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Bills Advance to Promote Storage, Green Buses & Hydrogen

26 Apr

The Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee approved nine energy bills April 25, including measures to require utilities to procure more energy storage and to set rates that encourage electric bus deployment. SB 1347 by Sen. Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) passed on a 9-1 vote. It would require the California Public Utilities Commission by 2020 […]

Gubernatorial Candidates Stances on Energy

10 Apr

As the June gubernatorial primary nears, the large field of candidates is drilling down on transportation, green jobs, climate change and the environment. Leading Republicans challenge the recently enacted gas tax hike and the bullet train. Democrats largely pledge to build on what Gov. Jerry Brown has done with some twists. San Francisco Mayor Gavin […]

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 […]

LADWP’s Costs for Power & Fire Insurance Rise

13 Mar

In response to higher costs for purchasing electricity and wildfire insurance, the nation’s largest municipal electric utility is increasing customer rates. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s board voted March 13, without discussion, to boost customer charges for energy by 4 percent. That will result in an average monthly bill increase of about 1.6 […]

The Buzz

2 Mar

Tin ears are prevalent this week. During the U.S. EPA’s public “listening session” in San Francisco mid-week on the agency’s plan to revoke the Clean Power Plan, Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board head, questions agency officials’ hearing ability. The decibels in the room increase with the long line of speakers blasting the proposed repeal […]

Legislature Sets Busy Agenda with More Energy Bills

20 Feb

Legislators in Sacramento continued introducing energy-related measures through the end of last week, including perennial bills that to make large hydropower a qualified source of renewable energy and to promote electric vehicles. While some are largely statements of intent at this juncture—with the substance to be developed later—two of the more developed measures introduced in […]

Energy Bills Signed

3 Oct

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a half dozen energy-related measures into law, including ones to promote energy storage, enhance utility safety, temper utility service disconnections for non-payment, and further reform the California Public Utilities Commission. Brown vetoed one bill that would have dedicated a utility penalty for sparking a wildfire to fire prevention and fighting efforts. […]

ORA Head Joins Defense of Fed’s Low Income Energy Programs

1 Aug

The director of the Office of Ratepayer Advocates, along with 35 attorneys general and state consumer advocates July 31, urged Congress to protect and expand federal low-income energy assistance programs that are critical for struggling households across the nation. “Without these programs, millions of low-income people would lack access to the essential utility services they […]

Cap & Trade Bills in Limbo

2 Jun

Editor’s Note: Story was written June 1. As a key legislative deadline approaches tonight for passing bills out of their chamber of origin, the fate of the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program remains uncertain. Gov. Jerry Brown has pressed state lawmakers to pass a measure to continue the landmark program through 2030 by a two-thirds vote […]

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 […]

Undercurrents: Trump’s Budget Guts Clean Energy Programs & Transmission

23 May

As feared, President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget released May 23 slashes funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and other federal agencies. Heading for the guillotine are funds for energy efficiency and to states for weatherization of low-income residences and alternative energy programs. The budget document states it eliminates programs considered “duplicative” […]

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 […]


17 May

A bill to extend incentives for solar water heating systems passed the Assembly May 16. AB 797 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) cleared the chamber 48-22. It will allow home and building owners to get a state rebate along with an ongoing 30 percent federal tax incentive to install solar hot water and pool […]

LA Approves 1 MW Community Solar Program

17 Nov

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power approved spending $12.9 million to rent 400 residential rooftops in poor neighborhoods to help balance out the disparity of photovoltaic installations in LA. The targeted area suffers a poverty rate of 70 percent and solar roofs there are far and few between. The muni’s board Nov. 15 […]

CPUC Backs $3.7 Billion in Low-Income Energy Subsidies

10 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission this week authorized utilities to spend more than $1.1 billion from 2015 through 2017 for energy efficiency measures that help lower energy bills for low-income households under the state’s Energy Savings Assistance program. The commission also approved some $2.6 billion of bill subsidies for low-income utility customers in 2017 and […]

Regulators May Shake Up CARE Discount Program

31 Mar

Utility regulators are beginning to take a big picture look at a key $1 billion-a-year energy subsidy for low-income households with an eye toward restructuring it. (more…)


17 Mar

Southern California Edison and SoCal Gas have to step up their energy savings assistance programs to aid low income customers under an assigned commissioner ruling March 14 by California Public Utilities Commission Commissioner Catherine Sandoval. The ruling requires the two utilities to intensify their assistance programs in areas that normally get natural gas from the […]

CLIMATE ROUNDUP: Cap & Trade Revisions Envision Big Cuts by 2030

8 Oct

  California air regulators plan to amend the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program over the coming year to ratchet down on allowable greenhouse gas emissions between 2020 and 2030. (more…)

Clean & Safe Energy Bills Expected to Become Law

17 Sep

Even with the 50 percent petroleum reduction measure stripped out of SB 350 by Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), it was the most significant piece of successful legislation. The amended version sent to the governor the last day of the legislative session raises the renewable energy standard from 33 percent to 50 percent and […]

Community Solar at Heart of Low-Income Solar Tariff Proposals

27 Aug

  As part of their proposals to end net metering for rooftop solar, utilities are proposing steps to help disadvantaged communities transition to solar energy, most notably by building community solar systems. (more…)