Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2018-04-13T16:34:31+00:00

Rancho Mirage Energy Authority is the new, locally controlled electricity provider in the CITY OF RANCHO MIRAGE! 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.

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.

All RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY customers must have a service address within the CITY OF RANCHO MIRAGE and be within the Southern California Edison service territory. We are sorry, but residents and businesses outside the City limits cannot receive service from RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY. Imperial Irrigation District (IID) customers are also no eligible for RMEA.

We offer service within the CITY OF RANCHO MIRAGE except in IID service territory.

We will begin serving all residential and municipal accounts in May 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 RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY electric service. We will do this via mail twice before launch and twice after launch.

RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY was formed in 2017 and we plan to launch services in May 2018 for all accounts.

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.

The Rancho Mirage City Council governs RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY but operation of the program is administered by Rancho Mirage city staff.

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 35% to 100% renewable energy at competitive rates.

RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY procures both clean and renewable electricity on behalf of our customers. Each electricity product has a different percentage of renewable energy. Our Base Choice product, RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Power meets the state required renewable portfolio standards of 35% renewable energy and 50% greenhouse gas free and our RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Premium Renewable Choice product guarantees a minimum of 100% renewable energy.

Rancho Mirage Energy Authority 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, 35% of our RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Base Choice option comes from renewable sources such as wind or solar and 15% from hydroelectric for a total mix of 50% GHG free and our optional RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Premium Renewable Choice 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.

RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY contracts with private firms to procure energy. Moving forward, we plan to incorporate steadily increasing amounts of locally generated renewable energy.

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.

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.

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.

RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY BASE CHOICE is our default electricity service offering a minimum of 35% renewable energy and 15% hydroelectric for a total mix of 50% GHG free. All customers automatically start with RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Base Choice upon enrollment.

RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Premium Renewable Choice is our optional upgrade program that provides a minimum of 100% renewable energy for just a little more each month.

Signing up is easy! Simply visit our website at www.RanchoMirageEnergy.org, and sign up there. Or, if you’d prefer to sign-up over the phone I can take your contact information and have a specialist follow up and help you complete the process. 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.

Yes—you can “opt up” to RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Premium Renewable Choice at any time. And if you want to switch back again, just call and let us know or log-on to our website and make the change there.

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

Residential customers who elect to receive our default RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Base Choice product will not only receive a minimum of 35% 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, RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Premium Renewable Choice.

RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY rates are set annually by the Rancho Mirage 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 your City Council whose interests are aligned with yours.

RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY energy rates are set annually based on the projected cost of energy. The Rancho Mirage City Council, which governs RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY, is committed to providing Rancho Mirage 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, Rancho Mirage Energy Authority rates are set right here in Rancho Mirage at Rancho Mirage City Hall. The public is welcome to attend the rate setting meetings and participate in the process.

Yes. CARE, FERA, and Medical Baseline is available to RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY customers as well as Southern California Edison customers and provides the same discount regardless of enrollment with RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY or Southern California Edison. Customers enrolled in RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY continue to receive their CARE, FERA, and Medical Baseline discount within their Southern California Edison delivery charges; there is no need to reapply with RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY. New CARE, FERA, and Medical Baseline enrollments or renewals must still be done through (SCE) Southern California Edison’s customer service center or website.

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 RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY customers will remain eligible for these incentives and services.

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.

Rancho Mirage Energy Authority 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 RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY. 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.

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 RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY instead of (SCE) Southern California Edison.

Southern California Edison charges RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY 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 RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY 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.

If you ever have questions about the RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY portion of your bill, you can visit our website to see a detailed breakdown of the bill at www.RanchoMirageEnergy.org call us at (760) 578-6092, or email us at [email protected]. If you have questions about the rest of your Southern California Edison bill, call Southern California Edison at 800-655-4555.

All Rancho Mirage Energy Authority customers must have a service address within the incorporated area of the CITY OF RANCHO MIRAGE and be within the Southern California Edison service territory. We are sorry, but residents and businesses outside the incorporated City limits or within IID service territory cannot receive service from RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY.

