On the other side of the country on the same day, the state of Maine also endorsed the concept of a renewable portfolio standard in a proceeding on utility industry restructuring. Though the deadline for a final rule is not until 2000, the plan requires retail sellers of electricity in Maine to buy a minimum amount of renewable energy and that, like AWEA's original proposal in California, compliance could be achieved by entering into renewable energy credits that could be traded among retail sellers.
A different approach to promoting renewables was endorsed by the City of San Jose, California, on August 6 -- exempting all consumers buying wind and renewable energy from utility stranded cost charges. This would be achieved under a direct access contract. The loss of utility revenue from exempting customers from the so-called Competition Transition Charge would be "very small, while the benefits to promoting renewablesÉis very large," writes Rita Norton, San Jose's environmental programme manager, in a letter sent to the chairman of the state conference committee charged with finalising California's deregulation proposal, Democratic Senator Steve Peace.