FAQs

What is MCE?

MCE is a public, not-for-profit electricity provider that gives all PG&E electric customers (residential, commercial, and municipal) the choice of having 60% to 100% of their electricity supplied from clean, renewable sources—such as solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal, and hydroelectric—at competitive rates. We were formed in 2008, following six years of careful study and development, and [...]

By |November 21st, 2015||

Why was I enrolled in MCE’s generation service?

Historically, investor-owned utilities have been the default service provider to customers in their jurisdictions. However, in 2002, when state legislators passed California’s Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) law, this default status was transferred from the investor-owned utility to the local community choice aggregator (CCA) when available. MCE is California’s first operating CCA program. The original CCA [...]

By |November 21st, 2015||

Am I in MCE’s service area?

MCE's service area includes all of Marin and Napa Counties, unincorporated Contra Costa County, unincorporated Solano County and the Cities and Towns of Benicia, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Pinole, Pittsburg, Richmond, San Pablo, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek.

By |November 21st, 2015||

Is the renewable energy in my MCE service transmitted directly to my home or business?

No. MCE buys and builds cleaner electricity sources. This electricity is fed onto the statewide shared electric grid and then moves down the path of least resistance to customers. This is why accounting is important. Clean energy is accounted through contracts and renewable energy certificates that confer the “renewable attributes” of that energy. It needs [...]

By |November 21st, 2015||

Does MCE offer a Net Energy Metering (NEM) program?

Yes. MCE's Net Energy Metering (NEM) program credits rooftop solar customers for the excess electricity they send back to the grid. Net metering allows customers to turn their meters backwards and receive credit at times when their solar systems generate more power than is used on-site. NEM customers are charged when they use more power [...]

By |August 23rd, 2016||

How does MCE procure power?

We have short and long-term contracts with a variety of power suppliers to meet the energy needs of our customers. Each year, we host an “open season” process where developers or owners of renewable energy projects can propose contracts. We also operate a Feed-In Tariff program, through which local developers can create and sell small [...]

By |August 30th, 2016||

How is MCE financed?

MCE is financed by the revenues received from our customers based on the electricity they consume. MCE is self-funded and does not use any tax dollars. MCE is a not-for-profit public agency which ensures that any financial benefits directly serve the community.

By |November 21st, 2015||

Are any tax dollars used to finance or operate MCE?

No, MCE does not receive tax dollars. MCE is funded by the revenue received from our customers based on the electricity they use.

By |November 21st, 2015||

Do MCE’s member cities and county assume any financial risk or obligation for participating in MCE?

No. The cities and counties have firewalled their general funds through the formation of a Joint Powers Authority (JPA). The debts and liabilities of the JPA do not extend to the member cities and counties. This firewall is protected by state law.

By |November 21st, 2015||

Does the MCE Board of Directors receive a salary or other payment or benefits?

No. The Directors are not paid by MCE. The MCE Board of Directors is comprised of elected city and county officials representing each of the communities that MCE serves.

By |November 21st, 2015||

How does MCE set its rates?

The MCE Board of Directors sets electric generation rates for our customers. We value public participation and transparency, which is why our rates are developed, discussed, evaluated, and approved at public meetings right here in San Rafael. We invite you to attend and give us your feedback. Rate-setting typically occurs on an annual basis, and [...]

By |August 30th, 2016||

How does the PG&E Budget Billing option work with MCE?

If you are a customer who uses the Budget Billing (previously called Balanced Payment Plan) option with PG&E, you will continue to receive your gas and electric delivery charges from PG&E in the Budget Billing form. However, your electric generation charges from MCE will not be included in your Budget Billing calculation and will vary [...]

By |August 30th, 2016||

Will I still receive CARE or FERA with MCE?

Yes. MCE customers enrolled in CARE and/or FERA will continue to receive their discount; there is no need to reapply with MCE. New CARE and FERA enrollments or renewals are done through PG&E’s customer service center or website. If you think you may be eligible to receive a CARE and/or FERA discount and would like [...]

By |August 30th, 2016||

Will I still receive my Medical Baseline Allowance with MCE?

Yes. MCE customers enrolled Medical Baseline Allowance will continue to receive their full discount; there is no need to reapply with MCE. New Medical Baseline Allowance enrollments or renewals are done through PG&E’s customer service center or website. If you believe you are eligible for the Medical Baseline Allowance program and would like to sign [...]

By |August 30th, 2016||

Can PG&E set delivery rates that are higher for MCE customers than for non-MCE customers?

No. PG&E must provide the same delivery rates for all customers in their service area whether or not they receive electricity from MCE or another third-party energy service provider.

