collected the responses of local Bay Area Community Choice energy providers — East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), MCE, and CleanPowerSF — to COVID-19 in one place. Hopefully this helps those of you concerned about changes in service, as well as providing information about additional customer support and protections that are being implemented in response to the pandemic.

Across the board, these efforts are a strong response to the pandemic, and reflect how we can support one another in these trying times. In responding to COVID-19, we need to be working to make a down payment on a regenerative economy, and our local Community Choice energy programs have shown themselves to be leaders in modeling the compassionate future we need to build together.

East Bay Community Energy (EBCE)

Covers: Alameda County

Resource: ebce.org/covid

East Bay Community Energy (or EBCE) covers most of Alameda County and has taken a strong stance in supporting its customers through the pandemic. They have suspended bill collection activities at least through May and have stopped the return of non-paying customers to PG&E.  EBCE is also working to implement flexible payment plans for customers impacted by the pandemic.

EBCE has also committed to financially responding to this crisis through both direct contributions and grants. They will be contributing over $1,000,000 to the relief efforts of the communities they serve and have approved $70,000 in grants to local support programs at both the Alameda County Community Food Bank and Meals on Wheels of Alameda County. They are encouraging other able businesses to similarly support their communities and have launched a corporate match program for donations, with a goal of raising $1 million in April.

EBCE has also allocated over $300,000 in additional funds for grants to community-based organizations serving residents and/or businesses impacted by COVID-19 in their service area.

CleanPowerSF

Covers: San Francisco

Resource: cleanpowersf.org/covid-19

Firstly, if you are unable to pay your electricity bill as a result of COVID-19’s impact, CleanPowerSF will not shut off your power. Like EBCE, they will no longer be returning their customers to PG&E service as a result of late payment. This suspension will be in effect until at least May 13. They will also be offering flexible payment plans to support those struggling during the pandemic, which can be arranged by calling 1-800-743-5000.

CleanPowerSF is encouraging customers who qualify for monthly discounts on their electricity bills through programs like California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE), where households can save 20 percent or more each month, to explore those options.

On top of that, CleanPowerSF customers will be receiving a $35.73 credit on their April electricity bills as part of the bi-annual California Climate Credit program, which may help alleviate the burden of this month’s bill.

MCE

Covers: Marin and Napa Counties, unincorporated Contra Costa County, unincorporated Solano County

Resource: mcecleanenergy.org/news/energy-affordability-covid-19

Along with EBCE and CleanPowerSF, MCE has suspended the return of non-paying customers back to PG&E service, and is suspending collections activities until further notice. They are also holding planned events remotely.

They have also done a great job of collecting the resources available for reducing your energy bill, which can be accessed here. This includes information on the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) and Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) programs, and the Medical Baseline Allowance, which provides financial assistance for customers with special energy needs due to qualifying medical conditions, among others.

Corporate Partners Double EBCE’s Donation to Local Food Charities

EBCE’s Board allocated $70,000 to Alameda County Community Food Bank and Meals-on-Wheels of Alameda County, and local businesses more than doubled that donation

Oakland, Calif. (updated April 23, 2020) – As part of East Bay Community Energy’s (EBCE) recent $1.5 million commitment to funding local COVID-19 relief efforts, the public power agency committed $70,000 to split between Alameda County Community Food Bank and Meals-on-Wheels of Alameda County. Shortly after that announcement, EBCE turned to its large electricity customers and other business partners to participate in the fundraising effort. After two weeks, the amount of contributions has more than doubled thanks to the generosity of:

    Barclays
    Boehringer Ingelheim
    NextEra Energy Resources
    River City Bank / Kelly Foundation
    Schnitzer Steel
    Vistra Energy

The total contribution now stands at $152,500.

