ALBANY -- A decision on signing a contract with Marin Clean Energy to conduct a feasibility analysis of the city joining MCE as part of Community Choice Aggregation for the purchase of less polluting sources of energy was put off April 7 by the City Council.

Community Choice Aggregation allows cities to purchase power for residents as a group rather than as individual customers from a utility monopoly such as PG&E. Proponents say CCA customers save money and also can demand cleaner power than utilities would otherwise provide.

Individual customers can opt out of the program.

Richmond has already joined the Marin-based program and El Cerrito is studying it.

The Albany council decided to have city staff research other possible CCA programs in the area and will discuss the item again in May.

The analysis would not have committed the city to join MCE. It would review electrical load data for all customers in Albany and study current energy prices to determine what impacts adding Albany customers would have on MCE's rates and emissions. If the analysis came out favorable, it is expected that MCE would invite Albany to join.

Pact with firefighters

In other action, the council approved a three-year contract with the city's firefighters. The contract, which runs through the end of 2016, includes a 2.5 percent salary increase in each of the next two years.


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It also requires firefighters to pay a higher percentage of wages into their pension plan.

The council also heard a presentation on a proposed ballot measure that would increase the Users Utility Tax by 2 percent to fund implementation of the city's Climate Action Plan. The item will be discussed again in May.