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Shorts

25 Jul

Marin Clean Energy voted to nearly double the number of its customers. The board of California’s first community energy organization approved admitting Contra Costa County, Concord, San Ramon, Pittsburg and five smaller municipalities into its service area. “So we’ve now got 33 communities in total,” Dawn Weisz, MCE executive officer, said July 21. Marin’s customer […]

JUICE: Scaling CA’s Zero Carbon Summit

19 Jul

Politicians are to rope up next month and set the path for climbing to a 100 percent renewable/zero emissions energy peak under legislation proposed by the leader of California’s Senate. Investor-owned utilities and several public utilities warn about reliability and cost crevasses that may open beneath them on the trek under SB 100 by Senate […]

Bill to Keep Utility Safety Funds on Track Advances

22 Jun

The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee June 21 passed four small bills with little or no discussion, including one that aims to keep private utilities from diverting approved financial resources away from authorized safety work, including for pipelines. SB 595 by Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) to prevent safety money diversions was approved on a 14-1 […]

JUICE: Juice Bar

31 May

Direct access has been somewhat of a dirty word since the 2000-01 energy crisis, which clobbered California’s private utilities and governor. Although not blamed for the melt down, contracts between independent power suppliers and large energy users—from hospitals to industrial facilities—were legislatively limited to existing direct access deals. Residential direct access was terminated after several […]

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 […]

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 […]

Regulators Struggle With Expanding Retail Choice

18 May

State energy regulators are wringing their hands over the flood of ratepayers moving to community choice programs and trying to create some order amid the chaos caused by the upending of the traditional role of private utilities and central planning. California is moving to a competitive retail market, notes a California Public Utilities Commission white […]

San Jose is Largest U.S. City to Choose Community Choice

18 May

The city of San Jose is forming a community choice aggregation program after its city council voted unanimously May 16 to approve the step. The program should become operational in April of 2018 if all goes as planned. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said that with the vote the city will become “the largest” in […]

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 […]

LA County Opts for Community Choice Energy

19 Apr

Los Angeles County will form a community choice aggregation program, which will be the biggest in the state. The county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously April 18 to form the program that is to offer higher levels of alternative power than Southern California Edison starting next year. The choice program has been under development for […]

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 […]

Shorts

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 […]

SHORTS

1 Mar

California’s Feb. 22 carbon emissions rights auction showed little demand based on results released March 1. Fewer than one-fifth of the 2017 allowances offered for sale actually sold. Interest was even more lackluster for 2020 allowances, with only about 7 percent of those offered selling. Both types of allowances went for $13.57 a ton. The […]

Regulated Utility Earnings Rise in 2016

28 Feb

  California’s regulated utilities and their holding companies’ 2016 earnings increased under California Public Utilities Commission approved rates and spending programs, utility executives told financial analysts recently. (more…)

Desert City Rejects Regional Choice Plan, Goes Solo

23 Feb

The Rancho Mirage City Council voted 4-0 to drop out of a bi-county community energy program and pursue its own program. It has caused waves in the choice community because of the city consultant’s behavior and criticism of other choice options. (more…)

JUICE: Über Energy

22 Feb

Sempra Energy blew off rules aimed at protecting burgeoning community choice efforts, effectively derailing San Diego County’s move to offer electricity supplies in place of San Diego Gas & Electric’s last week. The rewards likely outweigh the risks given the high stakes for Sempra and its biggest business, San Diego Gas & Electric. If the […]

Undercurrents: San Diego Community Choice Prospects Dim

15 Feb

San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors Feb. 15 balked at ordering a community choice aggregation feasibility study. They rejected a recommendation to spend $200,000 on the evaluation after hearing objections from Sempra Energy Services. (more…)

Viewing Community Choice Through Different Lenses

2 Feb

The rewards and risks of the growth in communities providing alternative electricity resources were debated during a day-long Feb. 1 hearing at the California Public Utilities Commission. “Is the state going to let one thousand flowers bloom or will it pursue centralized long term resource planning,” asked  Matt Freedman, The Utility Reform Network attorney. He […]

State Hit 22% Renewables Mark in 2015

5 Jan

Reliance on renewable power is increasing in California, but retail power providers are all over the map when it comes to their respective levels of carbon-free energy, 2015 data show. (more…)

SDG&E’s Efforts to Dampen CCA Lobbying Restrictions Crosses Line, Opponents Say

15 Dec

San Diego Gas & Electric is running into opposition over its petition to loosen requirements for a marketing arm that’s intended to lobby local officials considering forming community choice aggregation programs in its territory. In the latest salvo in the squabble, Solana Beach Mayor David Zito told California Public Utilities Commission Energy Division Director Ed […]