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CPUC Delves Into Reducing Utility Disconnections

15 Aug

Regulators at the California Public Utilities Commission kicked off a proceeding Aug. 15 that’s aimed at reducing the rising rate of energy service disconnections stemming from non-payment of monthly electricity and gas bills. Data show that more than 70,000 customers have their power or gas shut off each month due to non-payment. The CPUC opened […]

The Buzz

10 Aug

A legislative conference committee working to address wildfire safety and liability standards for utilities faces major opposition. The big kahuna is who gets slammed with the multi-billion tab for harm from utility equipment-sparked blazes. Major energy legislation to create a regionalized grid, move to 100 percent carbon-free power, and open up direct access to all […]

Plan to Curb Utility Wildfire Liability Faces Pushback

10 Aug

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to legislatively amend the decades–long court created legal doctrine that holds utilities strictly liable for wildfire damage faced strong head winds at an Aug. 9 legislative conference committee hearing. At issue is who’s responsible for the massive liability tab from the destruction arising from utility-sparked wildfires: ratepayers, local governments, insurance companies […]

Revisions to PG&E Rate Design Approved 5-0

9 Aug

The California Public Utilities Commission Aug. 9 voted unanimously for a settlement that changes Pacific Gas & Electric’s rate design, largely for non-residential customers, and alters its electric marginal cost allocations. Commissioner Carla Peterman called the decision addressing the second phase of PG&E’s general rate case “balanced.” This week’s decision adopts what’s known as the […]

$120M Aliso Canyon Gas Leak Deal Inked

8 Aug

State and local agencies and SoCal Gas Aug. 8 agreed to a $119.5 million settlement to resolve the public claims arising from the massive methane leak that occurred at the utility’s Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility in Los Angeles in 2015. Attorney General Javier Becerra emphasized, however, that the company still faces hundreds of […]

Revised Power Charge Gets Mixed Reception

7 Aug

The California Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision Aug. 1 that attempts to resolve differences over how to allocate private utility power portfolio costs between customers that remain with an investor-owned utility and those that depart. The proposal modifies the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment, which was created to avoid saddling remaining utility ratepayers with […]

Shorts

7 Aug

The California Public Utilities Commission published the final version of its paper on customer choice for electricity Aug. 7, but it makes no specific policy recommendations. The  final paper proposes scheduling the development of  a separate action plan by this fall that may outline recommendations to deal with the changes sweeping the state’s power industry. […]

Juice: Key Energy Developments

7 Aug

While we were away at the beach and hiking in mountains, the state’s energy agencies took significant action on ratepayer protection, grid reliability and greenhouse gas reduction. The California Public Utilities Commission approved a settlement, which was percolating the last few years, on the allocation of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s hefty closure costs. […]

PG&E & Sempra Report Big Losses

6 Aug

Earnings of two of the three parent companies of California’s major investor-owned utilities took a turn for the worse in the second quarter of 2018. Pacific Gas & Electric reported the largest earnings hit because of wildfire liability followed by big losses at Sempra Energy. Meanwhile, Edison International’s earnings were largely level and could be […]

The Buzz

19 Jul

The East Bay’s new community choice program adopts a five-year local investment plan that targets local renewable energy, energy efficiency, and electric transportation. In an increasingly rare display of bipartisanship in Washington, members of both parties in the House praise the growing role of energy storage technology during a committee hearing this week. Current’s Juice […]

Power Providers Integrated Resource Plans Due Soon

17 Jul

California’s utilities, community choice aggregators, and energy service providers are to file their first integrated resources plans Aug. 1 with the California Public Utilities Commission. The plans, required by SB 350, are to outline how the power providers will meet the future demand for electricity through 2030, as well as state requirements for increased levels […]

Shorts

16 Jul

Federal energy regulators July 18 approved a final rule requiring interstate pipeline companies to pass along to customers their savings under the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. Companies will have to file a form outlining their savings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It acted this week on the matter. While FERC will have […]

The Buzz

13 Jul

Editor’s Note: California Current will be taking a two-week summer break. The last stories before the break will be posted on July 20. Story posting will resume the week of Aug. 6. State energy regulators belatedly agree to approve Southern California Edison’s 125 MW of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage agreements to be developed […]

Edison’s Controversial Local Clean Energy Deals Win Approval

12 Jul

The California Public Utilities Commission voted 4-1 to allow Southern California Edison to recover more than $300 million from ratepayers for 125 MW of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage agreements slated for the constrained western Los Angeles sub-basin. “This will drive market transformation,” said Mike Picker, CPUC president, during the agency’s July 12 business […]

LA Choice Program Blasts CPUC Dissing CCAs

11 Jul

The state’s largest community choice aggregator late last month complained to the state Legislature about the California Public Utilities Commission’s customer choice project, which is outlined in what the commission calls “The Green Book.” The Clean Power Alliance, which is the new community choice program for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, wrote that “the Green […]

Undercurrents

10 Jul

The harm to the marine environment from using ocean water to cool power plants is more widespread than thought, according to a new research report by the Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team. The Council, a state agency, released the report July 9. It showed that ocean currents connect separate marine protection zones, essentially spreading […]

Wildfire Liability Bill Goes to Conference Committee

3 Jul

Details of Sen. Bill Dodd’s SB 901 are to be hammered out in a legislative conference committee. That includes terms of standards governing when utilities could be held liable for wildfire damages. The Napa Democrat’s measure would set standards requiring utilities to improve their efforts to prevent wildfires, including more effort to clear vegetation around […]

Clashing Views on Power Industry Emissions

3 Jul

A legislative hearing on tracking carbon from electrons delivered to Californians quickly turned into a debate about grid regionalization and the impact of community choice aggregators and direct access providers in the state Capitol on July 2. Liane Randolph, California Public Utilities Commission member, said her agency has targeted a reduction of 42 million tons […]

Juice: Centralizing to Decentralize

2 Jul

As community choice aggregation, distributed generation, and interest by companies in making or purchasing their own power rise, California energy officials appear ready to change the state’s electricity market under the banner of “customer choice.” It’s uncertain what the California Public Utilities Commission will recommend in its final analysis outlining how customer choice is changing […]

The Buzz

28 Jun

The big squeeze from a duo of powerful hedge funds leads Sempra Energy to sell off all of its green portfolio and some of its gas assets. More significantly, this is just the first round of spin offs. A proposed CPUC settlement would reduce ratepayers’ share of the closure costs of San Onofre Nuclear Generating […]