September 10, 2011

USA: SMUD push to change renewable energy law on hold until 2012

A last-minute push by Sacramento Municipal Utility District to change the state's green energy law has been put on hold until next year.

Assembly Bill 391, by Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, would help utilities comply with a law requiring all utilities to get one-third of the electricity from green sources by 2020 by giving them credit for renewable energy sources already acquired.
Officials for SMUD, which currently gets 24.7 percent of its energy from renewable sources, argued that the current law would not allow them to count a 2006 green energy contract towards the state requirements. The need to purchase other sources to meet the 33-percent mark could result in rate increases of up to 7 percent, they said.

The legislation, introduced yesterday as an amendment to an existing bill, was scheduled to come up for a vote tonight. But with just hours left in the legislative session, senators decided to delay the bill until next year amid opposition from other utilities, including Pacific Gas and Electric.

Lawmakers can take up the measure when they return in January.


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