FAQS

Monterey Bay Community Power is a new, locally-controlled public agency providing carbon-free electricity to residents and businesses in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties. MBCP is based on a local energy model called community choice energy that partners with the local utility (in our case PG&E) which continues to provide consolidated billing, power transmission and distribution, customer service and grid maintenance services. PG&E accounts within MBCP’s tri-county service area will be automatically enrolled in MBCP’s default electric program starting in spring 2018, unless they choose to opt-out and return to PG&E bundled service at any time. MBCP will match PG&E’s electric generation rates, inclusive of any exit fees, and will pay each account holder a minimum 3% rebate for savings realized in 2018.
MBCP offers three key benefits: reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, lower cost to customers and investment in our local community. MBCP’s default power portfolio, MBchoice, is carbon-free, sourced from renewable sources such as solar, wind, and carbon free sources such as hydroelectric generation. MBCP will not procure power from nuclear or fossil-based sources. MBCP’s electric generation rates will match PG&E’s, and will be inclusive of costs related to PG&E’s exit fees. Customer cost savings will result from a minimum 3% rebate in 2018 for all customers, credited quarterly, bi-annually or annually based on customer class. Finally, MBCP’s MBgreen+ and MBshare programs give customers the option to allocate or donate their rebate savings directly into local green energy projects or local programs focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or providing support for low-income rate payers.
The counties of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz approved participation in MBCP, as well as the cities of Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Capitola, Carmel, Gonzales, Greenfield, Hollister, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Salinas, San Juan Bautista, Sand City, Seaside, Soledad and Watsonville.
The MBCP Project Development Advisory Committee was formed in 2013 to study the feasibility of a community choice energy model for Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties. In 2017, City Councils and Boards of Supervisors in the tri-county region voted to participate, and service will begin in 2018. See our History web page to learn more about how MBCP came to be.
Monterey Bay Community Power will begin serving customers through a two-phase enrollment period starting in Spring 2018. Non-residential (commercial, industrial, agriculture and government) customers will be enrolled in March 2018 and residential customers will be enrolled in July 2018. Customers will receive a total of four enrollment notices via U.S. Mail, two in the 60-day period prior to their enrollment date, and two in the 60 days following.
In response to the effects of energy deregulation in 1997 and the energy crisis that followed in 2000-2001, Assembly Bill 117 was passed by the CA Legislature in 2002 to establish Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) also known as Community Choice Energy (CCE). CCE is a new way for California communities to provide local residents and businesses with a choice of electric providers and sources of electricity. The CCE model enables communities to purchase their own electricity and divert excess revenues to local community investment, rather than to shareholders of investor-owned utilities. There are currently eight operational CCEs throughout the state, with many more communities forming their programs. Existing CCEs include: Silicon Valley Clean Energy, serving Santa Clara County; MCE Clean Energy, serving Marin, Napa and parts of Contra Costa County; Sonoma Clean Power, serving Sonoma and Mendocino counties; Lancaster Choice Energy, serving the City of Lancaster; CleanPowerSF, serving the city and county of San Francisco; Peninsula Clean Energy, serving San Mateo County; Redwood Coast Energy Authority, serving Humboldt County; and Apple Valley Choice Energy, serving the Town of Apple Valley.
MBCP’s energy is procured from carbon-free sources such as solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric power. The projects that produce our electricity are located in California, and on the western grid. The exact proportion of each varies with time, based on demand and availability. MBCP will have short- and long-term contracts with a variety of power suppliers to meet the energy needs of our community; however, most of MBCP’s long-term power contracts will be from CA sources. Monterey Bay Community Power will provide detailed information about it’s power supply resources in its annual Power Source Disclosure statement. CCEs negotiate the purchase of electricity on the open market by entering into power purchase agreements with energy providers. All energy that is generated is identified by certificates that guarantee the type of energy and location of production. CCEs must also enter into a contract with PG&E to transmit the electricity that the CCE buys over PG&E’s transmission lines.
No. Monterey Bay Community Power works in partnership with PG&E. MBCP assumes responsibility for electric power procurement and purchases clean, carbon-free electricity for homes and businesses in the tri-county area. However, PG&E continues to provide customer billing, receives payments, performs power line maintenance, resolves outages and remains responsible for all gas services.
California’s CCA (Community Choice Aggregation, otherwise known as Community Choice Energy) law requires Monterey Bay Community Power to become the default provider of electric generation for customers within our service area, allowing customers to opt-out and return to PG&E bundled service at any time.
Yes, MBCP customers remain eligible for PG&E rebate programs.
Resources such as wind, solar and hydroelectric which do not produce greenhouse gases are considered carbon free, and the power generated from these resources is considered carbon-free energy. Nuclear power is also considered carbon-free. However, MBCP is not including it in its portfolio.
