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Valley Clean Energy - 2 Years Strong

VCE(From press release) During these trying times, it’s more important than ever to take note of the good news that’s worth celebrating.

“Please join us as we mark the anniversary of Valley Clean Energy,” said Don Saylor, chairman of the board of directors of the not-for-profit public agency and a Yolo County supervisor. “We’re two years strong as of June 1, and it’s all because of you, the VCE customers who support us in taking charge of our clean energy future.”

People who suffer from asthma and other lung-related conditions have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, so cleaning up the air in California has become even more important for everyone.

“That’s just what VCE has been doing these past two years, by offering people cleaner, greener electricity and an option for 100% carbon-free power,” added Dan Carson, VCE’s board vice-chair and a member of the Davis City Council. “And we’ve only just begun.”

VCE has encountered its share of curve balls in the past 24 months, especially as PG&E declared bankruptcy and initiated temporary power shut-offs as part of a public safety strategy, and COVID-19 has kept us all at home. Despite these challenges, the dedicated VCE team has worked hard to achieve its goals:

  • Cleaner, less polluting electricity: In the past two years, VCE exceeded its targets for renewable energy and carbon-free power;
  • Choice for everyone: The agency — which serves the cities of Woodland and Davis as well as the unincorporated portion of Yolo County — expanded to include the city of Winters, where service will begin in 2021;
  • Fiscal responsibility: $1.5 million in start-up loans from the participating government agencies were paid back well ahead of schedule;
  • Emission-free driving: A $2.9 million SACOG grant will bring an extensive electric vehicle charging network to Yolo County;
  • Local control: VCE is governed by a local board of directors and took steps to acquire PG&E distribution assets to reduce customer costs while concurrently improving safety and reliability;
  • Re-investment in our communities: VCE has committed to renewable energy contracts close to home and is working to secure more; and
  • Not-for-profit and for the people: VCE does not have shareholders, keeping the benefits focused on its customers.

“All of these achievements were made without costing customers one cent more than they’ve been paying PG&E,” Saylor said. “That’s the power of not-for-profit local control fighting for our customers and communities. We believe that’s worth celebrating.

“We’ve stood together to accomplish some great things in the past two years, and our plans for the future are even more ambitious. We believe they’re achievable.”

Added Carson, “The temporary lockdown has been an eye-opener when it comes to pollution levels of every kind. We need to use this momentum to refocus on climate gains as we move forward.”

About VCE: Valley Clean Energy is a not-for-profit public agency formed in June 2018 to provide electrical generation service to customers in Woodland, Davis, and the unincorporated areas of Yolo County. The city of Winters is VCE’s newest member. VCE’s mission is to source cost-competitive clean electricity while providing product choice, price stability, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emission reductions and reinvestment in the communities it serves.

Comments

Todd Edelman

Hooray! All steps in the right direction.

But as many renters in town who pay their own bills are now empowered with energy choice, they are still burdened with a lack of control of energy efficiency.

Aside from the choice-based mechanisms - idealing keeping their homes at 75 to 78 F in the summer and 65 F-ish in the winter, wearing sweaters inside in winter, not taking overly long showers, air drying clothes when possible - I never do this outside, since it's too dusty - many live in homes with old school windows and/or minimal curtains and shading or old fridges, poor insulation and door seals and lots of old energy-hogging lightbulbs in existing fixtures... BUT the biggest elephant in their collective rooms is the lack of solar power.

For the most part the rentals I've lived in in Davis are updated and well-equipped, but I would really like to see robust and significant support for owners for installation of solar panels and complementary equipment like batteries in addition to incentives or at least better communication about energy efficiency updates.

By design - the significant south-facing roofs on newer homes - and now contract - supply from Valley Clean Energy - Davis has laudable energy-politics*, but they've mostly benefited people living in homes they own. It's time to add more equity to the energy-mix so that renters have more control of how they use their clean energy.

* BrightNIght and unrealistically-timid behavior on automobilism excepted...

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