The company that supplies electricity from renewable sources to Napa County customers will take its program into the city of Napa as well.
Marin Clean Energy is set to become Napa’s default power provider for local homes and businesses, after the City Council on Tuesday approved the first reading of an ordinance to partner with the San Rafael-based firm.
The city joins the unincorporated county in offering electricity based on solar, wind, hydroelectric, biogas and other sustainable sources, which the company is rolling out across the Bay Area.
Customers will be shifted from PG&E service to the new provider as early as the late summer, but more likely in 2017, according to Allison Hang, spokeswoman for Marin Clean Energy. The date of the transition will depend on when Napa completes a feasibility study for the switch, and customers also will be allowed to stay on with PG&E, which will remain responsible for billing and delivery.
American Canyon, St. Helena and Calistoga also are seeking to join Marin Clean Energy’s network, which began in 2010 and serves about 125,000 Bay Area customers.
A not-for-profit agency, Marin Clean Energy, along with cities and counties, seek customers in a defined region, and negotiates for its supply with various producers across California, Oregon and Washington state. Supporters of the system, known as community choice aggregation, say such programs allow tenants, low-income households, and those unable to install solar panels a chance to draw on environmentally friendly power sources.
Napa County selected Marin Clean Energy as its default supplier in 2014 for those living and working outside its five cities. Despite the ability to stick with PG&E service, only 9 percent of customers opted out of the new provider, Hang said in August while proposing the partnership with the city.
Those accepting Marin Clean Energy as their provider will pick from three tiers of service. The basic and cheapest tier will draw 56 percent of its supply from a variety of renewable sources on the West Coast, while other options include fully renewable-sourced electricity or service drawn exclusively from solar power.
Marin Clean Energy reported its household customers typically pay about $95.15 monthly for its basic service, compared to $91.04 for those served by PG&E. Fees to exit the larger utility account for the price difference, though Marin Clean Energy said its power generation costs are about $7 a month lower.
Fully renewable power is expected to cost $99.78 and all-solar electricity $122.93, according to the Marin Clean Energy.