Companies that generate electricity are required by state law to identify their resources and file a detailed report on the content of their generated power. MBCP is also required to submit this information to state regulators to ensure compliance with the law. These reporting requirements allow us to be sure that our energy generation does not add CO2 to the atmosphere.
The cost of electricity generation will be lower to account for PG&E exit fees (aka Power Charge Indifference Adjustment) associated with the change in service. The net result is that electric generation costs will match PG&E’s. You will see MBCP’s generation charge as a new line item that replaces the same charge from PG&E, as well as the PCIA fee which is absorbed in MBCP’s lower generation cost.
PG&E charges Monterey Bay Community Power customers a Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) and a Franchise Fee Surcharge. Both of these charges are factored into MBCP’s rate setting process so that in total, customers still pay the same as they would under PG&E’s generation rates without the fees – zero net increase.
MBchoice is Monterey Bay Community Power’s standard electricity offering, available automatically to all customers at the time of enrollment. In addition to being carbon-free, MBchoice is classified as 30% renewable, exceeding State requirements. MBCP will provide a minimum 3% rebate for MBchoice customers, to be paid each December for residential customers and either quarterly or biannually for commercial and agricultural customers. You can also select to participate in MBgreen+ or MBshare, which provide the same generation service with stronger benefits for the environment and community, automatically funded through the allocation of your rebate and at no cost premium to the customer.
MBgreen+ and MBshare allow our customers to reinvest their rebate locally. MBgreen+ customers use their rebate to fund MBCP’s investment in local, renewable energy sources. MBshare customers donate their rebate to local nonprofits that lower greenhouse gas emissions and/or support low-income customers. MBCP staff are in initial discussions with the community foundations in each county that would receive funds annually on a pro-rata basis according to donor locations. Revenues for this fund will be tracked and the organizations or projects it supports will be reported on an annual basis. MBgreen+ and MBshare customers may subsequently choose to return to the standard MBchoice service at no cost. We are excited to give these options to our community. Your choices drive us towards a more sustainable future.
You can change mind about MBchoice, MBgreen+ and MBshare at any time. Participation in these programs is effective as of the customer’s next rebate credit cycle. To change your subscription, visit our Service Offerings web page or call 1-888-909-MBCP (6227).
You can opt-out at no charge 60 days prior to initial service and 60 days after enrollment. After 60 days, there will be a $5 administrative fee charged for residential accounts, or $25 for commercial accounts. See our Opt Out web page for more information.
Yes. Existing NEM customers will be enrolled in MBCP’s Net Energy Metering program for their power generation charges. The program will operate by the same principles as PG&E’s NEM program, which remains in effect for the delivery charges and other bill components.
Since PG&E requires NEM customers to true-up before they enroll with a community choice energy provider, MBCP will automatically place NEM customers in one of four NEM enrollment months closest to their normal true-up date, in order to minimize any potential disruption to the customer’s expected NEM value. July 2018 will be the first NEM enrollment month, followed by October 2018, January 2019, and April 2019.. If you have any questions or concerns about automatic enrollment, please contact us at 888-909-6227.
Yes. A customer transitioning to service with MBCP will remain grandfathered on the original NEM design if they were on it before switching to MBCP.
When you become an MBCP customer, you will true-up with PG&E. To minimize any potential lost credits, MBCP has four NEM enrollment months and will automatically place NEM customers in the month closest to their normal true-up date. The first NEM enrollment month is in July. If you have any questions or concerns about automatic enrollment, please contact us at 888-909-6227.
Monterey Bay Community Power solar customers will save money compared to PG&E solar customers. If you are a net consumer of electricity, you will receive a rebate on your electric generation charges from MBCP, set at 3% for 2018. If you are an annual net generator of electricity, MBCP will compensate you at a significantly higher rate than PG&E.
The financial incentives for solar are largely unchanged with MBCP. As the electric delivery provider, PG&E still limits the size of solar systems to 110% of expected total usage. However, for solar customers that are also Net Generators, MBCP’s Net Surplus Compensation rate is significantly higher than PG&E’s. To find out the current NSC rate, please call us at 888-909-6227.
Yes. With Monterey Bay Community Power, customers will continue to have an annual true-up for both MBCP and PG&E charges. The true-up date will be the anniversary of their enrollment with MBCP, instead of the anniversary of their system interconnection. MBCP automatically enrolls solar customers close to their original true-up date in order to minimize disruption to customers.
Yes, commercial customers will receive a minimum 3% rebate in 2018 on their generation charges from MBCP, provided either quarterly or biannually depending on load size and customer class.
No, reliability will not be affected. MBCP provides electric generation services, but responsibility for power transmission, distribution, billing and service reliability remains with PG&E. PG&E continues to maintain the power distribution network and repair any outages.
