The Pioneer Community Energy (Pioneer) Board reviewed its rates in light of PG&E’s recent rate hikes, and voted unanimously to maintain Pioneer’s rates as they were set December 2017. Pioneer customers will now realize an average 9% discount on electric generation over PG&E rates, which went up March 1, 2018.
Pioneer has been committed to lower and more stable rates. The Pioneer Board carefully reviewed updated financial information, and considered the impact of several rate scenarios on Pioneer’s ability to pay-off all of its debt and to set aside prudent financial reserves. The Board determined that it could maintain current rates, which provide an average of 9% discount from PG&E’s electric generation rates, while still fully funding Pioneer’s reserves in two years, and repaying its debt in less than three years.
“The residents and businesses that chose Pioneer trusted us to do the right thing,” said Jeff Duncan, Town Councilmember for Loomis and Pioneer Governing Board member. “This was an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to providing lower, more stable rates for Pioneer customers, while still building a financially solid program.”
“Pioneer Community Energy is about local control,” said Kirk Uhler, Placer County Board of Supervisor and Pioneer Governing Board member. “We could follow PG&E, or we could lead our communities to greater economic benefits – we’ve chosen to lead.”
The Pioneer Board also indicated that it wanted to begin looking at other programs to benefit rate payers, and asked that the process include public input and involvement.
“The Pioneer Board wants the public to tell us what kind of energy related programs are important to them,” said Bridget Powers, Auburn Mayor and Pioneer Governing Board member. “Together, through local input and local control, we can create programs that make a difference in our communities.”
In addition to community input and innovation, Pioneer will evaluate energy programs provided by other utilities. The Pioneer Board directed staff to begin a strategic planning process for engaging community members on program development.
Enrollment into Pioneer Community Energy began on February 1, 2018, and it is now complete for all residents and businesses in the areas of Auburn, Colfax, Loomis, Lincoln, Rocklin and unincorporated Placer County. Customers were enrolled as of each new billing cycle that started after February 1, 2018. Later this summer, Pioneer will begin enrolling Net Energy Metering (NEM/solar) customers. NEM customers will be enrolled in Pioneer within 30 days of their true-up. NEM customers will also receive four notices: two prior to enrollment, and two after enrollment. The notices will provide information about Pioneer, and additional information specific to NEM customers.
All residents and businesses in the service territory have the choice to continue receiving the benefits of Pioneer’s electric generation rates, or to remain with PG&E. Customers who chose to return to PG&E (opt out of Pioneer) can still choose to opt back in to Pioneer. For more information please contact your Pioneer Community Energy team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (916) 758-8969 or 1 (844) YES–PIONEER.