California often provides a window on the future. The energy sector is no exception.
Learning from California
During the last year, a new breed of California power company has begun to attract a growing volume of business because it offers customers more green power, and often at lower prices than local utilities charge for a browner electricity mix from the regional grid.
The new companies are known as community choice providers and they have been created by over 25 cities and four counties. Based on California’s enabling legislation, these companies can directly source power on a wholesale basis on behalf of local users, very much like Renewable Power Direct.
Most importantly, perhaps, the community choice providers can offer up to 100% green power because they are authorized to create an independent electricity supply chain — buying power wholesale from renewable generators in California, typically based on competitive RFPs, and then reselling the power, primarily to local residential and small business customers.
That’s essentially how RPD works too. As with California’s community choice companies, RPD also sources its own wholesale power for users by directly contracting with renewable generators; the power is then resold to commercial and industrial consumers connected to the same electric grid.
Green choices for business
We think this new type of electric supply chain will get more and more popular with business users, much like community choice in California. It provides a practical way for large consumers to green their power supply because it simply changes the mix of energy supplied at the wholesale level. No infrastructure changes are needed. See, for example, the schematic provided below from San Francisco’s new choice provider.
In California, choice providers partner with the local utility to handle retail distribution and customer billing. Likewise, RPD partners with retail electric companies, such as XOOM Energy, to complete its new supply chain. However, customers can also keep their existing retail service provider if they wish.
Renewable choice is growing
Over the last few years, California’s community choice companies have added tens of thousands of customers. They have also contracted for over 200 MW of solar, wind and geothermal facilities. The success of community choice has prompted more and more cities, including San Jose and San Diego, to start creating community choice providers for their residents as well.
That’s good news for California consumers and good news for RPD because it underscores the benefits of the independent wholesale supply chain underlying both clean power initiatives.
California’s choice providers aggregate the energy demand of their local customers in order to bargain for lower wholesale rates and greener power. RPD can do the same by aggregating a corporation’s demand across various load centers. It can also pool the demand of several businesses served by the same electric grid.
Getting renewable energy where you work
So think of RPD as a community choice program for the business community. But, your business need not be in California to take advantage of the program. We’re bringing the future to the rest of America. RPD’s electric choice program is available today throughout the mid-Atlantic, New England and Texas.
Source: Clean Power San Francisco. Customers can also choose a “SuperGreen” 100 percent renewable service for a small premium.