Santa Barbara Clean Energy Launches October 1st

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Source: City of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Clean Energy, the City’s new locally controlled electricity provider, launches October 1st for residential customers. To celebrate this significant achievement, local residents and business owners joined City staff to create a video outlining all of the ways clean energy will be used to benefit our community. View the Santa Barbara Clean Energy launch video here.

Santa Barbara Clean Energy’s mission is to offer customers green energy options and continued reliable electric service, while achieving our community’s ambitious climate goals. This is particularly important because local electricity use accounts for over 20% of Santa Barbara’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In order to maximize impact, most residents have been automatically enrolled in 100% Green, providing fully carbon-free electricity and virtually eliminating local electricity-related GHG emissions, but they can choose from other clean energy options at any time. Options include:

  • 100% Green – 100% carbon-free electricity for about $5 more/month for the average household. To make the most significant local environmental impact, most customers have been automatically enrolled in 100% Green.
  • Green Start – at least 50% carbon-free energy (more than Edison’s standard energy supply), and at the same standard Edison rates charged by Edison.
  • Resilient – 100% carbon-free energy and local solar. This program is for customers who have solar on their home or business. These customers will receive more money for their annual surplus energy production than what Edison offers. Resilient customers are also enrolled in 100% Green for any electricity needs beyond what the solar produces; these customers also have the option to opt down to Green Start.
  • Edison (standard service) – customers can opt out of Santa Barbara Clean Energy to use less carbon-free energy. Their rates will remain the same as Santa Barbara Clean Energy’s Green Start rates.

“I am very pleased that our residents will now have a choice to personally participate in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, doing their part to slow climate change and sea level rise. There are multiple options for residents, ranging from 50% to 100% clean energy.  Customers are able to choose the option that works best for their needs and interests,” said Interim City Administrator Rebecca Bjork.

Santa Barbara Clean Energy will purchase sustainable electricity, and Southern California Edison will continue to deliver the power, maintain the poles and wires, and provide one single bill for customers. To start, most people are enrolled in 100% Green to get 100% carbon-free energy. Customers who receive financial assistance through the CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline programs will maintain their discounts and have been automatically enrolled in Green Start, which offers 50% or more sustainable energy, at the exact same rates charged by Edison. Customers with solar on their home or business have been enrolled in Santa Barbara Clean Energy’s Resilient Program. Resilient customers are also enrolled in 100% Green for any electricity needs beyond what the solar produces, but these customers can also opt down to Green Start.

“The great news for customers is that we’ve made the transition to Santa Barbara Clean Energy easy for them. If someone adds solar panels to their home, they are enrolled into Resilient and they will be paid more for the excess energy they generate. Customers can change their options at any time, and our team will assist with making changes,” said Energy and Climate Manager Alelia Parenteau.

Santa Barbara Clean Energy also offers incentives and programs to its customers that leverage Santa Barbara Clean Energy’s carbon-free electricity in ways that will greatly help achieve the city’s carbon neutrality goals. Benefits include rebates on electric vehicles, reduced-cost electric bike memberships, trying out induction cookware, home energy audits, and discounts on locally made battery back-up systems.

Santa Barbara Clean Energy begins serving residential customers today. All other customers, including commercial and industrial customers, will begin Santa Barbara Clean Energy service in March of 2022.

For more information about the Santa Barbara Clean Energy program, the various clean energy choices, programs and incentives, frequently asked questions and more, please or call (805) 897-1979.

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sbdude Oct 01, 2021 01:19 PM
Santa Barbara Clean Energy Launches October 1st

Are their rates going to be regulated by the PUC? Rumor on the street is their rates go up faster than PUC-regulated utilities such as PG&E or Edison.

a-1633120106 Oct 01, 2021 01:28 PM
Santa Barbara Clean Energy Launches October 1st

They wanted to charge me a fee to subsidize new solar electric installations. This upset me as I have had solar electric for 8 years. I have done my part. Why should I pay more for people who won't participate? If anything the rates should be higher for those who are not solar participant. So I opted out (which was pretty difficult to accomplish as their opt out process was not working).

a-1633130713 Oct 01, 2021 04:25 PM
Santa Barbara Clean Energy Launches October 1st

3:57 here. The charge is $5 month. Here is what they told me: "As a Net Energy Metering (NEM) customer, you will be automatically enrolled in SBCE's Resilient program. This program will be roughly $5/month more than what you are currently paying with SCE, however, that may be different depending on the amount of electricity you produce or consume. I would also like to note that SBCE's net surplus compensation rate (NSC) is $.0663/kWh. This is a higher rate than SCE's payout rate. You will also continue to pay an annual bill. The payment is calculated at the end of your 12-month relevant period. If the NSC is $100 or greater a check will be issued, if the NSC is less than $100, a credit will be applied to your account." I cannot understand what the actual SCE payout is or how much it would be with my production. On the SCE website there is what may be a chart of these which varies from month to month. Possibly my rate is .033. Would that difference be greater than the roughty $5? It is almost impossible to get real data.

Byzantium Oct 01, 2021 01:50 PM
Santa Barbara Clean Energy Launches October 1st

The animal spirits of the marketplace in full operation. Looking forwards to annual update and assessments. And what happened once 20 years passes one's expensive home solar installations age and no replacement parts are available and one needs to start all over again. Upvote for the tiny home nuclear units - 20 years hence.

DBD Oct 01, 2021 02:04 PM
Santa Barbara Clean Energy Launches October 1st

I like the idea of this, but is it even legal to auto enroll everyone into the highest priced tier? Give them the option to sign up if they want, but don't sneak it into a bill most people don't even look at.

rinzai Oct 02, 2021 02:22 PM
Santa Barbara Clean Energy Launches October 1st

Not sure what all the fuss is... From my conversations with SB Clean Energy the rates residential consumers will be paying ¢8.1/kwh, which is substantially less than SCE currently charges.

This article says: "100% Green – 100% carbon-free electricity for about $5 more/month for the average household." Although that was in the letter the SCE mistakenly sent out to many customers last month that is NOT the case.

dukemunson Oct 03, 2021 06:43 AM
Santa Barbara Clean Energy Launches October 1st

It has to (and will) cost more. There is obviously an argument to be made that it’s worth it, but to be thinking it’s going to cost less is ridiculous.

PitMix Oct 04, 2021 11:51 AM
Santa Barbara Clean Energy Launches October 1st

Does anyone know, who is the provider of last resort in this scheme? I have supposed that Edison would have to provide a system of peaking natural gas plants to send electricity in times of high demand and low renewable production. Does SBCE have this covered or will they have to purchase power on the open market during these times? Remember that when this happened the Texas customers ended up owing $1000s when they had their cold snap. I'm also old enough to remember ENRON gaming the system and state ratepayers having to pay high bills. Tell me the SBCE has addressed all of these issues.

a-1633386498 Oct 04, 2021 03:28 PM
Santa Barbara Clean Energy Launches October 1st

The costs of going green continue to drop:

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