Tuesday, July 5, 2022
SFPUC Completes Extensive 2-Year Power Rates Study
The study’s recommendations will redefine the agency’s upcoming rates structure for greater customer affordability and independence from PG&E.
SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) announced today the completion of a 2-year independent power rates study for its renewable electricity service programs, CleanPowerSF and Hetch Hetchy Power. The recommendations from the study pave the way for new customer savings, including decreased monthly electricity bills for the vast majority of CleanPowerSF residential and commercial customers. The completion of the robust study further enables the SFPUC to continue delivering clean energy, support the City’s climate goals, and ensure long-term stability of CleanPowerSF and Hetch Hetchy Power.
“With the rise in inflation and cost of living impacting people every day, easing the burdens on our residents and businesses is critical,” Mayor London N. Breed said. “Rarely do we hear about lower utility bills, yet the SFPUC’s updated rates are more affordable and predictable, all while continuing much-needed investments in our infrastructure and operations. This commitment to ratepayers is a model example for power providers across the nation.”
The study prioritizes affordable rates for both CleanPowerSF and Hetch Hetchy Power customers. Effective July 1, CleanPowerSF generation rates will decrease by about 3% for an average residential customer and about 5% for an average small commercial customer for the next year. For average Hetch Hetchy Power residential customers, their bills will be 30% cheaper compared to Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), while most municipal and commercial customers will also continue to see savings compared to the investor-owned utility.
The rate study also promotes stability for customers and greater independence from PG&E. The SFPUC is committed to only updating power rates once per year to promote predictable rates for customers. In line with the other recommendations from the study, the SFPUC will also set its own rates and no longer follow PG&E. Since January 2021, PG&E has changed in generation rates four times.
“Unlike PG&E which serves the interests of Wall Street investors, we’re prioritizing our customers,” SFPUC General Manager Dennis Herrera said. “We set rates transparently, and fairly. When we can lower them, we do. That’s the difference when you are a public utility. These new rates will put more money in people’s pockets while also advancing our climate change goals. We are no longer going to be bound to PG&E’s rate-setting process, and we are going to continue doing the work to expand the availability of public power. All San Franciscans deserve the benefits of getting their electricity from a local public power provider.”
The adopted rates support the City’s climate goals and electrification by offering new electric vehicle rates for Hetch Hetchy Power customers, expanding electricity rates for residential customers transitioning to all-electric buildings, and further enabling CleanPowerSF customers to transition to 100% renewable by lowering SuperGreen premiums for all commercial customers; all while funding investment in new renewable generation and storage, and renewal of the Hetchy Water & Power power facilities.
The power rates study and subsequent recommendations were the result of a thorough, transparent, and public process that began in November 2020. The study, which is the first such analysis since CleanPowerSF’s inception and is required every 5 years, prioritized several key areas: revenue sufficiency for SFPUC operations and investments, customer equity, environmental sustainability, affordability, predictability, and simplicity. The rates study included key stakeholder input from the Rate Fairness Board, customers, and other partners before it was presented to the SFPUC Commission and Board of Supervisors.
“As San Francisco transitions from the pandemic, we want to see City leaders take serious measures to help small businesses continue to survive,” San Francisco Council of District of Merchants Association President Masood Samereie said. “Our merchants are grateful to the SFPUC and partners who made it a priority to reduce utility bills while continuing to provide high-quality service.”
About CleanPowerSF and Hetch Hetchy Power
CleanPowerSF began serving customers in 2016 with a mission to provide San Francisco residents and businesses with clean, renewable electricity at competitive rates. Today, CleanPowerSF serves about 385,000 customer accounts in San Francisco and offers 50% and 100% renewable electricity service options. Over the past six years, CleanPowerSF has helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity use by 94% from 1990 levels.
Along with CleanPowerSF, the SFPUC operates Hetch Hetchy Power, which generates and delivers 100% greenhouse gas-free energy to more than 4,000 customer accounts, including municipal buildings and facilities, such as City Hall, San Francisco International Airport, schools, libraries and the Muni transit system. Hetch Hetchy Power also provides electricity to some commercial and residential developments, including affordable housing sites. Collectively, the two programs meet over 70 percent of the electricity demand in San Francisco.
For more information on CleanPowerSF rates, please visit cleanpowersf.org/rates.
Hetch Hetchy Power rates are published at sfpuc.org/rates.
About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and meets over 70 percent of the electricity demand in San Francisco. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at www.sfpuc.org