As Californians have become more health conscious over the years, food labels now provide detailed information of what people are putting onto their dinner plates. A similar type of label is also available for customers interested in what goes into their local utilities’ renewable energy portfolio.
It’s called the Power Content Label and was developed by the state to provide a snapshot of the power sources used by utilities in a given year. Southern California Edison’s (SCE) 2013 label shows the numbers for 2012. The 2014 label will show that in 2013, 22 percent of SCE’s power came from eligible renewable sources, up from 17 percent in 2009.
“Reliable and clean electricity is more important now than ever. SCE is one of the nation’s leaders in renewable energy and we are committed to continuing to bring renewable power resources to our customers and help achieve California’s environmental goals,” said Colin Cushnie, SCE vice president of Energy Contracts and Trading & Energy Operations.
Customers have come to rely on the power network that provides their electricity. For many, the most important thing about it is the amount they owe on their electricity bill each month. Yet, there has been an increasing interest in purchasing more efficient appliances, electric or hybrid vehicles, and even the carbon footprint of the goods and services purchased every day.
Unfortunately, the power used in a home cannot be tracked to a specific source, since all generation is commingled on the power system. But what the Power Content Label shows is the percentage of renewables sources — such as wind, solar, geothermal, large hydroelectric or natural gas — from which a utility purchased or produced its power.
The label also gives an indication of a utility’s progress toward California’s goal of providing 33 percent renewables of the total electricity delivered to customers by the year 2020. SCE’s Power Content Label shows it is well on track to meeting this goal.
The utility is meeting the state’s needs by delivering power from multiple sources of energy, including solar, wind, geothermal and natural gas.
“We continue to maintain diversity in our overall energy sources and are committed to cost-effective and diverse renewable energy,” said Cushnie.
In addition to a steadily increasing percentage of eligible renewable electricity, SCE anticipates its 2014 Power Content Label will show minimal or no coal-generated electricity. SCE sold its remaining coal generation ownership shares at the end of 2013.