“Since the COVID-19 emergency took hold, we have experienced a 1,000 percent increase in calls to our emergency food helpline – more than half of which are coming from households that have never reached out for help before,” says Suzan Bateson, Executive Director of Alameda County Community Food Bank. “The communities impacted hardest by this emergency are those we’re already serving, including low-income workers, vulnerable seniors and families with children. We are preparing for a prolonged response and will need to rely on our partners for the duration of this crisis, and beyond. We’re extremely grateful to East Bay Community Energy and their customers who have stepped up to nourish our neighborhoods during this time of need.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic and California’s shelter in place order has compelled more seniors to turn to our Meals on Wheels programs for reliable nourishment. More than 300 seniors, an unprecedented number, have signed up to receive meals in the last 30 days. EBCE’s willingness to call on their corporate customers to match their support during this precarious time is remarkable. We are thankful to be given the ability to continue delivering meals to 2,700 homebound seniors across the county.” said Marisa P. Melo, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Alameda County

EBCE would like to thank those companies for their financial support of these two vitally important local food charities.

We encourage readers to contribute if you are able. The links below are to the donation pages.
Alameda County Community Food Bank
Meals on Wheels of Alameda County

For more information on EBCE’s COVID-19 relief efforts, please visit https://ebce.org/covid

###

About East Bay Community Energy (EBCE)
EBCE is a not-for-profit public agency that operates a Community Choice Energy program for Alameda County and eleven incorporated cities, serving more than 550,000 residential and commercial customers throughout the county. EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and will expand to the cities of Pleasanton, Newark, and Tracy in 2021. As one of 19 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California, EBCE is part of the movement to expedite the climate action goals of their communities and those of California. EBCE is committed to providing clean power at competitive rates while reinvesting in our local communities. For more information about East Bay Community Energy, visit https://ebce.org/.

CONTACT

Dan Lieberman
925-579-1591
dlieberman@ebce.org

PG&E proposes lithium-ion battery projects to replace Oakland fossil fuel plant

Source: Utility Dive

Dive Brief:
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is tapping into two lithium-ion battery storage projects — totaling 43.25 MW/173 MWh —​ to address reliability needs in the Oakland area, the utility said in an application filed with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Wednesday.

The projects are part of the Oakland Clean Energy Initiative, a “first-of-its-kind” utility-community choice aggregator (CCA) collaboration aimed at promoting clean energy alternatives in the region, and replacing a 165 MW jet fuel power plant that’s been in operation for 40 years.

The projects are part of the larger shift away from traditional generation and transmission to more distributed energy resources, PG&E spokesperson Paul Doherty told Utility Dive.​ If approved by the CPUC, PG&E expects that they will be operational by the first quarter of 2022.

Dive Insight:
The projects are an environmentally conscious reliability solution for the Oakland community, which has been identified by the California Environmental Protection Agency as having one of the worst pollution profiles in the Bay area, Doherty said.

The region is currently served by the Oakland Power Plant, operated by Vistra Energy subsidiary Dynegy Oakland, which holds a reliability must-run contract from the California Independent System Operator. The system operator has identified the plant’s retirement as a risk to transmission reliability in the region, PG&E said in a previous press release.

“There’s been widespread support and this solution really does a number of things —​ it’s going to improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it supports local jobs and provides continued service reliability. And then, it enables the retirement of an aging fossil generation power plant,” he said.

The Oakland Clean Energy Initiative, launched by PG&E and local CCA East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), addresses this problem with “a novel approach to grid reliability,” Doherty said.

“[It] uses targeted distributed energy resource deployment —​ so targeted energy storage —​ and then investment in the surrounding grid infrastructure,” he said, adding that the whole initiative is intended to replace the Oakland Power Plant at some point in the near future.

PG&E and EBCE issued a request for offers for the project in early 2018, which resulted in PG&E selecting two storage projects —​ a 36.25 MW battery system developed by Dynegy, which will be located on the site of the Oakland Power Plant, and a 7 MW project operated by Tierra Robles Energy Storage. Both systems have a four-hour duration.

The initiative is a first-of-its-kind utility-CCA collaboration, Doherty said.

Both EBCE and PG&E will be tapping into the same battery projects, but using them for different reasons.​ While EBCE is using the resources to participate in the CAISO markets, PG&E has signed local area reliability services agreements with the projects, which requires them to be constructed at a location where they can be electronically connected to specific distribution substations.

Howard Chang, chief operating officer at EBCE, agreed that the collaboration is “pretty unique.” Although PG&E and EBCE negotiated their contracts separately, they are each contingent on the other moving forward, he said.

