Frequently Asked Questions

Our friendly Service Center staff are here to answer your questions.

MCE General FAQ

We are  a not-for-profit public agency and the preferred electricity provider for more than 585,000 customer accounts and 1.5 million residents and businesses across Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, and Solano Counties.

Setting the standard for clean energy in California since 2010, MCE leads with 60–100% renewable, fossil-free power at stable rates, serving a 1,400 MW peak load and significantly reducing greenhouse emissions and reinvesting millions in local programs.

MCE electricity generation charges are not an additional fee. They simply replace PG&E’s electricity generation charges.

We provide electricity service and cutting-edge energy programs to 38 member communities in Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, and Solano Counties.

Learn more about how MCE works.

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) offers an opportunity for California communities to choose the source of their electricity. It was put into law in 2002 when Assembly Bill 117 (Chapter 838, Statutes of 2002) was passed. In 2010, MCE became California’s first CCA. Today, there are 25 CCAs in California serving more than 14 million customers in over 200 cities statewide.

Your town or city council (or county board of supervisors, if you are in an unincorporated area) voted to join MCE, making MCE your default electricity generation provider by California state law. If you move to or open a new PG&E account in one of our 38 member communities, your electricity generation service will automatically come from MCE unless you choose PG&E’s generation service by opting out of MCE. As an MCE customer, you will continue to get your gas service, electricity delivery, billing, and power line maintenance from PG&E.

MCE’s service area includes all of Marin and Napa Counties, unincorporated Contra Costa County, unincorporated Solano County, and the cities and towns of Benicia, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Fairfield, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Pinole, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Richmond, San Pablo, San Ramon, Vallejo, and Walnut Creek.

No, not entirely. PG&E continues to provide all gas services, electricity delivery, billing, and power line maintenance. MCE replaces only the electricity generation services with 60–100% renewable energy at competitive rates.

All MCE customers are still PG&E customers. PG&E provides electricity delivery services, like meter reading and power line maintenance, for MCE customers. PG&E will continue to send your electricity bill, which will include MCE electricity generation charges. MCE’s electricity generation charges replace PG&E’s electricity generation charges and account for the source of your energy. MCE is buying and building a cleaner electricity supply for you. Learn more about billing

If you are an MCE customer, the front page of your PG&E bill will include a line item called “MCE Electric Generation Charges.” If you are a Deep Green customer, you will see a line item called “Deep Green” on the “Details of MCE Electric Generation Charges” page of your bill that shows the extra penny per kWh you pay as a Deep Green customer. You can also check your account status by calling us at (888) 632-3674 with your PG&E account number (found on your bill) or by emailing us at info@mceCleanEnergy.org

Our energy is mostly produced from nonpolluting, renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, and bioenergy. The projects that produce our electricity are located in California, the Pacific Northwest, and Colorado. The exact proportion of each varies with time, based on demand and availability. For example, MCE may use a higher proportion of hydroelectric energy during the spring and summer months when winter runoff generates more power at affordable prices. Learn more about MCE’s power sources

We have short- and long-term contracts with a variety of power suppliers to meet the energy needs of our customers. Each year, we host an “open season” process whereby developers or owners of renewable energy projects can propose contracts. We also operate a Feed-In Tariff program through which local developers can create and sell small renewable energy projects directly to us at a set price, provided that they are located in our service area.

We are required to report to the California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission annually on the amount of renewable energy we procure for our customers. This is the same standard used by other California utilities, such as PG&E. See our most recent Power Content Label

We source power from several renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric. This allows us to generate energy to meet all of our customers’ needs even when the sun isn’t shining. Learn more about where your power comes from

No. We buy and build cleaner electricity sources. This electricity is fed onto the statewide shared electric grid and then moves to customers down the path of least resistance. This is why accountability is important. Clean energy is accounted for through contracts and renewable energy certificates that confer the “renewable attributes” of this energy. The process works this way because, for example, individual electrons can’t be routed from a wind turbine to a specific house that enrolled in clean power unless a new transmission line is built directly from the power source to the home. MCE, just like PG&E, reports power purchases to the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission so you can be sure that we are putting cleaner electricity onto the grid on behalf of our customers.

Our program partners may approach your business or residence to offer energy-efficiency services. MCE representatives will never request payment from you at your door, ask you to write down or email your account number, nor pressure you to act immediately to switch or receive services. Any representatives approaching you on behalf of MCE will be able to provide valid ID and credentials proving their relationship with MCE as an authorized trade ally or partner.

The program partners that you may be in contact with at your home include:

If you are unsure of the identity of the representative or are asked to do any of these things that we don’t ask our customers to do, please notify us at (888) 632-3674 or info@mceCleanEnergy.org. Learn more about how to protect yourself from energy scams

Opt Out FAQ

You can opt out online or by phone at (888) 632-3674. Please have your PG&E bill or account information on hand in order for us to process your request.

You can request to opt out of MCE service at any time. There is a five-day business window for processing opt-out requests, and your account must be transferred on your regularly scheduled meter read date. If you request to opt out of MCE service after 60 days of service with us, PG&E will prohibit you from returning to MCE for one year. In addition, PG&E provides two options for customers who wish to return to PG&E after the first 60 days of service:

  1. A customer may request to return to PG&E by providing six months’ advance notice. The customer will continue to receive energy from MCE for six months, after which time they will return to PG&E, and PG&E will apply its standard rates upon the customer’s return.
  2. A customer may request to return to PG&E immediately, but will be subject to PG&E’s Transitional Bundled Commodity Cost (TBCC) rate program for six months instead of PG&E’s traditional rates. PG&E’s TBCC rate is transitional and varies from month to month.

Customers should contact PG&E for more information about TBCC and their options for returning to PG&E after the first 60 days of service with MCE.

No. We support your power to choose. Any customer may opt out of MCE service and choose PG&E service. The choice is yours.

If you opt out before starting MCE service or within the first 60 days of MCE service, you may return to MCE at any time. If you opt out after the first 60 days of service with MCE, you will be prohibited by PG&E from returning to MCE for one year from your opt-out effective date, even if your bill would be lower with MCE.

There is no charge for opting out of MCE before or within the first 60 days of service. After the first 60 days of service, you will be charged a one-time $5 (residential) or $25 (commercial) administrative fee, which covers the cost of returning the account to PG&E service.

MCE Service Options FAQ

Sign up for Deep Green online or by phone at (888) 632-3674. Please have your PG&E bill account information on hand to complete your enrollment.

Yes. You can switch between Light Green and Deep Green service at any time online or by phone at (888) 632-3674. Please have your PG&E account information on hand to make the change.

Yes. Any resident or business in our service area can choose MCE for their electricity generation service. Because MCE is the default energy provider, you will need to choose MCE only if you have previously opted out of our service. To check on the status of your account, please call us at (888) 632-3674 or email info@mcecleanenergy.org Please have your PG&E account information on hand.

MCE Rates FAQ

Our 60% renewable electricity service is cost competitive with — and often lower than — PG&E’s 38% renewable electricity service for typical customers. Compare your costs and options

Yes. Any MCE customer who meets PG&E’s NEM program requirements is eligible for MCE’s NEM program Generally, this includes customers with renewable electricity generation systems (such as solar, wind, biogas, and fuel cell installations) that are less than 1,000 kW. The average residential installation is 5 kW and the average commercial installation is 100–200 kW.

Our Board of Directors sets the electricity generation rates for our customers. We value public participation and transparency, which is why our rates are developed, discussed, evaluated, and approved at public meetings where customers are able to comment. We invite you to attend and give us your feedback. Rate setting typically occurs on an annual basis, and new rates typically go into effect in April.

If you use PG&E’s Budget Billing option (previously called Balanced Payment Plan), you will continue to receive your gas and electricity delivery charges from PG&E in the Budget Billing form. However, your electricity generation charges from MCE will not be included in your Budget Billing calculation and will vary from month to month, depending on your usage. Therefore, you will see some variance on your monthly bills.

Yes. MCE customers enrolled in CARE and/or FERA will continue to receive their discount; there is no need to reapply with MCE. Learn more about CARE and FERA

Yes. If you are enrolled in Medical Baseline Allowance, you will continue to receive your full allowance as an MCE customer. There is no need to reapply with MCE. New Medical Baseline Allowance enrollments or renewals are made through PG&E’s customer service center or website. If you believe you are eligible for the Medical Baseline Allowance program and would like to sign up, please call PG&E at (866) 743-5000 or visit PG&E’s website

No. PG&E must provide the same delivery rates for all customers in its service area whether or not they receive electricity from MCE or another third-party energy service provider.

MCE Governance & Finance FAQ

We are governed by a Board of Directors that represents each of the member communities that MCE serves. Our local government structure ensures public transparency and accountability. Our Board conducts its business in monthly meetings that are always open to the public. Attend an upcoming Board meeting

We are financed by the revenues received from our customers based on the electricity they consume. As a self-funded, not-for-profit public agency that does not use any tax dollars, we also ensure that any financial benefits directly serve the community.

No. We do not pay our Directors. Our Board of Directors is composed of elected city and county officials who represent each of the communities that we serve.

No, MCE does not receive tax dollars. We are funded by the revenue received from our customers based on the electricity they use.

No. The cities and counties have “firewalled” their general funds through the formation of a Joint Powers Authority (JPA). The debts and liabilities of the JPA do not extend to the member cities and counties. This firewall is protected by state law.

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