The Buzz

9 Nov 2017

This week, energy regulators signed off on utility bill protections for victims of the Northern California wildfires, as called for by a consumer advocate.  At the same time, the California Public Utilities Commission put off voting whether to deny San Diego Gas & Electric nearly $400 million in fire-related expenses from three large fires in San Diego a decade ago.  Looming in the background is a litigation threat by SDG&E.

The CPUC also is not making utility friends with its proposal to slash the closure settlement for PG&E’s Diablo nuclear plant in eight years.  It cuts it from nearly $2 billion to less than $200 billion, largely because of moving the purchase of greenhouse gas-free resources to the CPUC’s Integrated Resource Planning proceeding.

Over at the California Energy Commission, the staff warns that failing to back a concerted effort to reduce energy use, particularly in existing buildings and homes, will cause California to fall short of its legislative directive to double energy efficiency by 2030.

At the nation’s capital, proposed federal legislation to overhaul the popular Energy Star program, including cutting consumer protections, gets the thumbs down from Senate members in both parties.

Meanwhile, Gov. Jerry Brown directs his energy toward linking the California-Quebec carbon market with the European Union.

Generators’ third quarter earnings are fairly grim, except for bright spots at NextEra and Calpine.

JUICE opines that Ancient Roman philosopher Seneca’s warning to a “person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind,” applies to California’s utility regulators.

—The Editors

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