© 2020 City of Pico Rivera

  • Artboard 1
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon

What is Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy (PRIME)?

How does it work?

What is Community Choice Aggregation?

Where do you have to live or have a business to participate in PRIME?

When did PRIME begin serving customers? 

Who governs and administers Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy?

How does PRIME partner with Southern California Edison?

Does PRIME replace Southern California Edison?

How much clean and renewable energy does PRIME provide?

Where does PRIME get its electricity? What are the sources of power for PRIME and where are they located?

How does PRIME procure power?

How can I be sure PRIME is actually procuring (standard amount) or 50-100% renewable energy on my behalf?

What are Renewable Energy Certificates?

What is PRIME Power?

What is PRIME Future?

How do I sign up for PRIME Future?

Can I switch between the PRIME Power and PRIME Future services?

Is there a grace period if I sign up, switch, or opt out?

How do Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy’s rates compare to (SCE) Southern California Edison?

What are PCIA and other fees?

How does PRIME set its rates?

How do I know that PRIME will not raise its rates?

Will I still receive my CARE, FERA, or Medical Baseline discounts with PRIME?

Are CCA customers still eligible to obtain rebates from Southern California Edison for energy efficiency and solar electric systems?

Do I get billed separately by PRIME?

Who will send me my bill?

Who do I call with questions about my bill?

How do I know when my service begins? 

I just moved to a new address and I want to establish service. How do I sign up? Can I participate now if I'm not already a customer?

Do I have to participate in Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy? Can I opt out?

Why was I enrolled into PRIME?

Can I return to PRIME after I opt out?

Is there a fee for opting out?

Does Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy offer a net energy metering program for qualified solar electric and other distributed generation systems?

Will I be able to opt out of a Smart Meter if I join PRIME?

How is PRIME financed? Are any tax dollars used to finance or operate PRIME?

Can Southern California Edison raise delivery fees on Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy customers above those of non-Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy customers?

Does the PRIME Board of Directors receive a salary or other payments of benefits? Who is on the board of PRIME?

What is Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy (PRIME)?

Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy is the new, locally controlled electricity provider in the City of Pico Rivera! We provide the energy for you, known as generation, and our charge replaces what Southern California Edison would have charged for the same service. Southern California Edison still delivers the power over their lines and wires and continues to charge you for it. There are no duplicate charges because the charges are for different services.

How does it work?

The short answer is, we fill the wires with electricity, and Southern California Edison delivers it. In more detail, we supply power to homes and businesses with an opportunity to opt up to 100% renewable energy. Our partner, Southern California Edison, continues to do the billing, maintains the power lines, and handles all new service requests and emergencies.

What is Community Choice Aggregation?

When California deregulated the energy market in 1997, many Californians switched to alternative energy providers. Following the energy crisis of 2000-01, consumer choice of electricity providers was suspended. As a response to the closing of the open market, Assembly Bill 117 was passed in 2002 to establish Community Choice Aggregation, which offers an opportunity for Californians to choose their electric provider and the source of their electricity.

Where do you have to live or have a business to participate in PRIME?

All PRIME customers must have a service address within the City of Pico Rivera. We are sorry, but residents and businesses outside the City limits cannot receive service from PRIME.

When did PRIME begin serving customers? 

PRIME will begin serving all municipal and residential accounts in September of this year with all remaining non-residential accounts launching in May of 2018. Per state law, we must contact our customers in writing a minimum of four times to notify them that they will soon begin receiving PRIME electric service. We will do this via mail twice before launch and twice after launch.

Who governs and administers Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy?

The Pico Rivera City Council governs PRIME but operation of the program is administered by Pico Rivera city staff.

How does PRIME partner with Southern California Edison?

PRIME provides electric generation, which is the source of your power, but Southern California Edison continues to provide electric delivery and billing services just as they always have. Southern California Edison still owns and reads your electric meter, sends your monthly bill, and provides the same maintenance and other repair services they always have.

Does PRIME replace Southern California Edison?

No. Southern California Edison continues to provide all electric delivery, billing, and power line maintenance. We only replace the electric generation services with your choice of 50% to 100% renewable energy at competitive rates. In other words, we buy the electrons that flow through SCE’s power lines and power your home.

How much clean and renewable energy does PRIME provide?

PRIME procures both clean and renewable electricity on behalf of our customers. Each electricity product has a different percentage of renewable energy. Our default product, PRIME Power meets the state required renewable portfolio standards of 50% renewable energy and our PRIME Future product guarantees a minimum of 100% renewable energy.

Where does PRIME get its electricity? What are the sources of power for PRIME and where are they located?

Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy gets its electricity from suppliers that have gone through a rigorous qualification and selection process. These suppliers, much like Southern California Edison, get their electricity from a variety of generation sources. At a minimum, 50% of our PRIME Power option comes from renewable sources such as wind or solar and our optional PRIME Future program provides electricity from 100% renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydroelectricity. The exact proportion of each varies with time, based on demand and availability.

