Debate Over Rates Stalls SF Clean Power Plan

Dispute over what CleanPowerSF rates would fund delays program.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    A key decision for CleanPowerSF -- a program wherein San Francisco utility customers would be provided an alternative to the PG&E monopoly -- has been delayed thanks to a debate over funding for future clean energy projects, according to reports.

    Approved last year, CleanPowerSF will allow customers to purchase pricier, 100 percent renewable energy -- but the maximum rate for that energy has yet to be determined.

    The local Public Utilities Commission was slated Monday to make a decision over the maximum rate but booted that choice down the road to April 23, the San Francisco Examiner reported, while environmentalists squabble over what large-scale renewable energy projects the program might fund.

    Confusing? It's like this: participating utility customers will see an extra $10.24 to $29.78 per month on their bills beginning in October, when the program is scheduled to begin. That will pay for power purchased from Shell, the only company found to provide the renewable energy. That money, however, can then be used to build wind farms, solar farms -- in other worlds, to build the city's own renewable energy.

    The PUC will create and present a build-out plan at its April 23 meeting, but program advocates warned that a hard-line stance from environmentalists could jeopardize the entire program.