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CALISTOGA — The city should apply for membership to Marin Clean Energy as an alternative electric clean energy provider, council members agreed Tuesday.

In February, Marin Clean Energy (MCE) became the default electricity provider to those in the unincorporated areas of the county.

The membership with MCE would still allow customers to opt out and remain with Pacific Gas & Electric, the current provider.

“Customers can opt out, but MCE currently is offering lower rates,” said Lynn Goldberg, planning and building director.

In addition to the counties of Napa and Marin, more than a dozen cities and towns are supplied by MCE, which is a nonprofit public power agency.

Through a menu of plans, MCE allows customers to receive 50 percent to 100 percent of their electricity from renewable resources, and in some cases 100 percent from local solar. PG&E currently provides 27 percent of its power from renewable resources.

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Once the membership is approved, the city will publicize and share information about the options with MCE during a six-month enrollment period. During that time, there will be two MCE staff members with desks in Calistoga to answer questions and provide public education.

Formed in 2008, MCE supplies energy from such renewable sources as solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal and hydroelectric.

PG&E would continue to provide the electricity delivery while MCE provides electric generation. PG&E also would continue to provide billing services, read meters, and provide maintenance and repair services.


The Weekly Calistogan Editor

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