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Sonoma Clean Power: still better, cheaper than PG&E

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Rachel Dovey's recent analysis of the final four potential energy suppliers for Sonoma Clean Power ("The Final Four: So just how 'clean' are the companies vying for the Sonoma Clean Power job?," May 15) misled readers while trying to throw darts at the large power companies vying for the contract.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has approved Sonoma Clean Power (SCP), and cities are now determining whether to provide their residents and businesses a choice of power providers. Even if some cities elect to join later, residents in the unincorporated parts of the county will be able to get on board starting in January 2014. Anyone not wanting to participate can easily opt out and stay with PG&E.

Competition always benefits the consumer, and providing a choice of energy providers will do the same for Sonoma County residents.

Sonoma Clean Power is negotiating for the greenest mix of power we can afford, while keeping rates competitive with PG&E. Based on the proposals, residential rates will range from almost 2 percent below PG&E to about 1 percent more. Commercial rates will be as much as 3 percent below PG&E to just 0.5 percent more—with more renewables.

It's important to note that every major energy supply company in the United States—those large enough to supply the needs of Sonoma County—will have some fossil fuels in its national portfolio. But SCP isn't buying their national portfolio; SCP is telling those companies what we want for our power supplies here in Sonoma.

By forming Sonoma Clean Power, the county will be able to reinvest the net income from energy sales back into local energy resources and infrastructure, thus keeping our money local. Your energy bill will be reinvested right here to benefit everyone.

Sonoma Clean Power will bring energy consumers in Sonoma County more choice, a reduced carbon footprint and a growing local economy. If you believe in "Go Local," here's another chance to show it.

Cordel Stillman is program manager for Sonoma Clean Power and deputy chief engineer of the Sonoma County Water Agency.

Open Mic is a weekly op/ed feature. We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write openmic@bohemian.com.

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