You recycle. A visit to the farmer's market has become your destination of choice for your weekly grocery shopping. You buy in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging you throw away. Plastic bags have been replaced with reusable fabric shopping bags. All this is great. But what about the electrical usage in your Silicon Valley home? There's a new service being provided by Silicon Valley Clean Energy that will help Silicon Valley homes go 100% green by July 2017. And it uses the PG&E serviced electrical lines already in your home to do it.
Silicon Valley Homes Go 100% Green
Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) began its operation back in Spring 2016. Twelve Silicon Valley communities created SVCE and partnered up with PG&E to bring a cleaner source of energy into local businesses and homes. The communities involved in the creation of SVCE include: Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale and some unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County.
Because they partnered up with PG&E, SVCE can provide this clean energy directly to your Silicon Valley home without the costly purchase of any extra equipment. That means, you don't have to install solar panels or a windmill on your property to enjoy the benefits of clean, renewable energy in your home. However, solar panels earn you credits towards your home's energy usage. So, they shouldn't be ruled out completely. But, if you can't afford the out-of-pocket expense of installing solar panels right now, SVCE's service provides a wonderful alternative. You have two options to choose from: GreenStart or GreenPrime.
Option #1 - GreenStart
One way Silicon Valley homes go green is through SVCE's GreenStart program. This basic service from SVCE costs approximately 1% less than PG&E's regular service. It provides 100% carbon-free electricity utilizing 50% renewable energy sources and 50% hydroelectric (non-polluting) sources. Anyone who signs up for SVCE's service is automatically enrolled in the GreenStart option.
Option #2 - GreenPrime
For around $3 to $5 more per month, SVCE customers can choose the GreenPrime option. This service also comes 100% carbon-free. However, the energy provided through GreenPrime comes 100% from renewable energy sources (primarily wind and solar). If you don't wish to opt in to either one of these great programs, anyone can choose to remain with PG&E's regular service, which is 1/3 renewable and 70% carbon-free by opting out when asked.
When are the 100% Green Services Available for Silicon Valley Homes?
In April 2017, SVCE unrolled their services to all Silicon Valley businesses and government offices in their service area. At that time, approximately 20% of the residential accounts in the area were also offered a chance to enroll. Beginning next month (July 2017), both GreenStart and GreenPrime will be available to every household in the SVCE service area. If you didn't receive a notice in the mail from SVCE back in April, you should see one soon. That's when you can choose which service you wish to utilize or opt out of either one. If you choose GreenPrime, you can start right now. You don't have to wait for the official start date to take advantage of this great opportunity.
If you have any questions, feel free to visit Silicon Valley Clean Energy's Frequently Asked Questions section of their website. Green energy helps reduce carbon emissions into our Earth's atmosphere. It is up to us to do whatever we can to reduce our carbon footprint for us, our children and the many generations that follow. I hope you choose to be one of the Silicon Valley homes that go 100% green next month. I think you'll be happy you did.