Gov. Brown Signs Trailblazing Consumer Protections to Help Fight Climate Change

Monday, September 26, 2016

Power Content Label(SACRAMENTO, CA) –  Governor Jerry Brown signed the nation’s first truth in labeling law to provide simple, uniform information about the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the energy used by California consumers.

Authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Assembly Bill (AB) AB 1110 will uncover dirty power sources much like nutrition labels flag unhealthy ingredients otherwise unknown to consumers.  The bill requires every energy provider to disclose the emission contents of their power to consumers.

“We cannot fight climate change with feel good marketing claims about clean power.  We need proof to know we are making progress,” said Ting.  “Clean power access is vital to fighting climate change and now we will finally know how clean our power really is.”

California already requires electricity retailers to disclose the source of the power - natural gas, coal, nuclear, and renewable sources - they sell through the Power Content Label.  AB 1110 requires the label to include the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their power content.  The calculation will be developed and verified by the California Energy Commission and the California Air Resources Board.

Electricity suppliers are required to include the Power Content Label in all mail and internet advertisements.  Consumers must also receive a notification about any changes to the label of their energy provider by October 1 each year.

“Consumers have a right to accurate information about the carbon content of their energy” said Matthew Freedman, Staff Attorney with The Utility Reform Network. “AB 1110 will ensure that Greenhouse Gas claims are consistent, honest, and meaningful. Providing this information will help consumers to consider their options and make educated choices."
“As California strives to make big advances in the fight against climate disruption, AB 1110 further empowers Californians to make informed and environmentally beneficial energy decisions by requiring the disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions associated with in-state electricity generation,” said John Rizzo, Executive Committee member, Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter.
“While California has a long and storied history of protecting the environment, the disclosure of the GHG emissions associated with end use electricity consumption is entirely unregulated,” said Eddie Moreno, Policy Advocate for Sierra Club California.  “The consequence of this lack of regulation is the complete absence of GHG emissions information, or at best inconsistent and confusing information.”

AB 1110 passed the Assembly 54-25 and the Senate 26-12.