Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Back to top



Direct Access

GENERAL

Are you affiliated with a local utility? 3 Phases Renewables is not affiliated with any local utility company.

If I choose 3 Phases Renewables as my supplier, will I receive my utility bill from you? Your bill will come directly from your local utility company as it has in the past. Once your application has been accepted by 3 Phases Renewables, our name will appear on your bill as your electric supplier. Cost of delivery, transportation of energy and other meter-related costs and surcharges are charged by your local utility and will appear normally on your bill statement.

Where does 3 Phases Renewables offer Direct Access electric service? Direct Access electric service is offered to California customers only.

I am currently serviced by a municipal utility; am I eligible for Direct Access? No. Unfortunately, only customers within PG&E, SCE or SDG&E territory are eligible in California.

Are the electric services you offer just for large industrial users? No, we know how to maximize the value of your energy investment regardless of the size and scale of your business. 3 Phases Renewables offers no cost, no obligation proposals to any size commercial business and industrial customers. Residential customers are not currently eligible for Direct Access.

What is a Letter of Authorization and why is it required? The Letter of Authorization is required to give us permission to obtain usage data from the local utility and exchange information regarding your account where applicable.

Will my local utility treat my company differently if I buy power from an alternate energy provider? No. Your utility is bound by law to provide equal service to all of its customers on a non-discriminatory basis.

How reliable is your service? Since the utility is still responsible for delivery of your electricity, the reliability of your service will not change. The utility will continue to provide you with the same service they have for years. In fact, if you lose power or if you have an emergency related to your power, you must still notify your utility.

Will I still be a customer of my utility? Yes. Your local utility owns the power lines that carry electricity to your business or organization and they will continue to bill you for the delivery of electricity at rates governed by the state. 3 Phases Renewables will supply the actual energy.

Can I choose the type of power I will receive? Yes. One of the unique advantages of having 3 Phases Renewables as your Energy Service Provider is that you get your choice of having direct access to solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, or other renewable technologies in powering your home or building.

What is the Direct Access (Direct Access) Program? California utilities provide electricity to homes and businesses by generating the power, transmitting it through major power lines, and then distributing it through smaller power lines. The Direct Access Program gives you the option to purchase your power from electric service providers (ESPs) such as 3 Phases Renewables. Under this program, your utility continues to provide reliable transmission and distribution services to you. The increased competition from ESPs creates choices for you and brings more opportunities for you to save on your energy expenses.

Who is eligible to participate in the Direct Access program? Subject to the rules established for the limited re-opening of Direct Access, all non-residential customers are eligible to participate in the Direct Access program. That said, customers must follow the applications procedures of the program before they can participate. Contact us for more details on how to apply.

Back to top



Switching

I am already with another ESP, what is the process for me to switch to 3 Phases? Upon completion of an Enrollment Agreement, 3 Phases Renewables will submit information to the local utility to transfer your electricity supply to 3 Phases Renewables beginning with your contracted month. The switching of your accounts from your current provider to 3 Phases Renewables will not have any impact on your flow of power, which continues to be delivered by your local utility.

How do customers sign up for the Direct Access program? Subject to the rules established for the limited re-opening of Direct Access, you'll need to give your utility 6 months advance notice in order to transfer to Direct Access service by completing and submitting a 6-Month Advance Notice to Transfer to Direct Access form. Upon expiration of the 6-month notice period, 3 Phases Renewables can submit a Direct Access Service Request (DASR) on your behalf to transfer from your utility supplied power to 3 Phases Renewables.

Are there any fees incurred when switching service to 3 Phases Renewables? We do not add additional charges or fees when a business switches to our service. Some utilities may charge a fee or do a true-up when a business switches from utility service.

Will 3 Phases Renewables need to replace any existing electrical service components such as service wires and transformers at my location? Usually, physical modifications are not required because we deliver electricity through the same transmission and distribution system owned and operated by your current utility. Occasionally (for medium and large customers) a meter change will be required.

Will I notice any changes to my service? When you make the switch to 3 Phases Renewables, there will not be any disruptions to your electrical service. You will only notice a change in your bill. You will still have access to your usage and billing history appearing on your delivery bill from the utility.

If I am on Direct Access, how do I return to the utility's bundled service? Direct Access customers that wish to return to their utility bundled service must provide a 6-Month Notice to return to Bundled Portfolio Service (BPS).

Customers can stay on Direct Access during the advance notice period or they can choose to return immediately. If they choose to return to service provided by their utility prior to the expiration of the 6-month advance notice period, they will be placed on transitional bundled service until the 6-month advance notice period has been completed. Customers returning to bundled service make a three-year commitment to the utility and will not be eligible to return to Direct Access service until their three year period has completed, subject to the rules established for the limited re-opening of Direct Access.

Back to top


On-Site Generation

What is On-site generation? On-site generation is the production of power at the actual location that it will be used. Homes or buildings that choose to generate On-site can become partially or completely independent of the power grid—depending on the size of the On-site installation—allowing them to be self-sufficient and free from the price fluctuations of the retail power market.

