Every so often, a little leaflet shows up with the monthly power bill, explaining where the electricity flowing through my outlets originated. Sometimes these leaflets can be a little less than helpful (such as the one fellow CleanTechnica writer Jo Borras received stating ALL the electricity was from “unknown sources” — Jo suggested that perhaps the power company was employing unicorns).
The statement of origin of electricity is not, of course, limited to the United States. Switzerland has just revised its laws on transparency, citing “two years of practical experience” as its main guideline. As current matters stand, an average of 20% of Swiss electricity comes from sources unknown. In some cases, up to 90% is untraceable. Since current federal regulations don’t require production facilities to be listed in the Swiss Guarantee of Origin database, even the rule stating that providers must supply all information they have is ineffective. That changes after 2013 — unless a production facility has a connected load of less than 30 kVa, it must be included in the database.
Other changes to current energy regulations clarify practical application of the cost-covering remuneration for feed-in to the electricity grid (a small surcharge per kWh which is then used as an incentive to use renewable sources of energy). Measures to protect the Swiss water supply are also covered under the changes.
All changes go into effect October 1st, 2011.
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