On the California Public Utilities Commission\u2019s Dec. 15 meeting consent agenda--where a vote is straight up or down with no discussion--is the regulatory reincarnation of the soon-to-expire public goods charge. Commissioners are expected to approve a new temporary $150 million\/year ratepayer-funded program to cover energy and renewable research and development projects handled by the California Energy Commission and CPUC. The CPUC proposal awaiting a vote is in response to the governor\u2019s request to continue the public goods surcharge on monthly bills. That item was launched in the deregulation era to ensure a steady flow of funding for alternative energy projects. At the end of the last legislative session, the program was not reauthorized and is set to sunset at the end of this year. To avoid challenges to the commission\u2019s authority, the pending decision does not continue the existing public goods program but creates a new program, the Electric Program Investment Charge. Among the matters on regulators\u2019 final meeting agenda up for discussion and a vote is a complex item attempting to clarify the three renewable energy resource categories outlined in the law raising the renewables portfolio mandate from 20 percent to 33 percent. A revised commission proposal on the matter is expected to be released soon and, therefore, the controversial matter is not likely to be voted out next week. At issue is how to categorize the mix of renewable energy products--both the energy itself, as well as the detached renewable attribute of the electricity--flowing directly or indirectly to California consumers. For example, there are renewable resources that directly connect and flow into California. Then there are other situations where the renewable power does not come here, but utilities can take credit for its green attribute toward meeting the state\u2019s renewables portfolio standard requirement. The new law outlines a trio of categories of resources that count towards the state\u2019s renewables obligation. The first category focuses on electricity from renewable supplies that connect directly into California via one of its balancing authorities. At first, half the supplies are to be made of these supplies. By 2016, 65 percent of energy portfolios are to include this category, with that amount later rising to 75 percent. Behind the second door are firmed and shaped energy supplies. These resources are accompanied by a guaranteed commitment to provide a set amount of electricity over a set period of time to California consumers, though some of it could come from fossil fuel. In these cases, utilities get credit toward meeting the state\u2019s renewable energy standard only for the renewable portion of the total power delivered. The third door opens to renewable energy credits, or the green attribute of the supply. The 33 percent renewable law, SB1x 2, caps the use of these renewable energy credits at a maximum of 25 percent of eligible supplies, which later drops to 10 percent. Regulators are trying to refine the parameters so the buyers and sellers understand the exact nature of the product being traded. A major issue is how to categorize sales that turn out to entail a mix of categories, in particular those directly interconnected to the state grid and renewable energy credits. For example, if a private utility discovers that it has bought renewable supplies above the state mandate it likely would want to subsequently sell the renewable attribute of the excess energy. The ruling attempts to clarify resources which could be re-categorized, such as when power received was stamped category one, but the utility later seeks to break off its renewable attribute and sell it to another utility.