“The ball is really in CPUC’s court to approve those contracts with PG&E,” he said.

Vistra expects that its battery project will be operational by January 2022, the company announced in a press release, adding that it plans to eventually retire the Oakland Power Plant and build more storage projects on its site.

PG&E in 2018 also applied for approval of four energy storage projects, with a collective capacity of 567 MW, to meet reliability needs. This includes a 182.5 MW Tesla battery project at its Moss Landing substation, which is expected to come online in the first quarter of 2021.

Vistra Announces Expansion of Previously Announced Oakland Battery Energy Storage Facility

Planned urban battery storage system capacity to increase by more than 80 percent

OAKLAND, CA — April 15, 2020 — Vistra (NYSE: VST) today announced that it is increasing the size of its battery energy storage project located at the site of its Oakland Power Plant. The battery will now have a capacity of 36.25 megawatts/145 megawatt-hours instead of the previously announced capacity of 20 MW/80 MWh. Vistra anticipates the battery storage project will enter commercial operations by January 2022.

The project has received necessary approvals from East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), a Community Choice Energy provider, and from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). EBCE approved an amended contract to receive the larger resource adequacy capacity from the project, while PG&E approved a new Local Area Reliability Service Agreement to ensure grid reliability as part of the Oakland Clean Energy Initiative. PG&E is awaiting approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

“We are excited to build on our original partnership with East Bay Community Energy and PG&E,” said Curt Morgan, president and CEO of Vistra. “We believe battery energy storage will play an increasingly key role in the reliability of the electric system, and this project represents a shining example of that view. Vistra is proud to be able to provide clean energy to the residents of Oakland while, at the same time, helping the city meet its sustainability goals.”

East Bay Community Energy CEO Nick Chaset said, “Adding an additional 16.25 MW of battery storage capacity in downtown Oakland is a win for EBCE, our customers, reliability of the electric grid, and local air quality. We’re pleased to participate in clean energy developments that help us meet our resource adequacy obligations while creating local benefits for the communities we serve.”

The battery system will be a partial replacement for the aging 165-MW jet fuel-fired plant, which is currently on a Reliability Must-Run contract with the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).

Vistra plans to eventually retire the existing units at Oakland Power Plant and develop additional energy storage projects on the site in the future.

Vistra is a market leader in utility-scale battery development: its 10-MW/42-MWh Upton 2 Battery Storage Facility came online in December 2018 and is the largest in Texas, while its 300-MW/1,200- MWh Moss Landing battery project is currently under construction in California and slated to be complete later this year. When the Moss Landing battery storage system comes online, it will be the largest battery of its kind in the world.

###

About Vistra
Vistra (NYSE: VST) is a premier, integrated, Fortune 350 energy company based in Irving, Texas, providing essential resources for customers, commerce, and communities. Vistra combines an innovative, customer-centric approach to retail with safe, reliable, diverse, and efficient power generation. The company brings its products and services to market in 20 states and the District of Columbia, including six of the seven competitive markets in the U.S. and markets in Canada and Japan, as well. Serving nearly 5 million residential, commercial, and industrial retail customers with electricity and natural gas, Vistra is the largest competitive residential electricity provider in the country and offers over 40 renewable energy plans. The company is also the largest competitive power generator in the U.S. with a capacity of approximately 39,000 megawatts powered by a diverse portfolio, including natural gas, nuclear, solar, and battery energy storage facilities. In addition, the company is a large purchaser of wind power. The company is currently constructing a 300-MW/1,200- MWh battery energy storage system in Moss Landing, California, which will be the largest of its kind in the world when it comes online. Vistra is guided by four core principles: we do business the right way, we work as a team, we compete to win, and we care about our stakeholders, including our customers, our communities where we work and live, our employees, and our investors. Learn more about Vistra’s environmental, social, and governance efforts and read the company’s sustainability report at https://www.vistraenergy.com/sustainability/.

About East Bay Community Energy (EBCE)
EBCE is a not-for-profit public agency that operates a Community Choice Energy program for Alameda County and eleven incorporated cities, serving more than 550,000 residential and commercial customers throughout the county. EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and will expand to the cities of Pleasanton, Newark, and Tracy in 2021. As one of 19 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California, EBCE is part of the movement to expedite the climate action goals of their communities and those of California. EBCE is committed to providing clean power at competitive rates while reinvesting in our local communities. For more information about East Bay Community Energy, visit https://ebce.org/.

