OPEN GOVERNMENT -- SB 14 by Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) concerns, among other things, Califorrnia's Renewable Energy Program, established to help increase total renewable electricity production statewide. As noted in the bill analysis done for the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications, where the bill was set for its first hearing today,

 Current law  requires investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and energy service providers (ESPs) to increase their existing purchases of renewable energy by 1% of sales per year such that 20% of their retail sales, as measured by usage, are procured from eligible renewable resources by December 31, 2010.  This is known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). 
    Current law exempts publicly owned utilities (POUs) from the state RPS program and instead requires these utilities to implement and enforce their own renewable energy purchase programs that recognize the intent of the Legislature to encourage increasing use of renewable resources.
    This bill  requires IOUs, ESPs and POUs to increase their purchases of renewable energy such that at least 33% of retail sales are procured from renewable energy resources by December 31, 2020. 

(Emphasis added) One provision of SB 14 as amended January 29 would require the following transparent process to be used by local publicly owned utilities in setting and reporting on renewable goals:

Every three years, each local publicly owned electric utility shall post notice in accordance with (the Brown Act) whenever its governing body will deliberate in public on its renewable energy resources procurement plan.
    Contemporaneous with the posting of the notice of a public meeting to consider the energy resources procurement plan, the local publicly owned electric utility shall notify the Energy Commission of the date, time, and location of the meeting so the Energy Commission may post the information on its Internet Web site. This requirement is satisfied if the local publicly owned electric utility provides the uniform resource locator (URL) that links to this information.
    Upon distribution to its governing body of information related to its renewable energy resource procurement status and future plans, for its consideration at a noticed public meeting, the local publicly owned electric utility shall make that information available to the public and shall provide the Energy Commission with an electronic copy of the documents for posting on the Energy Commission's Internet Web site. This requirement is satisfied if the local publicly owned electric utility provides the uniform resource locator (URL) that links to the documents or information regarding other manners of access to the documents.
    Within 30 business days after a local publicly owned electric utility executes a renewable resource procurement contract, the local publicly owned electric utility shall submit to the Energy Commission documentation that includes all of the following:
   (1) A description of the eligible renewable energy resource, including the duration of the contract or electricity purchase agreement.
   (2) A description and identification of the electric generating facility providing the eligible renewable energy resource under the contract.
   (3) An estimate of the percentage increase in the utility's total retail sales of electricity from eligible renewable energy resources that will result from the contract.
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Each local publicly owned electric utility shall report, on an annual basis, to its customers, and to the Energy Commission, all of the following:
   (1) Expenditures of funds collected pursuant to the renewable energy public goods charge for eligible renewable energy resource development. Reports shall contain a description of programs, expenditures, expected results, and actual results.
   (2) The resource mix used to serve its customers by fuel type. Reports shall contain the contribution of each type of renewable energy resource with separate categories for those fuels that are eligible renewable energy resources . . . except that the electricity is delivered to the local publicly owned electric utility and not a retail seller. Electricity shall be reported as having been delivered to the local publicly owned electric utility from an eligible renewable energy resource when the electricity would qualify for compliance with the renewables portfolio standard if it were delivered to a retail seller.
   (3) The utility's status in implementing the renewables portfolio standard adopted by the Energy Commission for the utility . . .