Girish Balachandran Receives 2023 City Champion Award

Girish Balachandran Receives 2023 City Champion Award

Santa Clara County Cities Association Recognizes Local Energy Leadership and Innovation

Mountain View, Calif. – The Cities Association of Santa Clara County (CASCC) awarded Girish Balachandran, Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) CEO, as the 2023 Champion of the Year. The CASCC Champion of the Year award recognizes one elected official and one community leader for their leadership and committed service to Santa Clara County cities. Balachandran was selected to receive the community leader award for his successful leadership of SVCE, the local clean energy agency, since 2018.

“Girish has led SVCE with excellence over the last six years. He has grown the organization, led through the COVID-19 pandemic, and brought the agency to financial stability and strength while achieving its mission of providing clean electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes and corporations within its vast service area,” said Margaret Abe-Koga, CASCC Board Chair, SVCE Board Member and City of Mountain View Councilmember. “He has shown great talent in working with diverse agencies and board members, which has enabled SVCE to successfully contribute to each city’s drastic reduction of carbon emissions. With Girish’s leadership, SVCE has become a premier community choice energy agency in the State of California, and he has been a leader himself in the local energy movement. We are so fortunate and grateful to have had Girish at the helm for the last six years.”

Chair Abe-Koga presented the award to Balachandran at the CASCC 33rd Annual Holiday Party on December 14.

“I am honored to receive the 2023 Champion of the Year award,” said Girish Balachandran, SVCE CEO. “Our agencies share a unique history, as CASCC was a catalyst in the formation of SVCE. During that time, local leaders recognized the need to cut regional carbon emissions and I have been inspired by the unwavering commitment of these communities to a clean energy future. Working with smart and dedicated elected officials serving on the SVCE Board since inception, and leading smart and passionate SVCE employees, makes this work a pleasure. Having member agency staff and community members also contribute to our success makes this award a reflection of all our hard work.”

Under Girish’s tenure, SVCE has maintained competitive and stable rates, resulting in customers saving more than $100 million on their electricity bills. Girish also guided the development of a Decarbonization Strategy and Programs Roadmap, that set a course for the agency to go beyond supplying clean electricity and competitive rates to also reduce the use of fossil fuels for transportation and buildings. With these efforts, member communities have reduced energy-related emissions by 23% from 2015, and SVCE has invested over $3.6 billion for 20 renewable energy contracts, adding new clean power to the California grid.

Additional SVCE achievements made under Balachandran’s leadership can be found in the recently published SVCE Impact Report. Balachandran announced his retirement earlier this year and Monica Padilla was selected to lead SVCE beginning in spring 2024.


About Silicon Valley Clean Energy
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a not-for-profit, community-owned agency providing clean electricity from renewable and carbon-free sources to more than 272,000 residential and commercial customers in 13 Santa Clara County jurisdictions. As a public agency, net revenues are returned to the community to keep rates competitive and promote clean energy programs. Silicon Valley Clean Energy is advancing innovative solutions to fight climate change by decarbonizing the grid, transportation, and buildings. Learn more at

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