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The Buzz

14 Feb

State utility regulators begin reviewing wildfire risk management plans under which utilities would spend around $3 billion a year and launch new programs that would essentially become permanent. Pressure mounts on the California Public Utilities Commission to turn Pacific Gas & Electric into a wires only business and let community choice aggregators or other government […]

CPUC Must Decide on $3B/Year of Utility Fire Protection Work

14 Feb

The staggering scope and cost of utility plans to prevent electric lines from sparking wildfires came into focus for regulators Feb. 13 during an all-day meeting. This year alone the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities plan to spend about $3 billion to minimize wildfire risks in areas with elevated threats. That’s projected to increase to […]

The Buzz

7 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric propose strengthening their wildfire risk reduction programs.  SDG&E’s plan is not as dense as the other two mitigation blueprints because it put in place many safety measures after devastating wildfires more than a decade ago. Bankrupt PG&E’s plan stands out. That includes […]

The Buzz

31 Jan

State utility regulators give Southern California Edison the go ahead to collect $1 billion from ratepayers to cover the utility’s underestimate of its power purchase needs in 2018. That is a 5 percent increase in customer bills over the next 12 months. Meanwhile, the California Public Utilities Commission squelches a SoCal Gas gambit to keep […]

Opinionated: The Climate Conundrum & the Vulnerable Utility Pocketbook

22 Jan

By Dan Delurey Few among us have not been subject to a power outage in our home or place of business. The electric utility industry as it grew and expanded over the decades, did so almost entirely above ground via wires and poles. Not surprisingly, this type of system, or grid, has been subject to […]

The Buzz

17 Jan

State energy agencies are delving into natural gas and electricity price spikes in Southern California. One major SoCal Gas supply pipeline remains out of service after it burst in 2017, while two other major utility pipelines are operating at reduced capacity due to age deterioration. Lawmakers and the governor are not rushing to any conclusions […]

The Buzz

10 Jan

State energy regulators unanimously move to begin developing a framework for determining how much of private utilities’ fire liability costs should be paid by ratepayers. The vote comes amidst ongoing protests by those outraged by the death and destruction caused by wildfires both sparked and possibly sparked by Pacific Gas & Electric. The California Public […]

The Buzz

4 Jan

With the New Year comes the sad news of the death of Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner, and former chair, Kevin McIntyre. The exit fee slapped on former PG&E customers is estimated to add $100 million. But, the exact tab for community choice customers should be known at the end of next week. CA’s Attorney General […]

Big Bucks Hinge on Upcoming PG&E Exit Fees

2 Jan

How much Pacific Gas & Electric competitors will pay for the higher exit fee approved by state energy regulators last fall should be clearer at the end of next week. Big numbers are in play. Just how much of a hit there is on community choice aggregators’ customers this year from the higher Power Charge […]

Opinionated: Back to the Resource Adequacy Drawing Board

17 Dec

By Todd Edmister Last month, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision in its resource adequacy proceeding that would strip community choice aggregators and energy service providers collectively of their authority to procure local capacity resources. It would give this resource adequacy procurement authority exclusively to investor-owned utilities like Pacific Gas & Electric […]

The Buzz

13 Dec

Dear Readers: We will post news stories early next week before taking a holiday break through New Year’s Day beginning Dec. 20. Our 2019 news coverage and analysis will begin on Jan. 2. Wishing you happy and healthy holidays. This week, the California’s Air Resources Board adopts amendments to the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program, which […]

The Buzz

7 Dec

Power demand through 2030 may be less than the California Energy Commission projected earlier this year because of slower economic growth. The California Public Utilities Commission okays the three investor-owned utilities’ 2018-22 demand response programs, but also revises them. A draft CPUC decision would continue to require investor-owned utilities to line up resource adequacy contracts, […]

JUICE: The Long Shadow of the Energy Crisis

27 Nov

Massive utility liability from the recent devastating wildfires potentially sparked by electric lines puts the companies, politicians, regulators and ratepayers between a rock and a hard place. California regulators and lawmakers are working to keep Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison from being financially overwhelmed by claims resulting from the tragic toll on […]

The Buzz

15 Nov

California air regulators take initial steps on cap-and-trade program revisions to double greenhouse gas cuts in the decade ahead. The same day, a report is released that pushes land management changes to slash greenhouse gases in California. That includes improved forestry and woodlands management, slower conversion of natural lands and greener agriculture. At the nation’s […]

The Buzz

8 Nov

Overriding opposition, the California Public Utilities Commission gives Pacific Gas & Electric the green light to sign deals for more than 500 MW of electricity storage capacity at Moss Landing along the central coast. This week’s election brings more California Democrats who back clean energy into the House. Changes coming in the House leadership in […]

The Buzz

1 Nov

California appears to have no problem meeting the state’s 33 percent renewable portfolio standard, finds the California Public Utilities Commission. But, regulators warn that community choice aggregators and direct access providers need to up their renewable procurement. While the utilities have lined up more storage than needed in 2020, only a fourth of that energy […]

The Buzz

25 Oct

The Air Board approves funding to advance electric vehicles under its $455 million 2018-19 investment plan and also to incorporate methane controls for oil and gas producers into the state’s master air pollution control plan The California Public Utilities Commission seeks to increase the effectiveness of a $550 million Electric Program Investment Charge research and […]

The Buzz

18 Oct

The California Independent System Operator’s vision of the grid at its annual stakeholder symposium in Sacramento is far sighted, imagining a wholly remade energy system based on renewable power. A skeletal Federal Energy Regulatory Commission okays partial cyber security rules, as the chair remains sidelined by cancer complications. State utility regulators levy penalties on the […]

The Buzz

11 Oct

Utility regulators whack community choice programs with higher costs in a long-awaited and controversial decision on the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment. The PCIA requires choice program customers to pay exit fees to utilities for power contracts said to be entered on their behalf. Regulators give the green light to seven new utility energy storage projects, […]

CPUC Hits Community Choice with Higher Costs

11 Oct

Facing significant opposition in a shifting energy world, the California Public Utilities Commission Oct. 11 unanimously approved a decision that will raise the bills of community energy and direct access customers by shifting more private utility portfolio costs onto them. In voting this week, commissioners backed revisions to the controversial Power Charge Indifference Adjustment methodology […]