Frequently Asked Questions for EcoChoice and EcoShare
- What is EcoChoice?
EcoChoiceSM gives you the ability to reduce your carbon footprint and purchase clean, renewable energy for your home or business. You can now support the environment and promote the growth of renewable energy in our region with no upfront installation costs.
When you enroll, SDG&E buys renewable energy on your behalf from large, utility-scale generating facilities built specifically for EcoChoice. You can enroll from 50% to 100% of your electricity usage in the program and pay a small premium each month based on the size of your renewable energy subscription. The more renewable energy you buy the more renewable generation we can build.
The average SDG&E residential customer will pay slightly more than $2 per month for 100% renewable energy subscription through EcoChoice.*
New renewable energy facilities take time to build, and a temporary pool of solar facilities (Interim Pool) will be used to serve the program until new renewable energy generating facilities come online.
*Typical residential premium estimated using current EcoChoice prices and average residential energy consumption of 487 kWh per month.
- What is EcoShare?
EcoShareSM brings community renewables to SDG&E customers.
Through EcoShare you work directly with third-party renewable energy developers to purchase the rights to a portion of the energy generated from a new renewable energy facility. You enter into a private agreement with the developer, known as a Customer-Developer Agreement (CDA), where the electricity price and agreement terms are defined. Participating developers also enter into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with us, and are paid only for energy generated in excess of what customers have purchased.
- How do I enroll?
EcoChoice enrollment will begin in late 2016. Join our EcoChoice interest list.
Enrolling in EcoShare is handled through your renewable energy developer. SDG&E’s terms and conditions, as well as the value of the bill credit received from us, are outlined in the EcoShare tariff. A minimum one year agreement is required and termination fees may apply.
There are currently no developers with an active EcoShare Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). However, you may encounter developers building community interest for a future project.
- Who is eligible to participate?
If you purchase electricity from us, you are eligible to participate with very limited exclusions. You can’t participate in EcoChoice and EcoShare if you are currently enrolled in a distributed generation tariff (e.g. NEM, NEM-V, RES-BCT) or pilot rate program, or if you participate in in Direct Access (DA).
Customers on all other rates, including electric vehicle rates like EV-TOU, are eligible to participate. Please contact [email protected] with questions regarding eligibility.
- What is the difference between this program and rooftop solar?
- Can I start purchasing renewable energy immediately after I sign up?
Customers participating in EcoChoice will begin purchasing renewable energy immediately from our existing facilities while new renewable energy generating facilities are built specifically for the program.
Customers participating in EcoShare will purchase renewable energy when the facility they select is constructed and becomes operational.
- Where can I find a complete listing of program requirements and prices?
- Is there a minimum amount of time I have to be enrolled?
We'll require a minimum one (1) year term for participation in both EcoChoice and EcoShare. You will continue to be enrolled after the first year on a monthly basis. If you terminate your participation you may not re-enroll in the same rate for a one year period beginning on your withdrawal date.
EcoShare participants should review their Customer-Developer Agreement for additional enrollment terms.
- What happens if I cancel my participation in the first year?
You will have 60 days, beginning on your effective date of enrollment, to cancel your participation in EcoChoice or EcoShare for any reason without being charged an early termination fee. The cancellation will become effective on your next closed bill period after the termination request is processed.
If you elect to cancel after 60 days, but prior to the end of the one year agreement term, you'll be charged a termination fee as outlined in the EcoChoice and EcoShare tariffs:
EcoShare participants should review their Customer-Developer Agreement for additional cancellation terms.
- Can I change how much renewable energy I purchase?
EcoChoice Customers - Yes, you may elect to change your subscription percentage once during the first 60 days of enrollment. After the 60 day period has expired, you may not change your subscription until you have been enrolled in the program for a minimum of 12 months. After the one year participation term has expired, you may change your renewable energy subscription no more than once every 12 months.
EcoShare Customers - Please review your Customer-Developer Agreement for requirements pertaining to changes in participation.
- Will my rate change over time?
Bill credits and charges on your SDG&E bill are based on current California Public Utility Commission approved tariffs. Charges and credits are subject to change annually as approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. You will be provided an annual summary of current program charges and will be notified whenever significant changes to price occur.
EcoShare participants should review their Customer-Developer Agreement for additional terms that cause the cost of renewable energy to change over time.