MEDIA

Meranda Cohn
Media.Relations@vistraenergy.com
214-875-8004

Dan Lieberman
dlieberman@ebce.org
925-579-1591

EBCE Launches $1.5 Million COVID-19 Relief Effort

The public power agency expands its financial support to cities, local charities to help combat the COVID-19 crisis

Oakland, Calif. (April 2, 2020) – East Bay Community Energy has expanded its commitment to funding local COVID-19 relief efforts and has now earmarked $1.5 million toward community relief efforts in Alameda County. 

“I directed our management team to identify any possible opportunities in the current budget to repurpose as contributions for COVID-19 relief efforts” said EBCE’s CEO, Nick Chaset. “This is clearly a crisis time for residents and local businesses, and if EBCE has any resources available to help, then by all means that is what we’re going to do, and we’re doing it immediately. ”

EBCE launched a website that will catalog its relief efforts, available at: https://ebce.org/covid

Some of those efforts include:

  • Temporarily Suspending Customer Collection Activities and Offering Flexible Customer Payment Plans: EBCE has suspended the return of non-paying customers back to PG&E service and is suspending collections activities through at least May 2020. EBCE is also working to implement flexible payment plans for customers impacted by the Covid19 crisis.
  • Community Relief Funding: EBCE will contribute $1,100,000 to the twelve communities we serve to support their community relief efforts. 
  • Corporate Partners Donation Initiative: EBCE is spearheading an initiative soliciting donations from our largest customers, with a goal of raising $1 million in April for the County food bank and Meals on Wheels programs. 
  • Donation to Local Food Agencies: EBCE’s board approved $70,000 in grants to local support programs at Alameda County Community Food Bank and Meals-on-Wheels of Alameda County.
  • Community Grant Funds: EBCE has allocated over $300,000 in additional funds to use for community grants in our response to COVID-19, and is developing effective strategies to utilize these funds.

We encourage readers to visit our COVID-19 response website and contribute if you are able. 

###

About East Bay Community Energy (EBCE)
EBCE is a not-for-profit public agency that operates a Community Choice Energy program for Alameda County and eleven incorporated cities, serving more than 550,000 residential and commercial customers throughout the county. EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and will expand to the cities of Pleasanton, Newark, and Tracy in 2021. As one of 19 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California, EBCE is part of the movement to expedite the climate action goals of their communities and those of California. EBCE is committed to providing clean power at competitive rates while reinvesting in our local communities. For more information about East Bay Community Energy, visit https://ebce.org/.

CONTACT

Dan Lieberman
925-579-1591
dlieberman@ebce.org

EBCE Temporarily Suspends Customer Collection Activities

EBCE is dedicated to serving all customers, regardless of their ability to pay, during the COVID-19 pandemic

Oakland, Calif. (March 20, 2020) – Given the current public health emergency caused by COVID-19 and the associated financial strain to many households and businesses, EBCE has suspended the return of non-paying customers back to PG&E service and is suspending collections activities. As the local community choice energy program and electricity service provider for most of Alameda County, EBCE does not ever shut off power to customers. During normal operations, after providing notices and a grace period to non-paying customers, EBCE eventually returns these customers back to PG&E service. As of today, all of EBCE’s collections and customer return activities have been suspended.

“This is an important time to support our community and put health and safety first.” said EBCE’s CEO, Nick Chaset. “As a critical service provider for our community, EBCE is looking at ways to help those that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Our staff continues to fulfill our duties while working from home, our call center is still available during business hours, and we are working to reduce negative impacts for our customers.”

