When subscribers to Santa Clara Green Power turn on their light switch, television, microwave or laptop, their electricity comes from the wind and sun, outdoor elements which happen to be sources of renewable energy. Back in May, Silicon Valley Power’s Santa Clara Green Power program was recognized again by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as one of the Top 10 green power programs in America.
“Since the inception of Santa Clara Green Power 10 years ago, we have made the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Top 10 list for 10 years in a row,” says Larry Owens, Silicon Valley Power’s manager of customer services.
The NREL noted the following details about Silicon Valley Power specific to 2015: 8 percent of Silicon Valley Power customers have participated in Santa Clara Green Power. Silicon Valley Power delivered over 40 percent of its power from carbon-free sources. Silicon Valley Power sold 179,621 megawatt hours of electricity, putting the city department on par with the nation’s largest electric utilities.
“Santa Clara Green Power is only for Santa Clara residents and businesses; all Silicon Valley Power customers are eligible for this program,” Owens says. “Santa Clara has its own electric utility, Silicon Valley Power. We are a department of the city. Santa Clara’s electric utility was established in 1896 and it became known as Silicon Valley Power in 1998.”
Owens explains that Silicon Valley Power’s regular power product offers 28.6 percent of renewable power. Subscribing to Santa Clara Green Power gives customers an opportunity to have access to 100 percent renewable power through wind and solar energy. Owens also confirms that coal, oil, and natural gas, nonrenewable energy sources, produce environmentally damaging carbon dioxide (C02) when these fossil fuels are burned with oxygen.
Addressing customers who might question why they have to pay more to subscribe to Santa Clara Green Power, Owens explains that what they’re purchasing is a special product that focuses on solar and wind power, which is more expensive than power from other sources.
“It’s only a penny and a half more per kilowatt hour,” Owens says of the rate increase. “For an average customer, you pay only a little less than 15 percent more money on your utility bill. It’s only about an extra $7.50 for an average customer per month.”
Owens adds that Silicon Valley Power conducts outreach to help customers understand the Santa Clara Green Power program while giving them a chance to enroll.
“Most recently, we had a team of people going door to door to educate our customers about the program,” he says. “Our last effort enrolled over 400 new customers.”
Visit http://www.siliconvalleypower.com/solar-and-green-power/santa-clara-green-power for more information about Silicon Valley Power’s Santa Clara Green Power program.