COLUMN: Frequently Asked Questions for Monterey Bay Community Power

Residents have been receiving postcards from Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) and they have questions. Learn what the most asked questions are and the MBCP's answers.

This article was contributed by Monterey Bay Community Power Communication Coordinator Shelly Whitworth.

What is Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP)? MBCP is a local clean energy startup providing carbon-free electricity to residents and businesses in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties. MBCP is a Community Choice Energy (CCE) model that focuses on delivering cleaner electricity for less. It is the 12th successful CCE in California over the last seven years. CCEs focus on local choice, clean energy and local economic vitality. MBCP is self-funded and is never tax payer funded.

Is PG&E going away? Monterey Bay Community Power partners with the local utility (in our case PG&E) who continues to provide consolidated billing, power distribution, customer service, and grid maintenance services. MBCP purchases clean energy and the local utility continues to deliver it.

What do I have to do to enroll with Monterey Bay Community Power? PG&E accounts within MBCP’s tri-county service area will be automatically enrolled in MBCP’s default electric program that delivers carbon free electricity at a 3 percent savings on MBCP charges. The savings will be delivered in the form of a 3 percent rebate on each customer’s bill in 2018. The rebate is projected to be 4 percent in 2019 and 5 percent in 2020.

How is Monterey Bay Community Power able to provide cleaner electricity for less? MBCP is a not-for-profit lean energy startup with a low operating cost of 2 percent compared to the utility’s 12 to 15 percent. MBCP also has no shareholders to pay or legacy costs for higher priced energy. MBCP purchases wholesale carbon-free energy just as a utility company does, and renewable energy prices are down. It’s a great time to negotiate low priced contracts as a Community Choice Energy model.

Will my bill go up? No. Monterey Bay Community Power will provide a 3 percent savings on electricity generation in the form of a rebate. Utility companies cannot increase their charges or act biased towards customers participating in CCEs like MBCP to make up for lost revenue. The utility will continue to earn revenue by charging for delivering power, purchasing, and delivering natural gas.

Why would I choose Monterey Bay Community Power? We feel MBCP customers will receive many benefits: A yearly rebate credit. Access to future rebate programs and community projects. Local choice, clean energy, and economic vitality.

Resources: Website FAQ: Contact MBCP: E- mail Phone 1-888-909-MBCP (6227) Shelly Whitworth, Media and Communications Coordinator for Monterey Bay Community Power and (831) 641-7222