Renewable energy is electricity that is produced from sources that replenish themselves naturally.
California defines several renewable energy resources as "eligible" under the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard. These include:
State law lists several "in-state renewable electricity generation technologies" as eligible for meeting RPS goals in addition to the technologies described above. These include fuel cells using renewable fuels, digester gas, municipal solid waste conversion, landfill gas, and ocean wave, ocean thermal, or tidal current.
Renewable energy has a lower impact on the environment than traditional methods of electricity generation. It produces lower levels of air pollutants, wastewater, smog, and acid rain, and it can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Although renewable energy is not as reliable a source of power due to its intermittent nature, it can still help reduce our nation's reliance on fossil fuels.
The development and utilization of renewable energy is important for two basic reasons:
Environmental impacts from power production are minimized; Customer rates are stabilized when the fuel source for power generation is based on a renewable energy source.
At REU, we strive to minimize our impacts on the environment when we generate or purchase power for our customers.
Redding Electric Utility (REU) has invested in three major sources of renewable energy:
REU employs a diverse resource mix that consists of both renewable and non-renewable resources in order to provide low-cost, safe, and reliable energy to our community. Please view our Power Content Label to find out exactly where we get our energy from.
Redding’s Residential Green Building Program – REU Earth Advantage Program REU, in partnership with the Shasta Builders' Exchange, the City's Building Department, and the City's Water and Solid Waste Utilities launched a residential “green” building program, Earth Advantage®, for new construction projects in the City of Redding that promote:
Earth Advantage is designed to offer builders and developers multiple options on building techniques, products, and measures to meet program standards and criteria. REU firmly believes that these standards will enhance the quality and lower the operating costs of Earth Advantage homes, making them more efficient, sustainable, durable, healthy, and valuable than other homes that are not built to Earth Advantage standards.
REU encourages local builders, developers, and customers to contact us to discuss this program and how you might get involved in this effort.
REU’s Public Benefits Program – Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy Rebate Programs All REU customers are eligible to participate in REU’s Rebate Programs. REU offers rebates for a wide range of energy efficiency and renewable energy products, measures, and technologies including Energy Star® appliances, insulation, window replacement, high-efficiency HVAC systems, and both solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems.
Everyone who is living in a house, cottage, mobile home or apartment, (receiving power from REU), receives renewable energy. REU has made a commitment to provide renewable resources equally to all of its customers. Renewable power is received by REU at various points on our electric system daily. When renewable power is delivered to the electric grid, it mixes with power from other sources. The actual electricity generated from renewable sources cannot be directed to a specific home or business.
The renewable energy that constitutes REU's portfolio comes from a variety of sources both within and outside of California. REU's hydroelectric resources are provided through a long term contract with the Federal Government to purchase a significant portion of Redding's energy needs from power generated by the Central Valley Project, and Redding also has a small hydro generating plant at the base of Whiskeytown Dam.
The wind component of REU's portfolio comes from the Big Horn Wind Power Project located in eastern Washington State. REU is proud to be a participant in this project as it supports the local economy through property tax payments and jobs.
REU currently has two sites that gather solar data for modeling purposes at the Redding Power Plant and Redding City Hall to allow REU to accurately forecast solar energy production.
Senate Bill 1078, the Bill that created California's renewable energy standards, was structured to support the local control and flexibility of municipal utilities. The investor-owned utilities of California were required to comply with the standards, as the control of these utilities is in the hands of the government of California. However, municipal utilities are controlled locally by their respective governing boards or councils. Therefore, the law allowed each utility's governing board to implement and enforce their own local RPS which:
"recognizes the Legislature's intent to encourage renewable resources, especially wind and photovoltaic, taking into consideration the effect on rates, reliability, financial resources and the goal of environmental improvement."
On June 17, 2003, the Redding City Council formally adopted the RPS for REU. This policy called for Redding to acquire 20% of its energy from renewable resources by 2017. In 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger directed the California Air Resources Board to increase California’s renewable energy requirements to 33% by 2020. The Redding City Council revised REU’s renewable policy to reflect these new requirements on March 1, 2011 (see “What are the basic components of REU’s Renewable Portfolio Standards” for more information).
The Redding City Council revised REU’s renewable portfolio standard on March 1, 2011 to reflect the California Air Resources Board’s Renewable Energy Standard. REU’s policy includes the following components:
We have provided several links to aid you in learning more about renewable energy and how you can do your part to promote clean energy sources: