Is Peninsula Clean Energy Cheaper Than Pg&E?

Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) are the main electricity providers for residents and businesses in San Mateo County, California. PCE is a community choice aggregation program that was created in 2016 through a partnership between San Mateo County and its 20 cities. The goal of PCE is to provide greener electricity at lower rates compared to PG&E by purchasing electricity from renewable sources on behalf of customers in its service area.

PG&E is an investor-owned utility company that has provided electricity to Northern California since 1905. While PG&E offers some renewable energy options, their standard electricity offering contains only about 30% renewable energy. PCE was formed to give San Mateo County residents and businesses the choice of having greener electricity at competitive rates from a local non-profit provider.

Rate Comparison

Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) and PG&E have different rate structures for residential customers. PCE has two main tiers, while PG&E has three tiers in their residential rates. PCE also charges customers a flat rate each month for ‘Power Generation’ which covers the cost of procuring electricity, while PG&E uses a time-of-use rate that charges more during peak hours.Reference

The average monthly bill for PCE customers is slightly lower than PG&E. According to PCE’s sample bill, the average monthly cost with PCE’s ECO100 plan is $95.22 compared to $98.33 if you stayed with PG&E’s standard rates. However, PG&E customers can also opt for ‘SmartRate’ time-of-use pricing which may result in additional savings. Overall, PCE aims to provide electricity from cleaner sources while matching PG&E’s rates.Reference

Cost Factors

There are a few key factors that contribute to the costs differences between Peninsula Clean Energy and PG&E:

Fuel sources: Peninsula Clean Energy sources more renewable energy like solar and wind compared to PG&E, which relies more heavily on natural gas power plants. Renewable energy often has lower fuel costs than fossil fuels like natural gas (Peninsula Clean Energy).

Operational costs: As a locally run non-profit, Peninsula Clean Energy has lower operational costs than investor-owned PG&E (Peninsula Clean Energy). They don’t need to provide dividends to shareholders which helps lower operational costs.

Profit incentives: PG&E is an investor-owned utility that prioritizes profits. In contrast, Peninsula Clean Energy is a non-profit focused on providing affordable and clean energy rather than making profits (Peninsula Clean Energy).

Promotions and Discounts

Peninsula Clean Energy offers several promotions and discounts for new and existing customers. For new customers, Peninsula Clean Energy provides a $50 enrollment bonus when you sign up for their EcoPlus or Eco100 plans. This is a one-time bill credit that is applied within two billing cycles after enrollment. To qualify for the bonus, customers must be new Peninsula Clean Energy enrollments residing in San Mateo County.

For existing customers, Peninsula Clean Energy offers ongoing bill discounts through its EV Discount Program. Customers who drive an electric vehicle can receive a $150 bill credit each year for up to 3 years just for charging with Peninsula Clean Energy. The program applies to new or used battery electric vehicles or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Customers must have an active Peninsula Clean Energy account in order to qualify.

In addition to these programs, Peninsula Clean Energy occasionally offers limited time promotions during special enrollment periods. These may include additional bill credits or special discounted rates to incentivize new customer sign-ups.

Billing and Payment Options

Peninsula Clean Energy customers are billed monthly by PG&E (Peninsula Clean Energy, n.d.). The electric generation charges from Peninsula Clean Energy will appear on your monthly PG&E bill, along with charges for delivery, public purpose programs, and other standard billing components (Peninsula Clean Energy, 2017).

Customers can pay their bill through the standard payment options offered by PG&E, such as:

  • Online payment
  • Phone payment
  • Mail-in payment
  • Automatic bank draft
  • PayNearMe locations

There are multiple ways to pay each month just like before you enrolled with Peninsula Clean Energy. The payment processing, customer service, and billing is handled by PG&E.

Customer Service

Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) offers several ways for customers to get in touch with customer support. Customers can contact PCE customer service via phone, email, mail, or an online contact form on their website according to

PCE aims to respond to customer inquiries promptly. Phone support is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. Emails and contact form submissions are typically responded to within 1 business day. For billing questions specifically, PCE notes they “make every effort to research questions thoroughly and provide a response within 5 business days.”

In contrast, PG&E offers customer support via phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Response times for emails and online inquiries may be slower than PCE’s 1 business day target. However, PG&E does provide estimated response times for different types of inquiries on their website.


peninsula clean energy offers 100% renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to pg&e's standard offering.

When it comes to reliability and power outages, Peninsula Clean Energy customers can expect the same electric service as PG&E customers. This is because PG&E continues to maintain the power lines, infrastructure, and handle customer service and billing for Peninsula Clean Energy customers. Both Peninsula Clean Energy and PG&E must meet California’s renewable energy standards.

According to the California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E reported 1.28 average outages per customer in 2019 across its service territory (Source). Peninsula Clean Energy operates on PG&E’s power grid so reliability is the same.

In terms of grid stability, PG&E and Peninsula Clean Energy both source electricity from a mix of renewable sources like solar, wind, geothermal and also natural gas and hydroelectric power when needed to match demand and maintain reliability (Source). The grid stability is the same regardless of your energy provider in San Mateo County.

Renewable Energy Mix

Peninsula Clean Energy utilizes more renewable energy sources than PG&E. According to Peninsula Clean Energy’s website, their ECO100 service provides 100% renewable electricity from sources like solar, wind, and hydropower. PG&E’s standard electricity mix only contains about 30% renewable energy.

By using more renewables, Peninsula Clean Energy’s electricity results in lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to PG&E’s offering. Peninsula Clean Energy reports their ECO100 product emits net zero greenhouse gases. Whereas PG&E’s electricity results in about .126 metric tons of CO2 per megawatt-hour according to their latest power content label. Increased utilization of renewable sources helps Peninsula Clean Energy provide cleaner electricity.

Community Programs

Peninsula Clean Energy invests in local renewable energy programs and provides customer participation incentives. According to Peninsula Clean Energy’s website (, the agency has invested over $50 million in San Mateo County through local energy programs like:

  • Providing rebates for electric vehicles and chargers
  • Installing solar panels and battery storage for low-income housing
  • Funding school education programs focused on climate change
  • Supporting workforce development in the renewable energy sector

Peninsula Clean Energy also offers customers rebates and bill credits for enrolling in renewable energy programs. For example, customers can get $1,250 for installing an electric heat pump water heater or $4,500 for installing solar panels along with battery storage ( These local initiatives and incentives aim to reduce fossil fuel usage and engage customers in the renewable energy transition.


In summary, the key differences between Peninsula Clean Energy and PG&E are that Peninsula Clean Energy provides electricity from renewable sources at lower rates than PG&E in most cases. However, PG&E may be cheaper for high energy users due to Peninsula Clean Energy’s higher tiered rates at higher usage levels. Overall, for average residential customers, Peninsula Clean Energy is likely the cheaper option due to its lower baseline rates and higher percentage of renewable energy. Given the cost savings and renewable energy benefits, Peninsula Clean Energy is the recommended choice for most customers in their service area.

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