San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Study Recommendations To Yield Lower Bills

July 6, 2022

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
July 6, 2022

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) on July 5 announced the completion of a two-year independent power rates study for its renewable electricity service programs, CleanPowerSF and Hetch Hetchy Power.

The recommendations from the study “pave the way for new customer savings, including decreased monthly electricity bills for the vast majority of CleanPowerSF residential and commercial customers,” the SFPUC sad.

The study prioritizes affordable rates for both CleanPowerSF and Hetch Hetchy Power customers, it said.

Effective July 1, CleanPowerSF generation rates will decrease by about 3% for an average residential customer and about 5% for an average small commercial customer for the next year. For average Hetch Hetchy Power residential customers, their bills will be 30% cheaper compared to Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), while most municipal and commercial customers will also continue to see savings compared to the investor-owned utility.

The SFPUC said that the rate study also promotes stability for customers and greater independence from PG&E. The SFPUC said it is committed to only updating power rates once per year to promote predictable rates for customers.

In line with the other recommendations from the study, the SFPUC will also set its own rates and no longer follow PG&E. Since January 2021, PG&E has changed in generation rates four times.

The adopted rates support the city’s climate goals and electrification by offering new electric vehicle rates for Hetch Hetchy Power customers, expanding electricity rates for residential customers transitioning to all-electric buildings, and further enabling CleanPowerSF customers to transition to 100% renewable energy by lowering SuperGreen premiums for all commercial customers. At the same time, there will be funding for investments in new renewable generation and storage, and renewal of the Hetchy Water & Power power facilities.

The power rates study and subsequent recommendations were the result of a process that began in November 2020.

The study, which is the first such analysis since CleanPowerSF’s inception and is required every 5 years, prioritized several key areas: revenue sufficiency for SFPUC operations and investments, customer equity, environmental sustainability, affordability, predictability, and simplicity.

The rates study included stakeholder input from the Rate Fairness Board, customers, and other partners before it was presented to the SFPUC Commission and Board of Supervisors.

CleanPowerSF began serving customers in 2016. Today, CleanPowerSF serves about 385,000 customer accounts in San Francisco and offers 50% and 100% renewable electricity service options.

Along with CleanPowerSF, the SFPUC operates Hetch Hetchy Power, which generates and delivers energy to more than 4,000 customer accounts, including municipal buildings and facilities, such as City Hall, San Francisco International Airport, schools, libraries and the Muni transit system. Hetch Hetchy Power also provides electricity to some commercial and residential developments, including affordable housing sites.

Collectively, the two programs meet over 70 percent of the electricity demand in San Francisco.

Click here for additional details about the SFPUC.