Get Smart about Energy™


We suggest that all financial speculation pertaining to the formation of MEA be discarded.

The completion of their power purchase agreements and the publishing of the Marin Clean Energy 2012 Electric Rates eliminates all the speculation on rates. As we enter the third year of operations, rate comparisons are a matter of historical fact, one that each user can review and decide on for themselves.

In additions, as the board sets rates for 2013, addressing the new flat generation rate models from PG&E, we will see that comparing figures is getting simpler.

It is important that readers understand that there are two components to a rate payers electricity bill. Each is independently regulated.

a) The energy generation component - regulated CPUC
b) The energy distribution component - regulated CAISO

The Marin Clean Energy Plan ONLY affects the energy generation component of the electricity bill. We say this as PG&E, no matter which energy generation supplier you decide on, will continue to deliver your electricity. They will bill you for your electricity and service the electrical power lines. All this is done at the rates set by the CAISO regulatory authority. Unlike unregulated competitive markets, PG&E may not alter of prefer the rates charged to rate payers for their source of generation. They may not penalize them for being MEA customers, or offer "additional" financial incentives to influence customer choice.

We have organized this section as a Question and Answer session - if you have a question not answered please use the contact us form above to ask?

Q - How do the electricity generation rates of PG&E compare to MEA?
A - The electricity rates from PG&E are competitive to those of the Marin Energy Authority

Q - What will happen to future energy generation rates?
A - MEA has not been able to match PG&E's rates in the first two years. But no one could have projected the dramtic cuts on natural gas prices. An examination of the flat rates schedule proposed for 2013 shows that MEA will be competitive to PG&E in 2013, while offering a superior product and continued rate stability.

Both parties claim that their rates after 5 years will reflect the efficiencies of clean renewable energy. PG&E claim that large scale projects will be more efficient than local projects. MEA claim that local projects are more efficient than central projects and the profit margins PG&E are required to deliver to their shareholders.

Q - Are there costs to a rate payer for changing electricity generation supplier, now and later?
A - The costs of changing electricity generation suppliers are subject to tight regulations. There are no costs for transferring an account back to PG&E during the notice period. If a customer of MEA wants to transfer their account to PG&E after the notice period, either during the first 5 years or at any time thereafter, there is an administrative fee of $5.00 for residential rate payers and $25.00 for commercial rate payers.

Financial Summary by Open4Energy
We have read the contracts for energy supply, the business plan of MEA, and attended public board meetings of the authority and are satisfied that all the following claims are reasonable. We have declined to publish the PG&E negative comments as they have been proven to be without any factual support.

Marin Clean Energy claims to be competitive to PG&E for superior service; MCE rates are likely to remain competitive, but there is a cost of renewable energy which will need to be paid for in some way.

MEA’s low overhead and not-for-profit structure reduces costs. MEA is a public agency and therefore has access to tax-exempt financing for energy assets. PG&E, as a private entity, does not have such access.

MEA is a public agency and does not have shareholders to pay whereas PG&E must ensure profit for its shareholders.

MCE will provide rate stability and greater local control of rate setting.

MEA’s public board is motivated solely by the provision of public benefit, not private profit.

Over the long term, history has proven that competition in the market place leads to lower prices and higher quality  products. A review of the energy market in Marin for the last two years, considering PG&E customers, and MEA customers indicated that competitive market forces are working as hoped!