- Will enrollment impact the information I receive from SDG&E’s My Account?
Yes. By order of the California Public Utilities Commission, all development costs for EcoChoiceSMand EcoShareSM must be recovered from enrolled customers only. Therefore, in an effort to keep costs as low as possible for participants, most existing functionality in My Account will not be expanded for customers enrolled in EcoChoice and EcoShare. This includes:
- Bill to Date
- Bill Forecast
- Rate Comparison
- Goals and Alerts
- Weekly Alert Email
Additionally, enrolled customers will receive an all text version of the Bill Ready Notification Email.
- Will the renewable electricity I buy through the program be supplied directly to my home?
By enrolling in EcoChoice or EcoShare, you are purchasing renewable energy for your home or business. Although the renewable electrons can’t be delivered to a specific location, we'll purchase an amount of renewable energy equivalent to your monthly subscription on your behalf. In this way, your participation contributes directly to the growth of renewable energy in our region.
- Can I move and continue to participate?
Yes, enrollment is fully transferable to your new location, provided that the new location is within our service territory. As part of your transfer of service (moving to a new location), you should let us know when and where the existing enrollment should be transferred. Eligibility of the new location will be determined before transfer of the rate is completed.
EcoShare participants should review their Customer-Developer Agreement for additional requirements regarding transfer of service.
- Can I participate in EcoChoice and EcoShare at the same time?
- How and when will I be billed?
EcoChoice Customers - You will be billed on your monthly SDG&E electricity bill. EcoChoice charges will be listed as separate line items and are in addition to your regular electricity charges.
EcoShare Customers - You will receive a net credit on your monthly SDG&E electricity bill proportional to the amount of renewable energy purchased through EcoShare. Due to the transfer of information between SDG&E and your developer, this credit will be delayed one billing cycle (i.e. you will received your credit for January’s generation on your February bill).
You will be billed separately from the renewable energy developer for your subscribed portion of the renewable generating facility according to the terms of your Customer-Developer Agreement.
- How do I know if I qualify as a small commercial business or large commercial business?
Your existing rate will determine if you are a small commercial business customer or large commercial business customer.
For the EcoChoice program, the following rate schedules are considered small commercial:
- Schedule TOU-A
- Schedule A-TOU
- Schedule A
- Schedule UM
- Schedule A-TC
If you're a non-residential customer and your rate is not listed above, you're considered large commercial for the EcoChoice program. For more information on rate schedules, please see the Rates and Regulations page.
- What is a Customer-Developer Agreement?
This is an agreement between EcoShare project developers and subscribing customers outlining the energy price and subscription terms related to purchasing electricity produced by the renewable generating facility.
A Customer-Developer Agreement applies to EcoShare participants only.
- Isn’t SDG&E already mandated to buy renewable energy?
Yes. Established in 2002, California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) is one of the most ambitious renewable energy standards in the country. The RPS program requires us as well as the state’s other investor-owned utilities, electric service providers, and community choice aggregators to increase procurement from eligible renewable energy resources.
EcoChoice and EcoShare allow customers to purchase renewable energy above what SDG&E is already providing. Renewable energy purchased through EcoChoice and EcoShare is in addition to, and does not count towards, our RPS target.
- I would like to build a large renewable energy facility, how do I sell the renewable energy to SDG&E?
If you are interested in selling electricity from your renewable energy project to us without participating in EcoShare, please visit the Renewables page.
- What is Green-e Energy?
Green-e Energy is North America’s leading voluntary certification program for renewable energy. Since 1997, Green-e Energy has certified renewable energy that meets environmental and consumer protection standards that it developed in conjunction with leading environmental, energy and policy organizations. Green-e Energy requires that sellers of certified renewable energy disclose clear and useful information to potential customers, allowing consumers to make informed choices.
Green-e for Businesses and Products is committed to helping Green-e Energy customers tell their sustainability stories. For over a decade, Green-e has been working with leading companies and products that use renewable energy and equipping them with recognition, promotional, and communication tools to market their sustainability efforts to customers and stakeholders. Green-e currently certifies companies, facilities, products, electric vehicles, printing and paper supply, and events. For more information on Green-e’s business and marketing solutions e-mail [email protected] or call 415-561-2100.