Establishing Community-Based Clean Energy Programs
San Jose has been working to become one of the most sustainable cities in the country. As part of that effort, the city established San Jose Clean Energy (SJCE), which offers renewable energy options at competitive prices to residents and businesses. SJCE is also working to develop clean energy programs that generate revenue for the community, expand clean energy options for residents, and help the city meet its climate goals. To advance these initiatives, SJCE hired FUSE Executive Fellow Kevin Meehan, who developed a roadmap of clean energy programs that benefit residents and implemented a $14 million electric vehicle charging infrastructure program. He also led the application submission to the California Public Utilities Commission to administer a community solar program to provide an electricity bill discount with 100 percent solar electricity to low-income San Jose residents. Kevin also helped SJCE register its 100 percent renewable energy product through the California Air Resources Board Low Carbon Fuel Standard’s alternative fuel portal. To create the roadmap of clean energy programs, Kevin engaged the community through online and in-person surveys, community presentations, and an interactive workshop led by the Rocky Mountain Institute. He also consulted with the Clean Energy Community Advisory Commission and presented the roadmap to a key stakeholder, the San Jose Transportation and Environment Committee. In addition to his work on pilot programs, Kevin helped create SJCE informational websites on rooftop solar, electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and backup power options for San Jose residents, and he helped initiate funding procurement for future programs.