San Francisco ballot measure would require CleanPowerSF to disclose what percentage of power delivered to customers is green
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2015
Contact: Hunter Stern (415) 517-0318
San Francisco – The California Labor Federation voted yesterday to pass a Resolution opposing Community Choice Aggregation projects, including CleanPowerSF, that do not abide by transparent marketing principles. These principles require that providers inform ratepayers what percentage of the energy they receive is green in accordance with state law. You can read the full text of the Resolution and principles below.
Earlier this week, petitions were submitted for a Truth in Energy ballot measure that would forbid CleanPowerSF from marketing regular system power as green. Three years ago, the SFPUC attempted to partner with Shell Oil to sell system power through CleanPowerSF at a premium. After months of planning, SFPUC staff proposed a program that would have used unbundled Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to greenwash as much as 85% of the power load.
Labor stood together against that plan, which would have automatically enrolled San Franciscans against their will and would have outsourced our energy supply to Shell Oil in Houston, Texas. Mayor Ed Lee also opposed the plan, and it was put on hold. Labor also stood up to PG&E when the company proposed in 2012 to use unbundled RECs as part of their Green Option – and the company ultimately decided to abandon RECs and use energy from Category 1 sources such as wind and solar.
The City is now planning to move forward with a new version of CleanPowerSF. This time, the Board has exempted the program from competitive bidding and local hire ordinances, requirements that protect us against bidders like Shell and ensure that local projects will be funded up front and built by local residents. San Franciscans would still be automatically enrolled against their will – a practice that is known as ‘slamming’ in other sectors of the economy. And there are no guarantees that the power customers receive would be any greener than the current mix.
If passed, the Truth in Energy measure would require that customers be notified of what percentage of the power they receive meets the state’s Category 1 energy standards. Over 17,600 San Franciscans signed petitions to place the measure on the November 2015 ballot.
For more information, visit www.truthinenergysf.com.
RESOLUTION OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OF THE CALIFORNIA LABOR FEDERATION
Truth in Marketing Clean Energy
Submitted by IBEW Local 1245
WHEREAS, electric utilities have long been a source of unionized workers for working Californians: Union members are directly employed by the utilities, union members work for the contractors hired by utilities and third party energy generators whose electricity is purchased by utilities sign project labor agreements to build their generation facilities; and
WHEREAS, California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), first established in 2002, and then accelerated in 2006 and expanded in 2011, is one of the most ambitious and effective renewable energy standards in the country; and
WHEREAS, in 2002, AB 117 created Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), which permits the procurement of electricity by local governments for its residents and businesses; and
WHEREAS, under California law, electric utilities, electric service providers and community choice aggregators must increase procurement from eligible renewable energy resources to 33% of total procurement by 2020; and
WHEREAS, Governor Jerry Brown has called for increasing procurement of renewable energy to 50% RPS by 2030; and
WHEREAS, the high demand for renewable energy is creating opportunities for work in the development of new renewable energy through the building of renewable energy generation facilities in California and the Labor community is united in providing as much of this work to union members as is possible; and
WHEREAS, State policy is to generate as much renewable energy as possible. Existing CCA agencies and CCA proponents have made extensive use of Renewable Energy Certificates or RECs to meet renewable energy requirements. RECS are not energy – they are financial instruments and they do not create renewable energy or promote green jobs. Even past proponents of RECs, such as the City and County of San Francisco and Alameda County have acknowledged that RECs are not desirable as part of an true clean energy program: and
WHEREAS, energy that truly accomplishes the dual purpose of creating career opportunities for Californians and combating climate change is generated from California solar, wind, geothermal, small hydro-electric or other state certified green power sources; and
WHEREAS, CCAs seek to attract customers by advertising the source of their energy and currently, energy can be marketed to consumers by CCAs as “green” or “clean” even if it is not actually renewable or greenhouse gas emissions free; and
WHEREAS, the California Labor Federation is committed to promoting the increased procurement and production of truly renewable or greenhouse gas emissions free sources of energy while creating thousands of union jobs for Californians.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Labor Federation hereby formally urges the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the SFPUC Commissioners, and the Boards of Supervisors of Alameda, Santa Barbara, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Lake, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Solano, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Ventura counties to adopt the attached principles for any energy marketed as “clean” or “green” by any Community Choice Aggregation entity doing business in their county; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the California Labor Federation will oppose the efforts of any existing or proposed Community Choice Aggregation entity, including Marin Clean Energy and CleanPowerSF, unless these principles are adopted and applied because “going green” should benefit local communities by creating good local union jobs and promoting real clean energy.
Principles for Labor Friendly Community Choice Aggregation
In order to ensure the greatest transparency for consumers and the greatest opportunity for workers to benefit from local clean energy production jobs, the California Labor Federation has determined that the following Principles must be adopted by any Community Choice Aggregation entity, including those operating in San Francisco, Marin or Alameda.
1. Energy Identification – Any Community Choice Aggregation will inform customers of the percentage of renewable, greenhouse-gas-free electricity offered. Power may be labeled as “clean” or “green” if it comes from renewable energy generated from solar, wind, geothermal and other eligible renewable energy resources in California and defined by California law in the Public Utilities Code as Category 1,
2. Exclude RECs – Any Community Choice Aggregation must provide renewable energy from actual renewable sources customers can trust while creating union jobs in the community for local workers. Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) undermine these goals. There is no guarantee power content that includes voluntary RECs is clean or green therefore it must not be marketed as “clean” or “green” so as not to mislead the public.
3. Communication to Consumers – The PUC will send at least three written notices to potential CCA customers, and each notice will include a description of the percentage of the power mix that comes from California solar, wind, geothermal, small hydro-electric or other state certified green power sources.
4. Creating Union Jobs – Any Community Choice Aggregation will procure Power from Union generated sources; employ unionized customer service representatives; sign Project Labor Agreements on each Power Generation Project and sign Project Labor Agreements on any Energy Efficiency Projects/Programs that the CCA Operates or signs onto.
5. Community Benefits – Any Community Choice Aggregation will sign Community Benefits Agreements to include local projects and local hiring.