​Keep Ava Community Energy from accepting PG&E’s Nuclear Energy!

Ava Community Energy Board Members, Community Advisory Committee + Alternates

Keep Ava Community Energy from accepting PG&E’s Nuclear Energy!

*Ava Community Energy (formerly East Bay Community Energy, or the EBCE), the public electricity agency servicing Alameda and San Joaquin Counties, is considering accepting PG&E’s Diablo Canyon nuclear energy into its power mix. Community Choice programs in California were created to give the public the power to choose where their electricity comes from and what kind of energy it is (under California Assembly Bill 117 in 2002). In East Bay–Alameda County, the community effort led by the East Bay Clean Power Alliance has advocated for local clean energy through Ava Community Energy, with an emphasis on affordability, creating clean energy jobs, community wealth, less remote transmission, and combating climate change. Equity has been at the center of this effort since the beginning.

At the April 17 Ava Community Energy board meeting there was an action item to possibly accept PG&E’s nuclear power and add it to Ava Community Energy’s Bright Choice – the energy tier competitively priced below PG&E’s rates. This is insulting to overburdened low-income customers, environmentally unjust, and a “bait and switch” to Renewable 100 customers who are currently paying a premium for the promise of clean, renewable energy. Additionally, three Ava Community Energy cities are “nuclear free zones”: Hayward, Oakland, and Berkeley. This issue is nothing new: the agency sought to take PG&E’s nuclear power several times in 2020. 70% of PG&E’s nuclear offer was rejected by the majority of Community Choice energy programs in California that year.

As Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island have shown us, nuclear energy is dangerous and dirty and not just because of deadly nuclear meltdowns. Uranium mining, radioactive waste dumping, and lack of safe, long-term storage put workers, communities, and the environment at risk. This form of energy is not worth the potential fallout. ‘

California has been phasing out nuclear power, since the abrupt closure of San Onofre (San Diego) due to radioactive leaks. In the meantime, the cost of keeping Diablo Canyon open has skyrocketed to over $1 billion a year in losses—guess who is forced to pay for it? We are! PG&E offloads these costs to all customers in their territory, including Ava Community Energy customers and other residents serviced by Community Choice programs. This is done through the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) fee, enabled by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) who act as a rubber stamp body for PG&E.

Ava Community Energy and all other Community Choice programs could save tens of millions of dollars in customer costs if Diablo Canyon were to close, as the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility has been urging the CPUC. The CPUC and Governor Gavin Newson have instead extended Diablo Canyon’s contract by 5 years (2030); the projected costs of continuing to run the aging plant are expected to exceed $6 billion and leave workers and communities at risk.

Take action to urge Ava Community Energy Board of Directors to reject PG&E's offer of nuclear energy and focus on increasing investments in true local clean energy infrastructure and support the closure of Diablo Canyon and defend us customers from having to shoulder the burden of cost of PG&E’s bad energy investments.

*Ava Community Energy (formerly East Bay Community Energy) is an electricity agency that powers Alameda & San Joaquin county cities. The cities currently powered by Ava Community Energy: Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, Tracy, and Union City. The unincorporated areas of Alameda County (including Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview, San Lorenzo, and Sunol) are also served by Ava. Electricity service is expected to be delivered to Stockton & Lathrop in 2025. The Ava Community Energy board of directors is made up of elected officials representing the cities and unincorporated county.

To: Ava Community Energy Board Members, Community Advisory Committee + Alternates
From: [Your Name]

Ava Community Energy (formerly East Bay Community Energy - EBCE) has promised us the power to choose cleaner energy and local investments. Nuclear energy is a distraction and disinvestment from true renewable energy. We urge you to take action by upholding the decision from April 2020 by voting against accepting PG&E's Diablo Canyon nuclear energy in Ava Community Energy.

Vote for "Scenario 0 – Do not accept nuclear!"