Archive | California Public Utilities Commission RSS feed for this section

The Buzz

25 May

Pacific Gas & Electric fails to garner an extra $1.5 billion for decommissioning its Diablo Canyon nuclear reactor, as the CPUC stands by an administrative law judge’s decision. FERC moves a bit closer to a quorum as a Senate panel holds a hearing on President Trump’s nominees. In a report that’s, well, quite predictable, CARB […]

JUICE: Beyond a Bud Light Future in EV Charging

24 May

The beer flowed May 19 in Sacramento after an all-day meeting on the future of “retail competition” in the California electric power industry. But when the waiters picked up the glasses and mopped up the suds little really had been settled. While other states abound with consumer choice in retail power plans—sporting such features as […]


23 May

The Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee passed legislation mandating that fines imposed on Pacific Gas & Electric for the 2015 Butte fire directly benefit the two impacted counties. During a May 23 hearing, lasting about two minutes, AB 524 by Assemblymember Frank Bigelow (R-Madera) was approved.  It focuses on the $8.25 million in penalties slapped […]

Direct Access Said to Threaten IOUs & Community Choice

23 May

The California Public Utilities Commission and Energy Commission met May 19 to better grasp how to reorient away from regulation of four private utilities, which are losing market share, to guiding the energy use of millions of disparate customers, including those joining public community choice programs. During the all-day joint commission meeting, the impact of […]

So CA Preferred Resources & Coastal Plant Replacements Lag

22 May

Southern California faces no shortage of generation or power import capacity this summer although actual deployment of “preferred resources” procured by investor-owned utilities is lagging. However, a shortage of natural gas due to the ongoing closure of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field could pose a risk to energy reliability this summer. That scenario […]

SCE Labor Practices Impact Rates & Safety, Union Says

17 May

Southern California Edison’s 2018-2020 rate case has become embroiled in a labor dispute in which a major union says it’s been locked out of contracting jobs with the utility, which are on the upswing as the company focuses on improving its aging distribution system. Enhancing the safety of its distribution system, in which equipment failures […]

Edison Rate Hike

17 May

Southern California Edison’s proposed general rate case will raise the average bill of residential customers who use 600 kWh a month by $3.75 in 2018, another $5.65 in 2019, and then again by an additional $7.29 in 2020, according to California Public Utilities Commission Administrative Law Judge Steve Roscow. By 2020, those who use 600 […]

Juice: A Worthy Proposal

17 May

Rapid technological change and policies to promote clean energy have undermined traditional gas-fired generators and thrust the state’s grid into a period of instability. While ten years out the picture looks rosy—with little doubt the state will achieve its 50 percent renewable energy standard—the outlook for the next two to five years is cloudy with […]

Undercurrents: Agencies Aim to End Low-Income Barriers to Clean Energy

17 May

State energy agencies shared their hopes and ideas about how to extend the economic and environmental benefits of alternative energy technologies—from rooftop solar systems to electric cars—to low-income residents at a joint agency meeting May 16. “We don’t have a smooth road to travel,” said Alice Reynolds, an advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown. “We know […]

Regulators Okay 11% PG&E Rate Hike

11 May

Pacific Gas & Electric will raise its rates by 11.3 percent over the next three years under a unanimously approved California Public Utilities Commission decision on the utility’s 2017-19 general rate case. PG&E’s authorized annual revenue under the decision approved May 11 will increase from its current level of $7.916 billion to $8.809 billion in […]

Generator Earnings Mixed in First Quarter

9 May

Generators latest earnings report were not as grim as reported in previous quarters but also nothing to write home about. AES: This Virginia-based company continues to suffer losses. The first quarter of 2017 it reported a loss of $24 million, or minus 4 cents per share. That compares with net earnings of $126 million reported […]

Undercurrents: Laying Ground Rules to Lessen Grid Insecurities

3 May

Energy regulators face myriad challenges in ensuring that state utilities adequately protect their substations, power lines and other energy infrastructure, from utility resistance to sharing sensitive information to impacts on ratepayer wallets. “Making sure the utilities are not overspending, and spending the right amount and in the right areas,” are key concerns, California Public Utilities […]

Utility Energy Storage Mandate Untouched by CPUC

27 Apr

The California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously April 27 not to expand the state’s 1,325 MW energy storage target for private utilities, nor broaden the categories of storage technologies eligible to fulfill the goal. Legislation passed in 2010, AB 2514, requires the investor-owned utilities to have 1,325 MW of storage in place by 2020. The […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Faces $8 Million Penalty for Butte Fire

26 Apr

State regulators fined Pacific Gas & Electric $8.3 million for the Butte Fire sparked by a utility conductor. The Sept. 9, 2015, wildfire killed two people, injured one, and destroyed 549 homes, 4 commercial properties and 368 structures. The California Public Utilities Commission’s Safety & Enforcement Division found PG&E violated three of the commission’s general […]

JUICE: Downsizing Gas Power

25 Apr

The day of reckoning is nigh for gas-fired power in California. A growing oversupply of power—created by California’s race to build renewable power plants— has depressed wholesale electricity prices to the point that operators often can’t bring in enough money to run gas plants day-to-day, much less cover the major maintenance work needed to keep […]

Energy Storage Fund & Data Access Bills Advance

25 Apr

The Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee April 24 passed legislation to create an energy storage funding program equivalent to the California Solar Initiative. That initiative helped put solar energy on solid financial footing with $2.1 billion in subsidies over a decade. SB 700 by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) would separate out energy storage […]

Senate Panel OKs Efficiency & Demand Management to Meet Peak Loads

18 Apr

The Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee approved six separate energy bills April 18, including ones to increasingly meet peak power needs with preferred resources and another to require the California Public Utilities Commission to oversee integrated resource plans developed by community choice aggregation programs. SB 338 by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) aims to minimize […]

CPUC Told to Include Health Effects in Aliso Canyon Study

18 Apr

San Fernando Valley residents urged California energy regulators to permanently shut the SoCal Gas Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility due to health and safety concerns the evening of April 17. Residents recited their complaints at a packed meeting in Northridge that marked the opening of a California Public Utilities Commission study proceeding on whether […]


17 Apr

Southern California Edison commissioned two new hybrid peaker units April 18 that employ gas-fired turbines coupled with battery storage systems. The project, which uses GE technology, will cut in half the number of times the turbines need to fire up. It is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the units by up to 60 […]

The Buzz

13 Apr

Eggs gathered in Current’s Easter news basket include approval of two controversial and large natural gas project redos along the SoCal coast. The California Energy Commission unanimously approved the Huntington & Alamitos replacement projects, which are to be cooled with air, not seawater-cooled. On the agenda at this week’s Energy Commission post business meeting closed […]