How does PRIME procure power?

PRIME contracts with private firms to procure energy; however, moving forward, we plan to incorporate steadily increasing amounts of locally generated renewable energy.

How can I be sure PRIME is actually procuring (standard amount) or 50-100% renewable energy on my behalf?

We are required to report to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) on an annual basis to verify the amount of renewable energy procured for our customers. This is the same standard used by other California utilities, such as (SCE) Southern California Edison, for verification purposes.

What is the difference between alternative and renewable energy?

Alternative energy is carbon-free energy that creates little to no greenhouse gas emissions. This is in contrast to fossil fuels, which produce a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide and methane. Alternative energy is also not infinite in supply and can include resources like natural gas cogeneration, nuclear energy, and use of waste energy. Renewable energy is energy that comes from resources that are naturally replenished by nature such as sunlight, wind, water, and geothermal heat. Unlike fossil fuels, such as oil, natural gas, and coal, which cannot be replaced, renewable energy regenerates naturally in a short period of time.

What are Renewable Energy Certificates?

Renewable energy facilities create electricity that is delivered to a network of transmission wires, often referred to as “the grid.” The grid is segmented into regional power pools and in many cases these pools are not interconnected. To help facilitate the sale of renewable electricity nationally, a system was established that separates renewable energy generation into two parts: the electricity or electrical energy produced by a renewable generator and the renewable “attributes” of that generation. The renewable attributes or “green” attributes are sold separately as renewable energy certificates, or RECs. Only one certificate may be issued for reach unit of renewable energy produced. The electricity that was split from the REC is no longer considered “renewable” and cannot be counted as renewable or zero-emissions by whoever buys it.

What is PRIME Power?

PRIME Power is our default electricity service offering a minimum of 50% renewable energy. All customers automatically start with PRIME Power upon enrollment. 

What is PRIME Future?

PRIME Future is our optional upgrade program that provides a minimum of 100% renewable energy for just a little more each month.

How do I sign up for PRIME Future?

Signing up is easy! Simply visit our website at www.PoweredByPrime.org, and sign up there. Or, if you’d prefer to sign-up over the phone you can call 1-800-GO-PRIME (1-800-467-7463) and a specialist can assist you. Please be advised if you decide to use our website you’ll want to have your SCE bill on hand because we will need your account information to process your request.

Can I switch between the PRIME Power and PRIME Future services?

Yes—you can “opt up” to PRIME Future at any time. And if you want to switch back again, just call us at 1-800-GO-PRIME (1-800-467-7463) and let us know or use our website and make the change there.

Is there a grace period if I sign up, switch, or opt out?

Customers who opt out before or within the first 60 days of PRIME service may return to PRIME at any time. Customers who opt out after the first 60 days of service with PRIME may be prohibited by SCE from returning to PRIME for one year.

How do Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy’s rates compare to (SCE) Southern California Edison?

Residential customers who elect to receive our default PRIME Power product will not only receive a minimum of 50% renewable energy but they’ll also see a savings when compared to SCE generation service. Residential CARE customers will enjoy an even larger savings (in addition to their existing CARE discount), as they are not subject to the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) charges by SCE. Customers can also choose to pay just a little more each month and upgrade to our 100% renewable product, PRIME Future.

What are PCIA and other fees?

Southern California Edison charges PRIME customers a Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) and a Franchise Fee Surcharge. Both are calculated based on the number of kilowatt hours used each month.

The PCIA is intended to ensure that customers who switch to PRIME pay for energy that was acquired by Southern California Edison to serve them prior to their switch. The PCIA is currently less than one cent to just under two cents per kilowatt-hour, depending on whether they are a residential or a commercial customer. If you have additional questions about the PCIA please call Southern California Edison at 800-655-4555.

How does PRIME set its rates?

PRIME rates are set annually by the Pico Rivera City Council, so you’ll have a steady, predictable outlook on your rates. You’ll also have the satisfaction of working with a local provider, governed by local leaders whose interests are aligned with yours.

How do I know that PRIME will not raise its rates?

PRIME energy rates are set annually based on the projected cost of energy. The Pico Rivera City Council, which governs PRIME, is committed to providing Pico Rivera residents, businesses, and organizations with energy at an affordable rate. Unlike the rates of the local investor-owned utility, which are set by the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco, Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy rates are set right here in Pico Rivera at Pico Rivera City Hall. The public is welcome to attend the rate setting meetings and participate in the process.

Will I still receive my CARE, FERA, or Medical Baseline discounts with PRIME?

Yes. CARE, FERA, and Medical Baseline programs are available to PRIME customers as well as Southern California Edison customers. These programs provide the same discount regardless of enrollment with PRIME or Southern California Edison. Customers enrolled in PRIME continue to receive their CARE, FERA, and Medical Baseline discount within their Southern California Edison delivery charges; there is no need to reapply with PRIME. New CARE, FERA, and Medical Baseline enrollments or renewals must still be done through Southern California Edison's customer service center or website.