Direct Access (DA) customer accounts are not automatically enrolled with Monterey Bay Community Power. DA customers in MBCP’s service area will stay with their current DA provider, unless they choose to change providers and enroll in the Monterey Bay Community Power generation service.
Monterey Bay Community Power’s commercial rate schedules are designed to parallel PG&E rate schedules, and apply to generation-related charges only. For instance, MBCP maintains an equivalent schedule for all current commercial rate schedules (e.g. A-1, A-10, E-19) provided by PG&E. This includes time-of-use and NEM rate schedules.
Monterey Bay Community Power rate schedules describe generation-related charges only. By law, PG&E delivery charges remain the same, whether you receive generation services from MBCP or PG&E. The bill will also include PCIA exit fees which are accounted for in MBCP rate setting. There will also be a minimum 3% rebate credit that appears on your bill either quarterly or bi-annually depending on load size and customer class.
Only slightly. Large commercial energy customers are usually on rate schedules that have demand charges. These are complex and are comprised of generation, distribution and transmission-related charges. Demand charges are based on peak monthly kilowatt demand for a given interval. The distribution and transmission portion of the demand charge remains with PG&E, as it is on the current PG&E rate schedule. This represents the majority of the current demand charge. The rate for the smaller generation portion of the demand charge is set by MBCP.
As a Monterey Bay Community Power commercial customer, you are no longer eligible for PG&E’s Peak Day Pricing (PDP) program, an opt out program that offers regular rate demand credits in return for peak period energy surcharges on 9-15 event days. MBCP customers are eligible for all other Demand Response-related programs, through direct enrollment with a program aggregator or PG&E as applicable. These include the Base Interruptible Program (BIP), Capacity Bidding Program (CBP), Demand Response Auction Mechanism (DRAM), Automated Demand Response (ADR) and others.
Yes. The California Public Utilities Commission authorizes PG&E to collect fees (called public goods charges) from all customers to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy incentive programs. PG&E will still collect these fees and Monterey Bay Community Power commercial customers remain eligible for the broad range of energy efficiency rebates, incentives and services currently offered by PG&E.
Rates are developed by MBCP staff, and are approved by the Monterey Bay Community Power’s governing Board of Directors in a public meeting process. MBCP generation rates will be effective starting in March and will remain in effect through 2018. Enrollment and Opt-Out
Per state law, MBCP will mail an enrollment notice to every customer four times, including two times within 60 days prior to the start of service and two times within 60 days following the start of service.
California’s CCA law requires Monterey Bay Community Power to become the default provider of electric generation for customers within our service area, which means all eligible customers will be automatically enrolled and can opt-out and return to PG&E bundled service at any time.
At launch, Monterey Bay Community Power customers are automatically enrolled in MBCP’s MBchoice standard service, unless you opt-out to remain with PG&E service. For the first 60 days of MBCP service, you can opt out at no charge. After the initial 60-day period, there will be a small one-time service fee to opt out ($5 for residential customer accounts and $25 for commercial customer accounts). MBCP customers can switch from MBchoice to MBgreen+ or MBshare service at any time, free of charge. Once enrolled in MBgreen+ or MBshare, customers may choose to return to MBchoice at no cost. Customers of MBCP choosing to opt out of MBCP services and return to PG&E bundled service will be subject to the standard opt out terms and conditions, and additional fees may apply. Terms and Conditions for all services are available on our website.
There is no charge for opting out of Monterey Bay Community Power before or within the first 60 days of service. After the first 60 days of service, Monterey Bay Community Power will charge a one-time administrative fee of $5 for residential accounts or $25 for commercial accounts. You always have the choice to return to PG&E’s bundled service. You can opt out on our website or by calling 1-888-909-MBCP.
Customers who opt out within the enrollment period or in the first 60 days of Monterey Bay Community Power service may return to Monterey Bay Community Power service at any time. Customers who opt out after the first 60 days of service with Monterey Bay Community Power will be prohibited by regulation from returning to Monterey Bay Community Power for one year.
Monterey Bay Community Power provides electricity generation only. As a Community Choice Energy program, our scope is limited to generation services and cannot expand to include metering services. PG&E owns and maintains the energy distribution system, including the meters at your home or business. Therefore, Monterey Bay Community Power does not have any control over whether or not our customers receive Smart Meters from PG&E. If you wish to opt out of a Smart Meter, please contact PG&E directly at 1-800-743-5000.
Establishing service is easy. Contact PG&E one week before you will need service at your new address and schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-743-5000. New customers who move into the Monterey Bay Community Power service area and contact PG&E are automatically enrolled into Monterey Bay Community Power and will be mailed two notices within the first 60 days of service with information about their options.