We’ll begin serving customers in May 2018. All customers will receive a minimum of 4 notices by mail advising them of their enrollment in RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY. If you have your SCE customer account number available I can also check your status right now.

RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY serves customers within the legal boundaries of the CITY OF RANCHO MIRAGE. If your address is within City limits and you have not elected to opt-out and remain with SCE generation service you will be automatically enrolled in our RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Base Choice Program offering 50% carbon free (35% renewable energy and 15% hrdroelectric). Notices for customers are sent out in multiple stages. If you have not yet received a notice it may be on the way, or if you have your SCE customer account number available I can check your status right now.

Note:  Please ask customer if they have already established service with (SCE) Southern California Edison, if so find out if customer intends to sign up for Rancho Mirage Energy Authority or if they just want additional info.

If service has not yet been established with (SCE) Southern California Edison: 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 RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY service area are automatically enrolled into RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY and will be mailed two notices within the first sixty days of service with information about their options.

If service has been established with (SCE) Southern California Edison: We haven’t started serving customers yet but all new and existing customers in our service area will be automatically enrolled starting with their May meter read. Once enrolled you’ll begin receiving our RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Base Choice 50 % carbon free (35% renewable energy and 15% hydroelectric) product.

You get to decide! Any customer may opt out of Rancho Mirage Energy Authority. If you already received an enrollment notice, you can choose to opt out now or online.

If you are not located within our current service area, we cannot process your opt out request. You will be able to make a choice of provider once your account is eligible for competitive service. It is not yet eligible, so we cannot process your opt out request. This means that you will continue to be served by (SCE) Southern California Edison, and will receive notices in the mail when your account becomes eligible to make a choice of power provider.

No. Customers can only participate if they or their businesses are located within the Rancho Mirage Energy Authority service area.

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 RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY. You now have the power to choose who provides your energy, RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY or Southern California Edison.

The letter/postcard is a notification that your account is now eligible for RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY service and you can choose between RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY and Southern California Edison. We’re now the default provider and all customers who elect to remain with RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY will begin receiving our RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Base Choice product offering a minimum of 50% carbon free (35% renewable energy and 15% hydroelectric) this coming September. State law requires that as we begin to offer our service, we must contact our customers in writing a minimum of four times. We do this through a combination of letters, mailers, and postcards before and after the switch to our service.

Part of California’s CCA law requires Rancho Mirage Energy Authority to operate as an opt-out program and become the default provider of electric generation for customers within our service area. 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.

If you have received an enrollment notice, you can choose to opt out now. If you haven’t received a notice yet, but have your SCE customer account number available I can check your status. While we don’t want to lose you as a customer, you always have the choice to opt out.

If you wish to opt out right now, you can visit our website at www.RanchoMirageEnergy.org and click the Opt Out button. Have your Southern California Edison bill on hand because we will need your account information to process your request.

Customers who opt out before starting RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY 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 RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY will be prohibited by Southern California Edison from returning to RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY for one year.

There is no charge for opting out of RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY before or after the first 60 days of service.

Yes. Through our net energy metering program called RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Solar Choice, 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 RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Solar Choice, we’ll tally the amount of grid energy you’ve consumed and contributed at the close of each month. If you have contributed more energy than you have used, you’ll see a credit on your bill for that month’s energy charges. If you have used more energy than you have contributed, you will see a debit for that month’s energy charges. If you have a credit during the May billing cycle of each year as determined by the RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY Net Energy Metering Schedule, you will receive a check for that amount from RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY.

Rancho Mirage Energy Authority provides electricity generation only. As a Community Choice Aggregation program, our scope is limited to generation services and cannot expand to include metering services. Therefore, RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY does not have any control over whether or not our customers receive Smart Meters from (SCE) Southern California Edison.

RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY 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.

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

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

No. The Rancho Mirage City Council governs Rancho Mirage Energy Authority; there is no separate Board of Directors. Governing RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY is a component of their service as City Council Members.