Background on Power Source Disclosure and the Power Content Label

The purpose of Senate Bill 1305 was to ensure that retail suppliers of electricity disclose to consumers "accurate, reliable, and simple to understand information on the sources of energy that are used to provide electric services." (Public Utilities Code Section 398.1(b)) As such, the law requires retail suppliers of electricity to disclose fuel source information to consumers about the electricity being sold, using a format developed by the Commission.

SB 1305 also requires electricity generators that report meter data to a system operator to report generation, fuel type and fuel consumption data to system operators on a quarterly basis. Generators that do not report information to system operators but whose electricity is being claimed as a specific purchase report this data directly to the Energy Commission. System operators must then make the generation and fuel source information available to the Energy Commission for the dual purposes of verifying information disclosed to consumers and calculating Total System Power.

Regulations for the Power Source Disclosure Program specify:

  • guidelines and formats for disclosure of generation-related information to system operators,

  • guidelines and formats for retail disclosure of fuel source information to consumers, and

  • guidelines for annual submissions to the Commission by retail suppliers.

These regulations were adopted by the Energy Commission June 24, 1998, approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) September 21, 1998, and went into effect October 21, 1998. The regulations are published in Title 20 of the California Code of Regulations at Division 2, Chapter 3, Article 5, beginning with Section 1390.

Power Content Label

On October 11, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law Assembly Bill 162 (AB 162, Ruskin, Chapter 313, Statutes of 2009). This legislation requires retail suppliers to disclose total California system electricity, which is the sum of all in-state generation and net electricity imports, designated by fuel type, and is a more accurate representation of California's power mix. The legislation also coordinates the Power Source Disclosure Program with the Renewable Portfolio Standard Program and amends reporting requirements.

The format adopted for retail electricity source disclosure to consumers is called the "Power Content Label" and is pictured at right. Using this label, consumers can compare the power "content" -- or resource mix -- of a given electricity product against that of the California Power Mix (i.e. Total System Power). The power content label allows retail suppliers of electricity to distinguish their products from other electricity products in the market on the basis of power content.

By law, all retail suppliers must display a label in product-specific written promotional materials, and must send their customers annual label updates. The retail supplier must validate these claims at the end of the year through an independent audit. In this way, consumers can feel confident that retailers purchase what the consumer "pays for."

Power Source Reporting

Flow Chart of SB1305 Reporting Requirements
  1. Generators that report meter data to a system operator (either directly or through a scheduling coordinator) are required to report historical recorded generation and fuel type information to system operators on an annual basis. On-site, over-the-fence and affiliate transactions are exempt from these requirements.

  2. Generators that do not report to system operators but whose electricity is being claimed as a specific purchase are required to annually report generation, fuel type, and fuel consumption information directly to the Energy Commission.

  3. System operators make generation and fuel type data from generators available to the Energy Commission. The Energy Commission can access out-of-state data to the extent the information has been submitted to system operators.

  4. Retail suppliers that make an offering to sell electricity that is consumed in California are required to disclose to consumers the projected fuel source mix of the electricity being sold compared with Total System Power (as calculated by the Energy Commission).

  5. Retail suppliers disclosing specific purchases are required to annually submit information about the previous year's purchases, sales, and disclosures to the Energy Commission.


For more information about this proceeding Contact:

Kevin Chou
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-45
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-653-1628

Members of the news media, please contact:

Media & Public Communications Office at 916-654-4989.