For immediate release: May 22, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Program Begins to Track Sources of
Renewable Power Sold in California

Sacramento -- The California Energy Commission has begun a pilot program to document the sources of power sold by retailers in California's deregulated electricity market.

Commissioner Michal (spelling correct) Moore said that the Certificate of Specific Generation program is called a pilot because it may be a forerunner for a larger venture some western regional authority could launch in the near future.

The program aims to keep track of "specific purchases" under a law enacted in 1997 that requires retail suppliers of electricity to disclose "accurate, reliable, and simple to understand information on the sources of energy that are used to provide electric services."

Such sources are listed by category on the power content label now frequently seen on electric bill inserts to consumers. The label resembles the "nutrition facts" label on food products.

Categories on the label include renewable electricity sources such as wind and solar, as well as other sources, such as coal and nuclear.

Generators of electricity anywhere in 14 western states and some nearby parts of Canada and Mexico are eligible to participate in the certificate program. They may submit an application to the Energy Commission. Generators whose applications are accepted will receive in return a copy of a special Energy Commission software package.

The software creates electronic reports of monthly generator output that generators can e-mail to the Energy Commission. At the same time, the software creates certificates, each of which represents a claim on the output of the generator in an amount stated on the certificate.

Electricity retailers may use the certificates to document the power content they claim on their labels. For example, if a retailer sells 100,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and publishes a label saying that 40 percent of this electricity comes from wind-powered generators, it could document this claim by showing certificates representing 40,000 kWh of generation output from wind-powered generators.

More information about the Certificate of Specific Generation pilot can be obtained from the Commission's Web Site at:

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