February 8, 2019

Press Release

People walking through arch next to Lake Merritt at sunset

East Bay Community Energy Saves Alameda County Customers $3M in First 6 Months of Service

Alameda County, CA (February 7, 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, Union City as well as unincorporated areas of the county. EBCE’s standard service, called Bright Choice, costs 1.5% less than what is charged by PG&E. Scott Haggerty, Alameda County District 1 Supervisor and Chair of the Board, explains, “EBCE customers on the standard Bright Choice service, save money on their electricity bills each month compared to what they would have paid to PG&E even after factoring in PG&E’s Power Charge Indifference Adjustment exit fee. As a result, customers in Alameda County have saved nearly $3 million since EBCE service began in June 2018.”

EBCE serves more than 550,000 accounts across the county, which represent a population of nearly 1.4 million people. Residents were automatically enrolled in the service based on local city councils voting to join the EBCE program.

The PG&E bill can be confusing, and many residents may think they are being double charged or that their bill has increased. EBCE’s charge is a new item on PG&E bills, but it replaces what PG&E would have charged customers for generation service. On the PG&E portion of the bill, residents will still see electric “Transmission” and “Distribution” delivery charges from PG&E, which have always been a part of the bill. They will also see a “Generation Credit” from PG&E for not buying their electricity and a “Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA),” or exit fee, from PG&E. On the EBCE portion of the bill, residents will see “Generation Charges” for the cleaner electricity procured by EBCE. EBCE has factored in the PCIA charge into its rate so that EBCE’s generation charges plus the PCIA fee are still lower than with PG&E.

If residents are finding that their most recent bill seems high, they should be aware that during the winter months it is common for energy usage to increase due to heating needs. Therefore, when comparing bills, it is important to consider the season and additional usage. In addition, residents should review the electric and natural gas portions of their bill separately. If they have gas heating, then their natural gas bill may be higher than it was in the warmer months.

EBCE has a sample bill online at ebce.org/understand-your-bill with instructions on how customers can compare EBCE charges to what they would have paid with PG&E. Here’s the quick math:

  • Write down the “Generation Credit” from the PG&E Delivery portion of your bill. That’s what PG&E would have charged you for generation service.

  • Now, calculate what you actually paid for generation service. Write down the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment and Franchise Fee (on the PG&E Delivery portion) amounts, and the Net Charges from the EBCE Generation page of your bill. Add those three items together.

  • Compare the Generation Credit (what you would have paid) to the sum of the three EBCE-related charges (what you actually paid).

For customers on Bright Choice, the Generation Credit is greater than EBCE-related charges, showing the money you saved. For customers on Brilliant 100 (sourced from 100% carbon-free power including hydropower), the two numbers are equal. For customers on Renewable 100 (sourced from 100% renewable energy from wind and solar), the EBCE-related charges are a bit higher (1¢ per kilowatt-hour).

Customers are encouraged to contact EBCE with questions by calling 1-833-699-EBCE (3223) – customers can speak with a live representative from 7 AM to 7 PM Monday through Friday. For more information about EBCE, visit ebce.org.

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 became joined 19 other Community Choice Energy programs across operating across California. Monthly board meetings are open to the public, and the list of Board Directors can be found at ebce.org/who-we-are.

EBCE Media Contact

Annie Henderson