MONTEREY, Calif. - Monterey Bay is taking carbon off the grid.
Starting Thursday, agriculture and industrial commercial companies are going to use electricity generated by renewable sources. Residents in 16 cities will have access to such power by this summer.
Robert Frischmuth is a PG&E customer.
“I pay extra to have 100 percent greenhouse gas-free, now when July comes, I will have for basically a lower rate, ... 100 percent greenhouse gas-free,“ Frischmuth said.
The electricity will be coming from carbon-free sources delivered by Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP).
Monterey Bay Community Power is a Community Choice Energy agency established by local communities to source carbon-free electricity for Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. As a locally controlled nonprofit, MBCP supports Tri-County economic vitality by providing "clean energy at a cost equivalent to or lower than PG&E, supporting low-income rate payers, and funding local renewable energy projects."
MBCP will be delivering its electricity over existing PG&E power lines. The only change customers are expected to see is a minimum 3 percent reduction on their bills
“Of course that 3 percent may be going up in future years as we collect enough money to put in reserves. Then we will be able to free up whatever additional money we have that we can give back to customers in programs as well as rebates,” Habashi said.
In 2013, having a regional power authority was just an idea.
“The launch of Monterey Bay Community Power represents the single biggest move our region can make to address climate change short of everyone getting out of their cars,” said Santa Cruz County Supervisor Bruce McPherson.
Having a community agency also means residents will have a say on where their electricity comes from.
Del Ray Oaks and King City are the only two cities in the area not taking part in the program.
For details on services, click here.