Silicon Valley Power FAQ

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What is Silicon Valley Power?

Silicon Valley Power (SVP) is the City of Santa Clara's municipal electric utility.  As a department of the City, Silicon Valley Power has been providing electricity to Santa Clara residents and businesses since July 23, 1896.  If you're interested, you can learn more about our history.

What are the advantages City of Santa Clara residents have over their neighbors for electricity?

Santa Clara residents own their electric utility, Silicon Valley Power. Because they own this not-for-profit utility, service levels are high and rates are lower than in surrounding communities. In addition, power is reliable and comes from a more environmentally sound mix than is provided by other utilities.

How much less do City of Santa Clara residents pay for their electricity?

Although rates vary depending on usage, the electric rates for residents in the City of Santa Clara are about half of what customers pay in surrounding cities.

How can City of Santa Clara residents reduce their electric bills?
The best way to lower your electric bill is to use electricity more efficiently. Silicon Valley Power can come out to your home or business to give you individual recommendations on ways to reduce costs. Residents can set up an appointment by calling 408-244-SAVE (7283), businesses can call 408-615-6650. Silicon Valley Power also provides a variety of rebates to residents and businesses for installing energy efficient equipment and appliances. Other ways that you can quickly reduce your electric bill include the following:
  • Turn off equipment that is not needed.
  • Set your programmable thermostat to have the heating or air conditioning go off when no one is there or at night. Set thermostat temperatures no higher than 68F in the winter and no lower than 78F in the summer.
  • When it is time to replace equipment and appliances, purchase and install ENERGY STAR® labeled products.

For more tips on energy efficiency, please email cutcosts@siliconvalleypower.com or call 408-244-SAVE (7283).

Where does the City of Santa Clara get its power?

SVP's published Power Content Label shows the breakdown of sources of electricity purchased by the utility for distribution to Santa Clara residents and businesses.  Starting in the 1980's, SVP began to diversify its power sources both by fuel type and by geography as indicated in our resource map.  Although we can expect shifts in this mix from year-to-year based on weather and changing power costs, the emphasis for SVP remains in acquiring longer-term resources that help stabilize rates as much as possible.  Renewable resources aid substantially in rate stabilization, but sources like wind and solar often come at a premium.

Does the City of Santa Clara generate power within its own city limits?

Santa Clara currently generates approximately 16% of its energy within city limits. The remainder of energy needs comes from a diverse set of resources owned and contracted for throughout California and Western United States.

Does Silicon Valley Power support renewable power generation?

Yes. SVP currently has a power mix with nearly twice the amount of renewable energy than the statewide average. SVP has an active plan  to secure even more renewable energy for all customers and provides unique options for individual customers to purchase 100% renewable power and / or contribute to the installation of solar systems on non-profit facilities in Santa Clara.

How can I receive additional information on topics related to the energy industry?

Watch your mail, your bill, your newspaper, and this website for continuously updated material.  In addition, you may connect with us through Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and WordPress.  You may also sign up for our electronic newsletters: Watt’s Up SVP? for residential information and the SVP Energy Insider for businesses. Also, Comcast Cable Government Channel 15 (where available) and your local library will have information for you.

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