EBCE is taking numerous actions to follow local guidelines for shelter in place and to support our customers:

  • EBCE’s scheduled Board of Directors meetings will be held remotely. Customers can participate and participate in meetings via online conferencing. Details are providing prior to meetings at https://ebce.org/public-meetings/.
  • At last night’s special meeting, EBCE’s board approved up to $70,000 in grants to local support programs such as the Alameda County Community Food Bank and Meals-on-Wheels of Alameda County. EBCE encourages companies, organizations, and individuals who are able to do so to also make contributions to local businesses and support programs. To donate to these two agencies, please visit: https://donate.accfb.org/ and https://www.feedingseniors.org/givetoday
  • EBCE’s office is closed and staff are working remotely to continue to serve customers.

For information regarding PG&E’s recent press release regarding a moratorium on power shut-offs due to nonpayment, please visit their website here.

###

About East Bay Community Energy (EBCE)
EBCE is a not-for-profit public agency that operates a Community Choice Energy program for Alameda County and eleven incorporated cities, serving more than 550,000 residential and commercial customers throughout the county. EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and will expand to the cities of Tracy, Pleasanton, and Newark in 2021. As one of 19 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California, EBCE is part of the movement to expedite the climate action goals of their communities and those of California. EBCE is committed to providing clean power at competitive rates while reinvesting in our local communities. For more information about East Bay Community Energy, visit https://ebce.org/

CONTACT

Annie Henderson
510-640-9681
ahenderson@ebce.org

Local Power Agency Makes $4.7 Million Repayment to Alameda County

Oakland, CA (February 26, 2019) – East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) is the new electricity provider for most of Alameda County, including Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Piedmont, Oakland, San Leandro, and Union City as well as unincorporated areas of the county. EBCE began serving commercial customers in June 2018 and serving residential customers in November 2018 with cleaner energy and lower rates. After only eight months of operation, EBCE is fully repaying its advance of start-up funding from Alameda County in the amount of $4.7 million. County Supervisor and EBCE Board Chair, Scott Haggerty, a champion of EBCE since its inception, says “We’ve worked for many years on this effort to provide cleaner power to our local communities. This milestone shows the effectiveness of EBCE’s management and marks the start of an exciting transition to clean power.”

EBCE needed start-up resources in order to begin operations, and the County provided both start-up funding and staff support. The County Board of Supervisors originally approved the Community Choice Energy program in November 2016 and entered an agreement with EBCE in April 2017 to lend up to $5.5 million to the new agency. EBCE is now operational, has a staff of 20, and is supplying power to over 550,000 residential and commercial customers throughout the County. To date, EBCE estimates it has saved customers over $3 million in electricity costs by offering lower rates for cleaner power. EBCE operates through revenue it receives from sales of electricity; it does not rely on any taxpayer funding.

At a meeting on February 26th, several members of the EBCE Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, Nick Chaset, presented the repayment and thanked the Board of Supervisors, the County Administrator, the Community Development Agency, and the Auditor’s office for their coordinated efforts and forward thinking in making community choice a reality in Alameda County. Also in attendance were EBCE Directors Dianne Martinez (Emeryville Council Member), Lily Mei (Mayor of Fremont), Ed Hernandez (San Leandro Council Member), and Anne Olivia Eldred (EBCE Community Advisory Committee Chair).

###

About EBCE

EBCE is the local electricity provider created by the votes of 11 City Councils and the County of Alameda Board of Supervisors to provide low cost, cleaner power to our community. Launching to residential customers in November 2018, EBCE joined 19 other Community Choice Energy programs operating across California.

EBCE Media Contact

Annie Henderson
ahenderson@ebce.org
510-640-9681

Left to right: EBCE Board Clerk – Stephanie Cabrera; Supervisor Richard Valle; Emeryville Council Member – Dianne Martinez; San Leandro Council Member – Ed Hernandez; EBCE COO – Howard Chang; EBCE Community Advisory Committee Chair – Anne Olivia Eldred; Fremont Mayor – Lily Mei; EBCE CEO – Nick Chaset; Supervisor Scott Haggerty; Supervisor Wilma Chan; Supervisor Nate Miley; County Administrator – Susan M. Muranishi; Director of Community Development Agency – Chris Bazar; Supervisor Haggerty Chief of Staff – Shawn Wilson; and County Senior Planner – Bruce Jensen.

Left to right: EBCE CEO – Nick Chaset; Director of Community Development Agency – Chris Bazar; County Senior Planner – Bruce Jensen; and EBCE COO – Howard Chang