In January 2015, the CPUC approved the "Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program"—a measure that gives millions of California customers the opportunity to meet up to 100% of their electricity needs with solar generation. The measure requires the three largest investor-owned utilities—Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, and San Diego Gas and Electric Company—to offer two Green-e Energy certified 100% solar energy options to their customers. If you are a customer of one of these utilities, you now have the option of meeting your electricity needs with California solar power.
For all three investor-owned utilities, both of the programs must be Green-e Energy certified and will promote the development of new renewables in California. This page is dedicated to giving customers more information on the program and Green-e Energy certification.
Each Investor Owned Utility will offer two distinct program models:
- Green Tariff. Customers can sign up to meet up to 100% of their electricity with solar generation purchased from the Utility. The customer will see an additional charge on their utility bill that reflects the additional costs of receiving solar generation to meet their electricity use.
- Enhanced Community Renewables (ECR).This program reflects the "Community Solar" model of renewable energy purchasing. Customers sign up to purchase a portion of a local solar project directly from a Developer at a level that meets at least 25% of their monthly electricity demand, but up to 100%. The customer will pay the Developer for the subscribed output, and receive a credit on their utility bill that reflects their enrollment level.
Signing Up for the Enhanced Community Renewables Program
Instead of signing up for the Enhanced Community Renewables Program directly through your utility, you will be signing up to purchase renewable energy through a solar developer. This means that information that you would normally receive from your utility, such as sign-up materials and price, terms, and conditions, will instead be coming directly from the developer. Green-e Energy still guarantees that all of the environmental and consumer protection standards are met, it just means that responsibility is divided between the developer and utility.
If you have questions about your program, information is required to be posted on the utility's and developer's websites, including price, terms and conditions of the purchase and other details of the product offering, including how to cancel. After enrolling, you will receive annual notifications from both the utility and the developer.
Green-e is a certification program run by the Center for Resource Solutions, a nonprofit located in San Francisco, CA. Since 1997, Green-e has certified renewable energy sold to residential and commercial customers across North America. Green-e Energy certifies products offered to utility customers under the Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program, and Green-e Marketplace certifies companies using and products made with 100% renewable energy.
Green-e Energy is North America's oldest and largest certification program for renewable energy. As a customer purchasing a Green-e Energy certified product you can be assured that the solar product you are purchasing meets the highest environmental and consumer-protection standards. Green-e enforces requirements on resource type, when renewable facilities were built, and that the renewable energy not be used by the utility to meet other renewable energy requirements set by the state. The program also outlines the requirements that exist on customer disclosure and marketing, including that customers receive standardized and understandable disclosures and information regarding the product offering. Learn more about Green-e Energy from the Green-e Energy website.
Green-e Marketplace for Businesses and Products
Organizations of all sizes that sign up for a 100% renewable energy program, including through a Green Tariff or Enhanced Community Renewables Program, are eligible for certification through Green-e Marketplace, which provides effective promotional tools companies can use to market their green power use. With over 54 million Americans who recognize the Green-e certification mark and 60,000 businesses that purchase Green-e certified renewable energy and carbon offsets, Green-e is the certification mark that gives businesses a clear edge. Visit the Green-e Marketplace website to learn more about joining.
- California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Decision
- Pacific Gas & Electric's Solar Choice. Provides information on PG&E's two 100% renewable energy offerings.
- San Diego Gas and Electric's (SDG&E's) EcoChoice. Provides information on SDG&E's EcoChoice program.
- SDG&E's Share the Sun. Provides information on SDG&E's Share the Sun program.
- Senate Bill (SB) 43
- Southern California Edison's Community Renewables Program.
- Southern California Edison's Green Rate. Provides information on SCE's utility green pricing offering.