FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2021
Press Contact: Jenna Famular | Marketing & Communications Manager
Cost-Relief Focuses on Customers Most Financially Impacted by COVID
SAN RAFAEL and CONCORD, Calif. — On March 18, 2021, MCE’s Board of Directors approved up to $10 million as part of MCE’s 2021-2022 fiscal year budget to be used for cost-relief to MCE’s vulnerable residential and small business customers. This program will launch in April, 2021 and offer bill credits to eligible customers, supporting up to 65,000 residential and 20,000 small business customers.
The first year of COVID has resulted in many challenges for customers, including financial hardship. MCE has not raised its electricity generation rates since 2019 and has no plans to do so in 2021. However, with the continued COVID economy and other rising energy costs, there is an increased need to support our most vulnerable customers and contribute to local economic stability.
MCE’s program targets customers who have been the most financially impacted by COVID. MCE will be offering $10 monthly bill credits to residential customers and $22 monthly bill credits to small businesses, representing an average 15% and 6% bill savings respectively. The most vulnerable customers, who have fallen behind on their bills will be automatically enrolled in the program. Eligible customers include residential customers enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) or Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) discount programs, and small businesses on the A1, A1X or B1 rate.
“We know that the last 12 months have been difficult for our customers and MCE has focused on supporting our communities,” said Shanelle Scales-Preston, MCE Board Director and City of Pittsburg councilmember. “We’re excited to launch this cost-relief program to ease the burden on our most vulnerable populations. As a not-for-profit public agency, our goal first and foremost is to support those customers who need it most. This program is one additional way we’re demonstrating our commitment.”
This program is part of MCE’s on-going COVID relief efforts which include suspension of collections; direct outreach to customers to encourage enrollment in existing discount and utility bill assistance programs; early participation in the Arrearage Management Program in partnership with PG&E; an education and awareness program to spread the word about community resources and programs for financial assistance; free EV charging at MCE’s San Rafael office; and distribution of 100 portable back-up batteries to medically vulnerable customers prior to the 2020 Public Safety Power Shutoff Season. MCE also recently launched two new webpages providing a comprehensive list of COVID support resources for residential and small business customers.
Customers who are eligible for MCE’s new cost-relief program can complete an interest form on MCE’s website. The program will officially launch in April. To see a complete list of assistance programs, please visit MCE’s website at mceCleanEnergy.org/lowerbill.
About MCE: As California’s first Community Choice Aggregation Program, MCE is a groundbreaking, not-for-profit, public agency that has been setting the standard for energy innovation in our communities since 2010. MCE offers cleaner power at stable rates, significantly reducing energy-related greenhouse emissions and enabling millions of dollars of reinvestment in local energy programs. MCE is a load-serving entity supporting a 1,200 MW peak load. MCE provides electricity service to more than 480,000 customer accounts and more than one million residents and businesses in 36 member communities across four Bay Area counties: Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, and Solano. For more information about MCE, visit mceCleanEnergy.org, or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.