‘Shop Talk’ Explains Renewable Energy to Local South Pasadena Businesses

About 30 business owners, community leaders and other interested parties listened to what the new renewable energy program has to offer at the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce’s “Shop Talk.” Photos by Steve Whitmore

South Pasadena businesses are on the cutting edge of receiving renewable energy that could save local commercial customers up to 3 percent on their electric bills.

That’s the message that was presented by South Pasadena City Councilwoman Diana Mahmud at the Chamber of Commerce’s “Shop Talk Breakfast” Tuesday morning.

Mahmud was the keynote speaker in front of about 30 community leaders, business owners and other interested parties at the “Shop Talk Breakfast” meeting, designed to bring pertinent information to local businesses.

Mahmud was joined by Ted Bardacke, Clean Power Alliance executive director, to explain the new Joint Powers Authority named the Clean Power Alliance.

South Pasadena Councilwoman Diana Mahmud explained the Clean Power Alliance to the assembled crowd at the Chamber of Commerce’s “Shop Talk.”

Basically, as Mahmud told the crowd, the Clean Power Alliance will purchase renewable energy such as solar and wind power and make it available to local businesses by way of Southern California Edison. The Alliance is an organization formed by Los Angeles and Ventura counties and will be serving about 1 million customers, including South Pasadena commercial and municipal customers. The Alliance will be available to residential customers beginning in 2019, according to Bardacke.

The Clean Power Alliance will purchase renewable energy and offer it to its customers and SCE will deliver it.

There are three distinct advantages to the Clean Power Alliance, Mahmud told the gathering: local management and control; stable, competitive rates; and higher renewable content.

Because South Pasadena is already a member of the alliance, customers here do not have to do anything, Mahmud said.

“I [have] to tell you as a 30-year South Pasadena resident, this to me really speaks to South Pasadena,” Mahmud said. “This is who we are. We believe in local control. We believe that communities are empowered…we are an engaged community.” Mahmud is going to serve as the first chairwoman of the Clean Power Alliance board.

If a business wants to stay with SCE and not participate in the Clean Alliance, they can do so with the caveat that it can’t join for a year, according to Bardacke.

The Alliance is going to offer customers three rate options “to suit your business needs,” Bardacke said.

If a business chooses to receive 36 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, the bill will be 3 percent cheaper than SCE base rates. If the business opts to have 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources, those bills will see a decrease of between 2-3 percent less than SCE base rates. And, if a business wants to get all of its energy from renewable sources, 100 percent, that price will be 5 percent “more affordable than Southern California Edison’s 100 percent renewable green rates,” according to the handout presented at the “Shop Talk.”

In fact, after the formal presentation was concluded, Bardacke said if a business chooses the first or second option, its bills will “definitely decrease” over SCE’s base rates.

Commercial customers will start receiving notices explaining the process soon.

“We sent out our first notices yesterday (Monday),” Bardacke told the crowd. Customers will receive four notices by way of mail.

For more information, people can contact the Clean Power Alliance at (888) 585-3788 or at its website  customerservice@cleanpoweralliance.org.