Alameda Municipal Power to Provide 100 Percent Clean Energy in 2020
Around the state, communities and agencies are taking a look at Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s (PG&E) assets and deciding if a publicly owned electric utility might better meet their residents’ long-term goals. But here in Alameda, that decision was made 132 years ago by residents who saw electricity as an essential public service. Since 1887, Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) has offered low rates, local control and commitment, as well as public accountability and responsive customer services to residents and businesses of the Island City.
When the community owns its electric utility, it means the utility exists to serve you, not shareholders in some distant city or state. That means there are no dividends being paid to shareholders. Rather, the revenue from electricity sales in Alameda goes toward operation of the system and then to improving community services and quality of life for residents. Alameda’s electric rates average 17 percent below those in neighboring communities. AMP has contributed, since its founding, more than $125 million to the City of Alameda’s general fund.
When the community owns its electric utility, it means the community can set standards for environmental stewardship. Decades ago, Alameda’s residents, decided they wanted their utility to be green. Since then, AMP has become a leader in the promotion of clean, sustainable and renewable power. On Jan. 1, 2020, AMP will provide 100 percent clean energy to Alameda — decades ahead of most of California.
That clean energy also means that electric vehicles (EVs) charged in town will be powered by 100 percent clean energy, too. To encourage the growth of EVs, AMP is offering a variety of rebates and incentives for residential and commercial customers, with more on the way in the coming year (see www.alamedamp.com for more information).
AMP is also excited to dedicate a section of the Island’s annual Classic Car Show to the benefits of EV ownership. The inaugural “EV Alley” will line part of Central Avenue at Park Street Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. AMP will follow up with a free public workshop on EVs on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.
The Public Utilities Board resoundingly endorsed AMP’s commitment to clean energy and transportation electrification by approving AMP’s 10-year strategic plan in January. These goals align with the city’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan.
In fact, AMP’s clean power mix has already helped on the path to reach the plan’s goal of lowering the community’s greenhouse-gas emissions to 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. AMP programs to encourage EVs will help even more, especially since transportation contributes half of our community’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Every year, AMP takes part in a week-long national celebration of public power’s hometown advantages. This year, we’re celebrating Public Power Week from Oct. 6 to 12, along with more than 2,000 other utilities that provide electricity on a not-for-profit basis to 49 million Americans.
While the benefits of public power may not always be at the forefront of your mind, it’s worth taking a moment to remember why more than a century ago Alamedans believed in building a community-owned electric utility.