Do I need a permit to generate power On-site? Depending on the type of technology selected you may or may not need a permit to operate. 3 Phases can guide you on the types of technology that are exempt from requiring a permit. If permits are required, 3 Phases Renewables will work with the necessary agencies to obtain your permit(s) in a timely manner.

Are there incentives available for installing On-site generation? Yes. There are a good number of incentives available at the federal, state, and local level for many types of technology. 3 Phases will analyze all available incentives when assessing a project's potential and handle the processing of incentives on your behalf.

Does 3 Phases Renewables handle interconnection? Yes. 3 Phases Renewables will gather all required information to submit your interconnection application and work with your local utility to obtain your interconnection agreement prior to installation.

If I install On-site generation, what kind of departing load charges will I have to pay? When you install On-site generation, you may still be charged departing load charges from your local utility. These charges vary based upon your utility and rate, and the type of technology you install. 3 Phases will analyze your current rate and make you aware of all departing load charges.

Will I have to pay standby charges? Depending on the type of technology you install, you may have to pay utility standby charges. Certain technologies are exempt from standby charges. 3 Phases will guide you through how standby charges are applied and provide you with an analysis of estimated charges you will incur as a result of installing On-site generation.

Back to top


RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates)

What is a REC? Also known as renewable energy certificates, green tags, green energy certificates, or tradable renewable certificates, RECs represent the technology and environmental attributes of electricity generated from renewable sources. Renewable energy certificates are usually sold in 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) units. A certificate can be sold separately from the megawatt-hour of electricity it is associated with, and represents the "green" portion of green power. This flexibility enables customers to offset a percentage of their annual electricity use with certificates generated elsewhere.

What is the benefit of purchasing REC's? Purchasing REC's allows an energy consumer to partially or completely offset the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with their power consumption by replacing the power that they consume from the grid with renewable power.

In addition to the environmental benefits of REC's, the certificates have specific advantages for different types of energy consumers, such as marketing a green position or qualifying for LEED certification. To find out how REC's can specifically benefit you, see Renewable Energy Credits: The easiest way to go green.

Are any installations required? There are absolutely no installations required when purchasing REC's. REC's allow you to green your power without any capital costs or modification to your current commercial, industrial or residential space.

What is the difference between REC purchases and carbon emissions trading programs? Traditional carbon emissions trading programs promote low-carbon technologies by increasing the cost of emitting carbon. REC purchases promote renewable technologies that emit little to no carbon.

Do I need to be partnered with a utility or pay an electric bill in order to purchase REC's? Absolutely not. The purchase of REC's is independent from both your utility and your electric bill.

Can I sell the REC's that I have purchased? REC owners may not resell the REC's that they have purchased. REC's may only be sold by certified agencies, which ensures that RECs are not double-counted.

Do I get a discount from the utility by buying REC's? No. REC purchases operate entirely outside of the domain of utilities because they are voluntary purchases and are not considered in the utility's power content mix. Thus, utilities will not offer any discounts to REC owners.

If I choose a renewable power option, will I actually receive electricity generated from renewable energy generation sources? Not necessarily. Although we can't promise the renewable energy you buy will go directly to your home or business, we can guarantee that the clean energy you have purchased has been added to the power grid. Since it is not possible or cost effective to route power lines directly from our renewable sources to your facility, RECs provide an opportunity to purchase all of the environmental and social attributes of the electricity without actually receiving the electrons. As more RECs are purchased, renewable energy developers are provided with increased incentives to develop new facilities.

Is my renewable energy purchase tax deductible? No. The actual dollars spent on renewable energy are not tax deductible.

Are buying RECs a permit to pollute? Absolutely not. Our actions affect the environment in all sorts of ways, and RECs are one way individuals can take responsibility for that impact. RECs provide a clean energy alternative for people/organizations interested in proactively and practically addressing social and environmental issues related to energy.

Why do REC prices fluctuate? Prices depend on many factors, such as the location of the facility producing the RECs, the time period the RECs were produced, current emissions/energy regulations, and even the renewable technology used.

How can I be sure that I am getting my RECs? 3 Phases Renewables undergoes annual audits under the Center for Resource Solutions' (CRS) Green-e program. CRS, an independent auditor, ensures each REC purchase is valid. Buyers of RECs receive an attestation with the Green-e logo, indicating the RECs acquired on their behalf were properly generated and used. This is your assurance that your RECs are real and have only been counted once.

How are CO2 and other emissions affected when I buy RECs? When a renewable energy facility sends electricity to the grid, less electricity needs to be generated from fossil fuel plants. Those plants then burn less fuel and less pollution overall is generated. This includes not only CO2 emissions, but also many other pollutants such as SOx, NOx, mercury, and carbon monoxide.

What exactly are renewable power sources? Renewable power sources are those that rely on "renewable" resources, rather than fossil or nuclear fuels. Renewable power sources include solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and small hydroelectric installations.

Back to top