Investigative reporter Erika Towne has turned the spotlight on Silicon Valley Power. What has been suspected, and has now been revealed, SVP has turned its autonomy into a power-hungry fiefdom.
At a recent City Council meeting, SVP made it known that they would be requesting another rate increase. This would be the third increase within a year.
Hold it folks. Somewhere in this relationship between City Council, residents and the city’s power company, they got their wires crossed.
SVP was a brilliant idea. Create a Santa Clara owned power company and make rates lower and more affordable for residents and at the same time, attract new business.
This idea has worked well for over 100 years, beginning in 1896.
It has not been easy. Keeping the greedy power companies from squeezing SVP into a forced sale while meeting all the requirements of the Feds and state regulators is tough.
PG&E views SVP as a thorn in their butt that sits in the middle of Silicon Valley. Residents have been the recipients of power rates up to 40% less than PG&E right next door. These competitive rates have been extended to businesses as well.
However, SVP and its independent board, along with current Manager Manuel Pineda, have lost their focus and now have their wires crossed.
SVP is selling power below market rates to data centers and asking residents to make up the difference. That amounts to a public subsidy for businesses worth billions.
Now, isn’t that convenient?
Sorry Mr. Pineda, it doesn’t work that way.
You have misplaced the vision that made SVP so great for generations. It is not the responsibility of residents to make up the difference for generosity to data centers.
If you and your salesmen can’t sell rates that are already exceptionally competitive, Santa Clara has the wrong salesmen or manager.
The way this has worked for generations is the horse goes in front of the cart.
The residents of Santa Clara are not the piggy bank for SVP. Anyone can sell anything if someone else pays the bill.
The council should either send you back to the calculator or, failing that, go on a national search for a sales team that doesn’t believe they have to give their competitive product away at the expense of their current customers.