For Immediate Release December 11, 2019
Rules designed to let consumers see climate impacts of energy use
SACRAMENTO – Today, the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved new regulations as part of the state’s Power Source Disclosure (PSD) program requiring that consumers are given standardized information regarding the carbon intensity of the electricity they are purchasing. The new requirements also ensure clean electricity data is reported fairly and accurately in marketing materials.
“These new rules improve truth in advertising statewide by guaranteeing customers receive reliable, comparable, and simple to understand information about how climate-friendly their electricity is on an annual basis,” said CEC Chair David Hochschild. “A focus on greenhouse gas emissions content also brings power source disclosure into better alignment with the state’s goals as we move to carbon neutrality by mid-century.”
Today’s action is mandated by Assembly Bill 1110 (Ting 2016) which modified the PSD program to require that electricity suppliers disclose information about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from energy resources. California’s PSD program is the first in the nation where a state agency has developed a methodology for clean electricity accounting that is being applied statewide.
The original legislation that created the PSD program also directed the CEC to develop a consumer-friendly way of displaying the information. Each year, suppliers report their electricity procurements and retail sales to the CEC. The agency reviews the information and produces a Power Content Label showing the types of electricity that went to the grid that year such as natural gas, biomass or solar. GHG emissions data will be included on the labels beginning in 2021.
Suppliers are required to send Power Content Labels to consumers annually and include the information in any marketing materials or advertising campaigns. While the label does not show specific electricity sources serving individual homes and businesses, it does provide the mix of electricity purchased by utilities on an annual basis and the mix of resources used in California. This allows consumers to compare their utility to California as a whole.
For details on these and other CEC actions, view the business meeting agenda.
About the California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission is leading the state to a 100 percent clean energy future. It has seven core responsibilities: developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, increasing energy efficiency, investing in energy innovation, advancing state energy policy, certifying thermal power plants, and preparing for energy emergencies.