Are CCA customers still eligible to obtain rebates from Southern California Edison for energy efficiency and solar electric systems?

Yes. The California Public Utilities Commission authorizes Southern California Edison to collect fees (called public goods charges) from all customers to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy incentive programs. Southern California Edison will still collect these fees and PRIME customers will remain eligible for these incentives and services.

Do I get billed separately by PRIME?

No. We work together with Southern California Edison so that you will get just one bill each month. Our charges for electricity generation are included on your Southern California Edison bill.

Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy charges for generating the electricity you use. When you begin receiving our electric generation service, the charges for generation that used to go to Southern California Edison are replaced by charges from PRIME. Southern California Edison will continue to charge for the transmission and delivery of electricity, along with a variety of other regulatory and program charges at the same rates they always have. There are no duplicate charges for electricity generation.

Who will send me my bill?

You will continue to get just one bill from (SCE) Southern California Edison. A few lines on the bill change since the charges for power generation will go to PRIME instead of (SCE) Southern California Edison.

Who do I call with questions about my bill?

If you ever have questions about the PRIME portion of your bill, you can visit our Billing page on this website to see a detailed breakdown of the bill. You can also call us at 1-800-GO-PRIME (1-800-467-7463) or email us at CustomerService@PoweredByPrime.org. If you have questions about the rest of your Southern California Edison bill, call Southern California Edison at 1-800-974-2356.

How do I know when my service begins? 

We’ll begin serving all municipal and residential accounts in September of this year with all remaining non-residential accounts launching in May of 2018. All customers will receive a minimum of 4 notices by mail advising them of their enrollment in PRIME. If you have your SCE customer account number available I can also check your status right now.  

I just moved to a new address and I want to establish service. How do I sign up? Can I participate now if I'm not already a customer?

Establishing service is easy. Contact Southern California Edison one week before you will need service at your new address and schedule an appointment by calling Southern California Edison at 1-800-655-4555. New customers who move into the PRIME service area are automatically enrolled into PRIME and will be mailed two notices within the first sixty days of service with information about their options.

If service has already been established with Southern California Edison then all new and existing customers in our service area will be automatically enrolled into PRIME. Once enrolled, you will begin receiving our PRIME Power 50% renewable energy product. You can also opt up to our 100% renewable energy product, PRIME Future.

Do I have to participate in Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy? Can I opt out?

You get to decide! Any customer may opt out of Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy. If you already received an enrollment notice, you can choose to opt out over the phone or online.

Why was I enrolled into PRIME?

Historically, Southern California Edison has been the default power provider to most customers. However, in 2002 when state legislators passed California’s Community Choice Aggregation law, this default status was transferred from Southern California Edison to local community choice programs like PRIME. You now have the power to choose! Customer choice is very important to us. We provide four written notices to our customers so that you can choose where your electricity comes from and how your dollars are spent.

Can I return to PRIME after I opt out?

Customers who opt out before starting PRIME service or within the first 60 days of our service may return at any time. Customers who opt out after the first 60 days of service with PRIME will be prohibited by Southern California Edison from returning to PRIME for one year.

Is there a fee for opting out?

There is no charge for opting out of PRIME before or after the first 60 days of service.

Does Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy offer a net energy metering program for qualified solar electric and other distributed generation systems?

Yes. Through our net energy metering program, called PRIME Partner, customers with net energy metering systems have the opportunity to receive credits for future energy service and even receive cash back when their systems produce excess energy! As part of PRIME Partner, your system’s energy production will be monitored on a monthly basis. If you use more energy than your system produces in a given month, you will be charged for the energy you draw from the grid. However, if you produce more energy than you consume, you will receive a credit on your bill that can be applied to charges in future months. If you have a credit of $100 or more during the October billing cycle of each year as determined by the PRIME Net Energy Metering Schedule, you will receive a check for that amount from PRIME.

Will I be able to opt out of a Smart Meter if I join PRIME?

PRIME provides power only. Southern California Edison owns and maintains the energy distribution system, including the meters at your home or business. So, if you wish to opt out of a Smart Meter, please contact Southern California Edison directly.

How is PRIME financed? Are any tax dollars used to finance or operate PRIME?

PRIME will be financed by the revenues received from its customers based on the electricity they consume. PRIME will be self-funded and does not use any tax dollars, which ensures that any financial benefits directly serve the community.

Can Southern California Edison raise delivery fees on Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy customers above those of non-Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy customers?

No. Southern California Edison must provide the same rates for all customers in their service area whether or not they receive electricity from Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy or another third-party energy service provider.

Does the PRIME Board of Directors receive a salary or other payments of benefits? Who is on the board of PRIME?

No. The Pico Rivera City Council governs Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy; there is no separate Board of Directors. Governing PRIME is a component of their service as City Council Members.