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State Regulators Scrutinize Surging So Cal Energy Prices

16 Jan

Southern Californians are paying more for natural gas and electricity due to the aging and failing natural gas supply system run by SoCal Gas. Due to limited capacity to deliver gas to homes, businesses, and power generators, the price of gas in Southern California was 134 percent higher during the months of July through September […]

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 […]

CPUC Approves $50 Million Energy Efficiency Program Renewal

10 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission Jan. 10 voted 4-0 for a $52 million extension of the contract with the company that implements the utilities’ marketing and outreach portion of Energy Upgrade California. The program provides small businesses and homeowners with information tools and contacts to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and offices. It […]

Clean Power Alliance to Enter Major Power Deals

8 Jan

The Clean Power Alliance in Southern California, which soon will become the state’s largest community choice aggregation program, is in the process of developing power purchase agreements for up to 2 million MWh a year of power to serve its growing customer base. After rolling out service to more than 31,000 customers last year, next […]

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 […]

Undercurrents: AG Backs Oakland’s Rejection of Coal Terminal

18 Dec

The City of Oakland’s appeal to defend its ordinance prohibiting storage and shipment of coal to and from a proposed port expansion won the backing of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra this week. “The transportation of coal from the terminal would disproportionately hurt communities of color already burdened by pollution and its consequent health effects, […]

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 […]

JUICE: Flying a Jet Plane?

12 Dec

California may create a central power purchasing agency to fill gaps in the state’s electricity supply to ensure the grid remains reliable, and possibly to act as the provider of last resort. The state essentially did the same some 17 years ago with less than stellar results, though the circumstances were different. Out of the […]

CPUC Officials Warn of Growing Market Power

5 Dec

Golden State electric ratepayers could soon become victims of price manipulation, according to California Public Utilities Commission officials. “California is currently entering an era of tighter generation supplies than we have experienced in recent years,” wrote Commissioner Liane Randolph and CPUC Administrative Law Judge Julie Fitch in a ruling last month. The ruling came in […]

Shorts

5 Dec

Updated Dec. 6. The U.S. Senate Dec. 6 confirmed Bernard McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on a 50-49 vote. McNamee’s nomination was controversial because of the role he played while at the U.S. Department of Energy, specifically entailing its proposal that FERC order subsidies for coal and nuclear power plants. McNamee “needs to […]

SDG&E Wants Out of Power Supply Business

29 Nov

San Diego Gas & Electric, which has some of the highest power rates in the nation, wants to jettison its role of providing power to customers and become strictly an electricity transmission and distribution company. The utility says it’s primarily motivated by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s plan to form a community aggregation program in […]

Undercurrents: LADWP Aims for 55% Renewables

27 Nov

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s board Nov. 27 approved forwarding the muni’s 2017 integrated resource plan to the California Energy Commission to satisfy the legislatively required 50 percent renewable standard by 2030. The plan, which is required to show how LADWP plans to meet SB 350’s 50 percent renewable energy mandate by […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Faces First of Legal Claims for Camp Fire

20 Nov

While the massive Camp Fire in Butte County still smoldered, a class action lawsuit was filed by nearly two dozen residents of Paradise against Pacific Gas & Electric and its parent corporation over utility equipment allegedly sparking the conflagration. The suit was filed in the San Francisco Superior Court Nov. 16. The day the fire […]

Shorts

13 Nov

California community choice energy programs have signed long-term power purchase agreements for 2,000 MW of renewable electricity from new or recently opened facilities located in 16 counties in California, according to the California Community Choice Association. “This is a significant achievement for the community choice aggregation movement in California,” said Beth Vaughan, association executive director. […]

CA Set to Meet 2020 Renewable Standard

1 Nov

California is on target to meet that state’s 33 percent renewable portfolio standard, according to a California Public Utilities Commission report to the Legislature on Nov. 1. However, community choice aggregators and direct access providers will have to pick up their pace in procuring renewable energy. “California continues on its path to a 100 percent […]

Revised PCIA Won’t Slow San Diego Community Choice

31 Oct

Higher exit fees payable to investor-owned utilities authorized last month by regulators are apparently no showstopper to community choice aggregation in San Diego. Neither the city, nor San Diego Gas & Electric take issue with the level of fee increases the California Public Utilities Commission is requiring community choice aggregators to pay to utilities. Initially, […]

JUICE: Like Water for Electricity

30 Oct

California regulators and friends continue to claim that the surge in community energy and shrinkage of private utility customers in California creates conditions similar to those that led to the energy crisis after the 1996 deregulation law. “We will be right back where we were 22 years ago if we don’t get it right,” said […]

Shorts

30 Oct

San Diego Gas & Electric’s new synchrophasor sensors can turn off power on lines that break before they hit the ground, thereby averting sparks that could start a fire. SDG&E highlighted the new system late last month, which works by detecting voltage changes. Sensors along circuits report conditions up to 60 times a second through […]

CPUC Weighs Expanding its Reach Over Non-Utilities

24 Oct

The California Public Utilities Commission Oct. 23 mulls over the implications of growing customer choice in the retail electricity market in a document that hints at actions to regulate community choice aggregators and direct access providers like today’s private utilities. Likely actions and recommendations—from levying new fees on electricity customers that would go to utilities, […]