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Storage Clashes With State Goals

15 Nov

Battery electricity storage systems installed with California Public Utilities Commission-ordered subsidies are boosting peak load and increasing greenhouse gas emissions, according to analyses discussed at a Nov. 15 commission meeting. CPUC Regulatory Analyst Patrick Doherty called the evaluation “bad news.” Figuring out how to ensure systems help achieve the state’s goals of reducing emissions and […]

CPUC Proposal Slashes Cost of PG&E’s Diablo Closure Plan

8 Nov

A fraction of the requested closure costs Pacific Gas & Electric seeks from its ratepayers to close the utility’s 2,240 MW Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant by 2025 is authorized under a proposed decision by the California Public Utilities Commission. Under Administrative Law Judge Peter Allen’s proposal released Nov. 8, PG&E ratepayers would pay $190.4 million to close […]

Clean Power Cuts Natural Gas Need

9 Oct

Natural gas usage in California is projected to remain flat or decline slightly with increased energy efficiency and renewable power, according to a California Energy Commission projection shared at an Oct. 9 meeting. Slack demand in California coupled with high levels of gas production likely will result in less need for natural gas storage facilities […]

CPUC Okays Broader Fixed Charges, Limits Fluctuating Residential Rate Pilots

28 Sep

State regulators unanimously approved expanding the charges that can be included in “fixed” utility rates. “It is not about how big the pie is, but how it’s divided,” said California Public Utilities Commission member Carla Peterman after her decision was approved 5-0 at the agency’s Sept. 28 meeting. She specified that the decision does not […]

JUICE: Electric Lifts for All

25 Sep

While I creep along a 16-lane section of Interstate 5 heading back to Los Angeles from San Diego, state leaders are putting the pedal to the metal to convert California’s transportation sector to electric technology that will be fueled by renewable energy. With their confidence bolstered by the remarkable strides in converting the state’s power […]

Cap-&-Trade Spending Plan Headed for Passage

13 Sep

The fate of a bill to require 100 percent renewable power in California remained uncertain mid-week as the Legislature raced toward a Friday deadline to finish up its business in Sacramento. However, lawmakers and the governor broke a deadlock Sept. 12 that appears to clear the way for a massive spending measure funded by carbon […]

The Buzz

25 Aug

State utility regulators okayed a shift in the peak pricing period to later in the day for San Diego Gas & Electric customers. Industry advocates warn it erodes the economic advantages of rooftop solar. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry gets an education about how the grid operates. A Department of Energy staff report he requested […]

CPUC Okays New SDG&E Peak Period

24 Aug

State energy regulators unanimously approved the second phase of San Diego Gas & Electric’s 2016-19 general rate case, which includes a shift in the time-of-use peak period and off peak rates. The redesign is part of SDG&E’s allocation of its approved triennial revenue requirement. “Time-of-use rates acknowledge we have an eclipse every day,” Mike Picker, […]

Senate Panel Okays CPUC Appointees

23 Aug

The Senate Rules Committee voted narrowly to confirm Gov. Jerry Brown’s two recent appointees to the California Public Utilities Commission. In separate votes, lawmakers on the five-member panel voted 3-0 Aug. 23 to recommend the Senate approve the appointments of Martha Guzman Aceves and Cliff Rechtschaffen to the commission. Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), […]

Electric Cars & Solar Roofs Driving Energy Demand

3 Aug

California’s future demand for electricity from utilities—and to some extent natural gas—will hinge on how fast electric vehicles and solar rooftops advance in the marketplace, according to the California Energy Commission’s latest forecast. Solar and electric vehicles, according to Chris Kavalic, Energy Commission researcher, “make the most difference in our forecast.” The commission previewed its […]

Shorts

18 Jul

The House Energy & Commerce Committee began delving into how the nation’s electricity markets are functioning July 18. During the first of two hearings, the general assessment by a panel of utility and generator representatives was that the nation’s power industry is in the midst of rapid change, which is driving down the wholesale price […]

CPUC Takes Time Weighing Utility EV Charging Plans

11 Jul

State energy agency officials on July 11 peppered utility representatives with questions about their plans to spend some $1 billion to develop electric vehicle charging infrastructure up and down the state over the next five years. How the plans will advance public acceptance of electric vehicles and help meet the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals […]

Energy Bills Increasing Data Access & Decreasing New Plants Pass

6 Jul

The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee approved two bills midweek that seek to expand public access to energy data and avoid ratepayer investments in unneeded expansions of the traditional fossil-fueled power system. SB 356 by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), which aims to increase web access to energy information, passed on a 9-4 vote in spite […]

SMUD Okays 1% Rate Hike

19 Jun

Sacramento Municipal Utility District ratepayers will be paying more for power beginning in 2018. Meeting June 15, the board approved consecutive 1 percent hikes for commercial and agricultural customers in 2018 and 2019, and a one-time hike of 1.5 percent for residential ratepayers in 2018. More “significant,” said Board Member Gregg Fishman, is that the […]

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 […]

SCE Labor Practices Impact Rates & Safety, Union Says

17 May

Southern California Edison’s 2018-2020 rate case has become embroiled in a labor dispute in which a major union says it’s been locked out of contracting jobs with the utility, which are on the upswing as the company focuses on improving its aging distribution system. Enhancing the safety of its distribution system, in which equipment failures […]

Edison Rate Hike

17 May

Southern California Edison’s proposed general rate case will raise the average bill of residential customers who use 600 kWh a month by $3.75 in 2018, another $5.65 in 2019, and then again by an additional $7.29 in 2020, according to California Public Utilities Commission Administrative Law Judge Steve Roscow. By 2020, those who use 600 […]

LA Jump Starts Feed-In Tariff Program

17 May

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is restarting its solar feed-in tariff program at a higher price beginning mid-June under a streamlined procedure. The muni’s board approved the move May 16. Under the revised program, the utility will seek 65 MW of solar production in blocks of 5 MW at a fixed price […]

Regulators Okay 11% PG&E Rate Hike

11 May

Pacific Gas & Electric will raise its rates by 11.3 percent over the next three years under a unanimously approved California Public Utilities Commission decision on the utility’s 2017-19 general rate case. PG&E’s authorized annual revenue under the decision approved May 11 will increase from its current level of $7.916 billion to $8.809 billion in […]

Energy Storage Subsidy Bill Hits End of the Road

27 Apr

An Assembly bill aimed at subsidizing utility customer-owned energy storage batteries the same way the California Solar Initiative program has subsidized rooftop solar systems for the past decade appears to have died this week.  A similar measure on the Senate side was approved earlier in the week. The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee advanced a […]