San José Clean Energy’s Solar Access Program Now Reducing Energy Bills for Customers with Low Incomes by up to 55%
New program ensures equitable and affordable access to clean energy for over 800 customers
SAN JOSE, Calif. (August 8, 2022) – San José Clean Energy (SJCE) is thrilled to announce the success of its first community solar program. Solar Access demonstrates SJCE’s commitment to providing affordable clean energy resources to residents who need it most. The program offers more than 800 customers 100% solar energy at a 20% discount, which can be combined with other monthly discounts for up to 55% savings. The average Solar Access customer is saving $32 per bill and some save over $100 each month.
The new program enables customers who rent their home, cannot afford to install solar, or whose home is not suitable for solar to benefit from utility scale clean energy at a discount. SJCE sources the solar energy for customers and there is no solar panel installation or equipment required. Eligible customers can apply to be added to the program’s waitlist and as spots become available, customers will be enrolled on a first come, first served basis. Applications are accepted online, by mail, or by phone at 833-432-2454.
“I want to thank San José Clean Energy for their leadership in implementing a program like this for our residents,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “Too many of our communities are disproportionately burdened by climate change and higher utility bills. Solar Access addresses this by providing clean electricity at a discount.”
SJCE partnered with local community-based organizations to ensure all eligible customers had an opportunity to hear about the program and apply, including those without internet or who speak other languages. Partners included the International Children’s Assistance Network, Mujeres Empresarias Tomando Accion, and the Alviso Community Fund. Watch this video to hear directly from partners and a Solar Access customer. The Solar Access outreach campaign is a finalist for a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion award from the California Association of Public Information Officials. Over 80% of applications were submitted by phone or direct mail and over 40% of applicants speak Vietnamese or Spanish.
“Programs like Solar Access are one of the many benefits of Community Choice Aggregation,” said Lori Mitchell, Director of the Community Energy Department, which operates SJCE. “We are committed to working with the community to keep the needs of our customers at the forefront as we transition to a clean energy future.”
SJCE recently partnered with Renewable America to build a new solar facility that will provide energy for Solar Access customers. The West Tambo Clean Power project will be built in Merced County and is expected to come online in April 2023. In the interim, energy for Solar Access customers is coming from an existing solar project in Corcoran, California.
“We are thrilled to partner with San José Clean Energy and other Community Choice Aggregators to make clean energy more affordable and accessible for customers,” said Renewable America CEO Ardi Arian. “Community solar power projects such as those under development by Renewable America bring direct benefits to those living in disadvantaged communities.”
Solar Access is available to residential customers who are enrolled in either the California Alternate Rates for Energy program (CARE) or Family Electric Rates Assistance program (FERA) and live in a disadvantaged community, defined by the state as neighborhoods that are disproportionately impacted by environmental and socioeconomic burdens such as air pollution, poverty, or high incidence of asthma. Visit SanJoseCleanEnergy.org/Solar-Access to learn more.
Solar Access is SJCE’s iteration of the state’s Disadvantaged Community-Green Tariff program, which is governed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). SJCE was allocated 1.736 megawatts by the CPUC, which is enough energy to power 800-850 homes.
SJCE will launch additional CPUC programs later this summer that will provide significant discounts on energy-efficient appliances for eligible San José households as well as energy efficiency heating, ventilation, and air conditioning upgrades for businesses
About the City of San José
With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California’s largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José’s transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City’s anticipated growth through the year 2040.
About San José Clean Energy
San José Clean Energy (SJCE) is the local, not-for-profit electricity generation provider for homes and businesses in the City of San José. SJCE is operated by the City’s Community Energy Department and governed by the City Council. SJCE provides 350,000 customer accounts with clean energy at competitive rates plus the additional benefits of customer choice, community programs, local control, transparency, and accountability. For more information, please visit www.SanJoseCleanEnergy.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @SJCleanEnergy.
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