The Monterey Bay Community Power Policy Board sets rates according to agreed-upon goals of the program and the cost of its energy contracts during that period. MBCP is committed to offering electric generation rates that match PG&E rates, inclusive of the utility imposed exit fee. Rates are developed, discussed, evaluated and approved at public meetings, where the public is welcome to speak and give feedback. For detailed rate information, please see our residential and business rate pages on our website.
A rebate amount, set at a minimum of 3% of your generation charges in 2018, will be presented in the form of a credit on your bill. The rebate will be provided annually in December for residential customers, biannually for small and medium-sized business customers, and quarterly for large business customers. MBgreen+ and MBshare customers will see their rebate redirected to their fund of choice on their bill.
The Monterey Bay Community Power Board is committed to providing the cleanest electricity at the most competitive prices possible. This program was developed to benefit Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties, and clean, green affordable energy is one way we plan to do that. As a public entity, Monterey Bay Community Power is here to serve and benefit all of the residents and businesses in its service territory. We do not have shareholders that we need to serve. We work for you, the local customer.
Yes. CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline is available to Monterey Bay Community Power customers, as well as PG&E customers, and provides the same discount regardless of enrollment with Monterey Bay Community Power or PG&E. Customers enrolled in Monterey Bay Community Power continue to receive their CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline discount within their PG&E delivery charges; there is no need to reapply with Monterey Bay Community Power. New CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline enrollments or renewals must still be done through PG&E's customer service center or website.
No. You will continue to get just one bill from PG&E. Monterey Bay Community Power’s charges for electricity generation are included as a line item on your PG&E bill. PG&E will continue to charge for the transmission and delivery of electricity, along with a variety of other regulatory and program charges at the same rates they always have. There are no duplicate charges for electricity generation.
PG&E charges Monterey Bay Community Power customers a Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) and a Franchise Fee Surcharge. Both are calculated based on the number of kilowatt-hours used each month. The PCIA is intended to ensure that MBCP customers pay the difference between what PG&E paid for power contracted to serve them prior to their switch, and the current market value of that power. For most MBCP customers, the PCIA is currently two to three cents per kilowatt-hour, depending on when the customer switched to Monterey Bay Community Power and whether they are a residential or a commercial customer. The PCIA and Franchise Fee charges are factored into MBCP’s rate setting process so that in total, customers still save money compared to PG&E’s rates.
This is a state-required “high usage surcharge” that is applied to the part of the energy that exceeds four times the baseline allowance, and applies to Tiered Rate plan (E-1) customers, it is not an MBCP charge, and will apply to all E-1 customers.
No. Monterey Bay Community Power's rates mirror those of PG&E, so your rate plan remains the same, and will be equivalent to PG&E's generation rate for MBchoice. For more information, visit our rates web pages.
No. SmartRate is a PG&E program that provides you a small discount during summer months in return for a higher rate up to 15 SmartDays a year, where you pay a much higher price for usage. Monterey Bay Community Power rate schedules are designed to follow the same rates as PG&E, however at this time we do not have an equivalent SmartRate program, since PG&E is in the process of implementing time of use as a default rate, which could lead to phasing out this special rate. Instead, you will have carbon-free electricity at equivalent rates to PG&E year-round, and will have the chance to participate in similar dynamic rates as they become available in the future.
Yes, since PG&E handles the transmission and distribution for all Monterey Bay Community Power customers, our customers will continue to receive credits such as this one as long as PG&E offers them.
If you use the Budget Billing option with PG&E, your PG&E natural gas charges and your electric delivery charges will still be leveled from month to month. Electric generation charges cannot be leveled in the MBCP program and will vary with each bill. For most customers, these charges do not vary greatly from month to month during the year.
No. PG&E must provide the same rates for all customers in their service area whether or not they receive electricity from Monterey Bay Community Power or another third-party energy service provider. The PCIA exit fee is only charged to MBCP customers, but that fee is absorbed by MBCP and reflected in lower electric generation rates.
Monterey Bay Community Power will be financed by revenues received from our ratepayers based on the electricity they consume. MBCP is self-funded through existing ratepayer revenues and do not use any tax dollars. As a community agency, any revenues that exceed our costs will be used to for customer rebates and to benefit the communities we serve.
Monterey Bay Community Power is a joint powers authority, governed by a Policy Board and an Operations Board, each of which includes eleven members. All board members are local elected officials or local government administrators who serve on the board as part of their duties representing their MBCP-member city or county. All board meetings are open to the public, with agendas posted in advance per the Brown Act. Board meeting agendas can be found on our website.
No. Directors serve on the Board as part of their duties as elected officials and do not receive any additional stipends or other payments of benefits.
No. Monterey Bay Community Power is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) that functions as a stand-alone public agency The debts and liabilities of the JPA do not extend to the member cities and counties. This legal firewall is protected by state law.