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Juice: Start Small on Electric Truck Charging

22 May

As the Springsteen song goes: “From small things, mama, one day big things come.” The California Public Utilities Commission should take note and resist pressure to significantly increase utility investments in heavy-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Despite calls to do so by clean air advocates and utility executives, it’s wise to take small steps towards […]

The Buzz

17 May

Utility regulators get big push back on a proposal authorizing the investor-owned electric utilities to spend almost $600 million of ratepayer money on electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Southern California Edison complains it has zippo financial appeal. Federal energy regulators order Pacific Gas & Electric to settle complaints over $500 million in alleged overcharges in last […]

Utilities Seek Max Return on EV Charging Program

17 May

Utility regulators came under heavy pressure this week to throw out a proposed decision authorizing California’s investor-owned electric utilities to spend some $600 million of ratepayer money on electric vehicle charging infrastructure. During an all-parties meeting May 17, following the California Public Utilities Commission’s vote postponement on the proposal earlier this month, utilities complained it […]

FERC Orders PG&E Transmission Settlement

17 May

Federal energy regulators May 17 ordered Pacific Gas & Electric to reach a settlement with eight organizations that complained last year about the utility’s rates for transmitting power. At issue is more than $500 million of potential utility overcharges. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the order without comment as part of its consent calendar […]

Shorts

15 May

SoCal Gas showcased a new solar-powered hydrogen generation system May 17. It uses sunlight to convert natural gas and water into hydrogen and capture the carbon dioxide to prevent carbon emissions. The project is a partnership between SoCal Gas, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the STARS Corp. The solar advanced reactor system “produces hydrogen through […]

Earnings Down for Two of Three IOUs

8 May

Utility earnings varied during the first quarter of 2018, with Sempra Energy up and Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric down compared to the first three months of 2017. Edison International: The parent company of Southern California Edison had lower earnings in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, with […]

Shorts

8 May

Updated May 10 The California Public Utilities Commission approved a transition to time-of-use power rates for residential customers beginning in spring of 2019 for San Diego Gas & Electric and in fall of 2020 for Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison. The commission okayed the schedule at its meeting May 10. Initially, the […]

CPUC to Develop CA Power Restructuring Plan

3 May

In the midst of related proceedings, California utility regulators called for a statewide conversation about the future structure and regulation of the power industry May 3. They continued to warn about the proliferation of customer-owned solar systems, community choice aggregation, and other developments that threaten to destabilize traditional utilities and electric grid reliability in California. […]

FERC Drills Down on High Utility Transmission Costs

1 May

Federal regulators May 1 heard conflicting views about whether California’s investor-owned utilities have been unfairly skirting review requirements for major investments in their power transmission lines, which may be driving up electricity costs. “Ratepayers are paying significant amounts of money for expenditures with no review whatsoever,” Katharine Mapes, Northern California Power Agency attorney, complained to […]

PG&E Pays $97M Fine for Ex Parte Wrongs

27 Apr

Pacific Gas & Electric agreed to pay $97.5 million in penalties under a settlement that puts to rest charges of prohibited secret communications between utility officials and state regulators. The California Public Utilities Commission approved the agreement April 26. “We hope PG&E will finally get the message that they have to play by the rules,” […]

Undercurrents

18 Apr

Updated April 19. A group of Los Angeles County homeowners filed a class-action lawsuit earlier this month alleging that Renovate America and Renew Financial, which contract with Los Angeles County to operate the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, failed to offer basic consumer protections. The suit claims that PACE loans provided by the […]

FERC to Scrutinize CA Power Transmission Costs

17 Apr

Federal energy regulators are considering complaints that Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison evaded federal transmission planning standards to pump up their charges. The dispute comes at the same time that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told Congress this week that grid operators like the California Independent System Operator need to do a […]

The Buzz

5 Apr

Clashing recipes to determine how much community choice organizations must pay the private utilities for their stranded power purchase contracts land in the California Public Utilities Commission’s kitchen. The launch of California’s expected biggest community choice program is not fully baked. The Clean Power Alliance of Southern California’s June debut is limited to two cities […]

Undercurrents: PCIA Struggle Heats Up

4 Apr

Clashing proposals on revising or replacing the California Public Utilities Commission’s controversial power charge indifference adjustment were submitted to regulators April 2. This cost adjustment method determines how much community choice organizations must pay the private utilities for their stranded power purchase contracts. Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas […]

CPUC Proposes Cutting Utility Spending on Electric Truck Charging

2 Apr

The California Public Utilities Commission March 30 proposed authorizing the state’s investor-owned electric utilities to spend more than $600 million of ratepayer money over the next five years to help build out the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Some two-thirds of the money would be focused on developing charging infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, […]

PG&E Proposes Small Rate Cut, But Bigger Costs Elsewhere

2 Apr

Pacific Gas & Electric March 30 asked the California Public Utilities Commission to shave millions of dollars from its revenues this year under three separate rate cases, including two that were previously approved, to account for the financial benefit it’s reaping from the 2017 federal tax act. Overall, the utility expects a tax benefit under […]

Shorts

2 Apr

Updated April 5 California Attorney General Xavier Becerra  joined a coalition of Attorneys General suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas facilities. “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has a legal responsibility to reduce methane emissions from existing oil and natural gas operations. We are taking him to court […]

The Buzz

29 Mar

Facing massive liability lawsuits for its potential role in igniting wildfires that scorched Santa Rosa and other Wine Country communities last fall, Pacific Gas & Electric argues it’s not subject to claims based on the legal doctrine of inverse condemnation. With hot weather just around the corner, state regulators order SoCal Gas to quickly fill […]

PG&E Moves to Get Wildfire Lawsuits Dismissed

29 Mar

Pacific Gas & Electric wants a state court to dismiss wildfire liability lawsuits against it on the basis that it cannot, as claimed, spread out the massive cost of last October’s fires in Northern California to all of its ratepayers. In lawsuits filed last year, plaintiffs argue that PG&E is on the hook for damage […]

Green Light for Oakland Plant Clean Power Replacement

27 Mar

The grid operator approved Pacific Gas & Electric’s proposal to replace the polluting 40-year old Oakland power plant with 20-45 MW of clean energy resources in 2022. The California Independent System Operator okayed the resource swap the same day it approved Southern California Edison’s additional transmission line to serve Moorpark. Although Oakland is served by […]