So I attended the Sonoma Clean Power/Climate Protection Campaign Forum at our Luchessi Community Center this week – low attendance but saw lots of friends among us. Seems the prime purpose of the forum was to gather strength for a yes vote at Petaluma City Council after discussion in Novemeber. We were asked to reach out to our Council members – and I will!

I was more or less convinced Sonoma Clean Power is:

A. The only sensible program available – move toward renewable energy as fast as possible
B. A serious and responsible group dedicated to moving into renewable LOCAL energy as fast as can be practically done. EX: While PG&E USED to supply energy from the Geysers, the company has not renewed its contract while SCP does maintain a contract for geothermal power from our local (Mt. St. Helena) source.
C. WHY is Petaluma so slow to do this? All the other Sonoma cities have either signed on or are close. Perhaps we ARE close to signing? SCP hopes yes – and that Rohnert Park and Cloverdale will sign papers at the same time as Petaluma, saving us all a bundle.

True, IF we owned our own power source, we’d save money – but we have no way of doing this known to man (or this woman). So we go with the guys and gals who are making it possible. Simple as that.

Trathen Heckman, founder, Daily Acts and TransitionUS, asked if there are any large housing or commercial buildings sharing power (community choice aggregation) within Sonoma – and no; there are not – but SCP would favor this and actively work toward it

Tiffany Renee, now President of Petaluma Grange, asked if Diablo Canyon nuclear facility were shut down, would that cost the ratepayer a bundle? No; each nuclear facility must maintain a shut-down fund – but there is no gaurantee that PG&E wouldn’t raise their rates when many customers adopt SCP.

Some people wanted to know what happens if they want to quit SCP after joining the program. We were told it is an online process that takes a minute or so – and you’re right back in PG&Es grip with no penalty. So THAT’s not a problem.

Hoping there are NO problems and Petaluma adopts this program, overdue and yet just in time. Marin County is the first in our state to adopt its own renewable energy plan – and a lady who is part of that told us from the audience at Luchessi that her bill dropped right away and that she and her husband decided to go for the 100% (slightly more expensive) plan.

From the pioneer of renewable energy, the Marin Clean Energy site:

Our Mission
The purpose of Marin Clean Energy is to address climate change by reducing energy related greenhouse gas emissions and securing energy supply, price stability, energy efficiencies and local economic and workforce benefits. It is the intent of MCE to promote the development and use of a wide range of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency programs, including but not limited to solar and wind energy production at competitive rates for customers.
Our Work
Marin Clean Energy is a public, not-for-profit electricity provider that gives customers the choice of having 50% to 100% of their electricity supplied from clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal and hydro at competitive rates. By choosing MCE, customers help support new in-state and local renewable energy generation.
MCE is California’s first Community Choice Aggregation program and launched service to customers in May 2010, although the organization was created in 2008. As a community choice aggregator, MCE partners with PG&E to provide billing and electric delivery services while MCE determines the source of energy. MCE serves approximately 125,000 customers in its service area, which includes Marin County and the City of Richmond.
MCE is governed by a thirteen-member Board of Directors representing each of the participating jurisdictions which include the City of Belvedere, Town of Corte Madera, Town of Fairfax, City of Larkspur, City of Mill Valley, City of Novato, City of Richmond, Town of Ross, Town of San Anselmo, City of San Rafael, City of Sausalito, Town of Tiburon, and the County of Marin.