Increase Use and Generation of Renewable Energy

Overview

Electricity providers in California must procure a minimum of 33 percent by 2020, and 50 percent by 2030. The City of Richmond is already well beyond compliance with the State requirement. In 2013 the City joined the MCE Clean Energy Program to increase renewable energy choices for local businesses and residents. A “Community Choice Energy” program, MCE procures electricity from renewable sources – solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal, and small hydro – and then partners with PG&E to deliver electricity to homes and businesses.
In partnership with MCE, the City is aiming to supply at least 87 percent of community electricity from sources that are 95 percent renewable by 2025; PG&E will supply the remainder of community electricity from sources that are at least 50 percent renewable by 2030.

Implementation Strategies

The Richmond City Council has been a leader in the advancement of local solar energy supply by adopting policies, programs, and budgets that facilitate City staff members in:
1)    Developing robust programming for residents, including free solar for income-qualifying residents;
2)    Streamlining solar permits for contractors;
3)    Greening the City’s electricity supply with the MCE Clean Energy electricity supply and MCE's feed-in tariff program; and
4)    Utilizing the City’s land-use authority to facilitate large scale local development such as the Solar One project enabled by the City's Environmental and Community Investment Agreement (ECIA) with Chevron.

Key Performance Indicators

Community Choice

In 2013, the City of Richmond joined MCE Clean Energy to increase renewable energy choices for local businesses and residents. A “Community Choice Energy" program, MCE procures electricity from renewable sources – solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal, and small hydro – and then partners with PG&E to deliver electricity to homes and businesses.
MCE generates a baseline of 55% of their electricity from renewable energy sources compared to 33% for PG&E.

Deep Green Energy

MCE offers Richmond ratepayers the opportunity to choose 50 to 100 percent renewable energy at highly competitive rates. Ratepayers that voluntarily “opt-UP” to MCE’s Deep Green 100% renewable energy service effectively eliminate the carbon pollution associated with their electricity usage. 
In 2017, the City moved all municipal electric accounts to Deep Green service and eliminated greenhouse gas emissions from municipal electric consumption. 
The City continues to work with both PG&E and MCE to increase the percent of electricity that is sourced from renewable systems.

Annual Solar Installs

In the Climate Action Plan, Richmond sets a 2030 goal of installing 1,010 new residential solar installations averaging 4 kW per system and 69 new commercial solar installations averaging 174 kW per system. As of the end of 2017, there are 1,403 solar systems in Richmond.

Completed Solar Installations

Solar Potential via Project Sunroof

Solar Equity

Richmond has developed a partnership with the GRID Alternatives Energy for All program over the last ten years, and successfully solarized over 400 low-income local households. The City supports the partnership by:
1) Contributing funding to provide additional solar and electrical panel funding and close any funding gaps for residents.
2) Organizing campaigns and sign-up events.
3) Funding roof repairs for participating households that are unable to install solar because of poor roof condition.