By |August 30th, 2016||

Can I choose MCE now if I’m not already a customer?

Yes. Any resident or business in MCE’s service area can choose MCE’s renewable energy service. This includes: Marin and Napa Counties, unincorporated Contra Costa County, unincorporated Solano County and the Cities and Towns of Benicia, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Pinole, Pittsburg, Richmond, San Pablo, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek. To check [...]

By |November 21st, 2015||

I moved to a new address. How do I sign up?

Establishing service is easy. Contact PG&E one week before you will need service at your new address to schedule an appointment: 1 (800) 743-5000 or visit PG&E's website. Customers starting new electric service accounts in our service area will start with our Light Green 60% renewable energy. We will mail you two notices within the [...]

By |November 21st, 2015||

Do I have to keep MCE as my electric provider if I live in its service area?

No. MCE supports your power to choose! Any customer may opt out of MCE service in order to choose PG&E service. The choice is yours.

By |November 21st, 2015||

Can I return to MCE after I opt out?

Customers who opt out before starting MCE service or within the first 60 days of MCE service may return to MCE service at any time. Customers who opt out after the first 60 days of service with MCE will be prohibited by PG&E from returning to MCE for one year.

By |November 21st, 2015||

Is there a fee to opt out?

There is no charge for opting out of MCE before or within the first 60 days of service. After the first 60 days of service, MCE will charge a one-time $5 (residential) or $25 (commercial) administrative fee.

By |November 21st, 2015||

Where does MCE get its electricity from?

Our energy is mostly produced from non-polluting, renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, and bioenergy. The projects that produce our electricity are located in California, the Pacific Northwest, and Colorado. The exact proportion of each varies with time, based on demand and availability. For example, MCE may use a higher proportion of hydroelectric [...]

By |November 21st, 2015||

How do I know that MCE is actually procuring 60% or 100% renewable energy on my behalf?

We are required to report to the California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission on an annual basis to verify the amount of renewable energy procured for our customers. This is the same standard used by other California utilities, such as PG&E, for verification purposes. Learn more about MCE's verified renewable energy procurement from [...]

By |November 21st, 2015||

What are renewable energy certificates?

Renewable energy certificates, or “RECs,” are accounting mechanisms used to track renewable energy production and provide proof that electricity has been generated from an eligible renewable energy resource and delivered to the electric grid. One REC represents one megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable energy. This system allows utilities to document their progress towards sustainability goals, [...]

By |November 21st, 2015||

How can I tell if I’m enrolled in MCE’s Light Green or Deep Green service?

If you are an MCE customer the front page of your PG&E bill will include a line item called “MCE Electric Generation Charges.” If you are a Deep Green customer, you will see a line item called “Deep Green” on the “Details of MCE Electric Generation Charges” page of your bill that shows the extra [...]

By |November 21st, 2015||

Does MCE replace PG&E?

No. PG&E continues to provide all gas services, electric delivery, billing, and power line maintenance. MCE only replaces the electric generation services with 60-100% renewable energy at competitive rates.

By |November 21st, 2015||

I still receive bills from PG&E. Am I a PG&E or MCE customer?

All MCE customers are still PG&E customers. PG&E provides electric delivery services for MCE customers, like meter reading and power line maintenance. PG&E will continue to send your electric bill, which will include MCE electric generation charges. MCE’s electric generation charges replace PG&E’s electric generation charges and account for the source of your energy. MCE [...]

By |November 21st, 2015||

Are MCE customers still required to have a PG&E SmartMeter?

Electricity meters continue to be owned and read by PG&E. Therefore, MCE does not have any control over whether or not our customers receive SmartMeters from PG&E.

By |November 21st, 2015||

Who governs and administers MCE?

MCE is governed by a 28-member Board of Directors representing each of the member communities that it serves. MCE's local government structure ensures public transparency. The Board conducts its business in monthly meetings that are always open to the public. For more information about our Board and Committee meetings, please see the Meeting Archive.

By |November 21st, 2015||

What is Community Choice Aggregation?

When California deregulated the energy market in 1997, many Californians switched to alternative energy providers. Following the energy crisis of 2000-01, consumer choice of electricity providers was suspended. As a response to the closing of the open market, Assembly Bill 117 was passed in 2002 to establish Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), which offers an opportunity [...]

By |November 21st, 2015||

How do I sign up for Deep Green 100% renewable energy?

Sign up for Deep Green online or by phone at 1 (888) 632-3674. Please have your PG&E bill account information on hand to complete your enrollment.

By |November 21st, 2015||