Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, January 2017
SunShares: The UCSF Community is Supporting Clean Energy
A recent piece in the Harvard Business Review stressed, “In short, Trump cannot stop all momentum on the clean economy. The economics are too good. The cost to build and produce solar and wind power, for example, has dropped 60%–80% since 2010, making it cheaper than grid electricity in most states.” The UCSF community is harnessing clean power by participating in Bay Area SunShares. Since 2013, 25 UCSF households have switched to solar energy at home (165.12 KWhs of solar installed).
The 2016 program was the largest to date and the first to fully incorporate a ZEV discount component, as well as education on new options for renters. In 2016, together with 37 partners, 1,817 people registered to learn more about the program, 144 households decided to switch to solar at home (732 kWhs of solar installed), 29 bought zero-emission vehicles (ZEV), and 326 attended a Community Renewables educational forum. Previous SunShares programs have led to almost 5 MWs of new solar installed across Northern California, enough to power over 820 homes.
Registration for SunShares is currently closed, but you can sign up here to be informed when the 2017 program starts.
Clean Energy Options for Renters
Obviously, renters are not going to install solar panels, but the Bay Area offers renters (and home owners not ready to install solar) several clean energy options. A new aspect of SunShares in 2016 was an offering of educational forums on clean energy options for renters. There are several options available in the Bay Area for tapping into renewable energy without installing solar panels. For San Francisco residents, CleanPowerSF, San Francisco’s Community Choice Aggregation program, offers cost-effective, cleaner energy alternatives for your home. Enrolling in CleanPowerSF’s 100% renewable SuperGreen energy is the number one action San Francisco residents can take to help the City reach its climate action goals.
Greener, cleaner energy is now provided throughout the Bay Area. Other clean energy programs to explore include:
- Marin Clean Energy (which is now serving Richmond, El Cerrito, and San Pablo)
- Peninsula Clean Energy
- Sonoma Clean Power
- Alameda County Community Choice Aggregation (recently approved and expected to be on-line in about a year).
- Peninsula Clean Energy
- Palo Alto Clean
- PGE Solar Choice