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The Buzz

2 Apr

The surge in residential energy use from millions of people ordered to stay home motivates energy regulators to lighten the financial burden of higher utility bills. They plan to advance the climate credit so they aren’t quite so high. The same day, California’s head energy regulator insists on resolving PG&E’s bankruptcy by the end of […]

News Roundup: CPUC Aims to Lower Utility Bills, Snowpack is Half of Average

2 Apr

The California Public Utilities Commission is working to lower home utility bills that have surged since the issuance of shelter at home directives. The agency announced April 2 it would fast track the second annual climate credit, which comes from the state’s carbon cap-and-trade auction revenue. Residential electric use has increased 15-20% in recent weeks […]

CPUC Reaffirms its Authority over Diablo Costs, is Silent on Early Closure

12 Mar

The California Public Utilities Commission approved without comment calls for scrutinizing the high costs of keeping the 2,200 MW Diablo Nuclear Power Plant online. The decision by Administrative Law Judge Peter Allen, backed unanimously March 12, does not address the implicit call by the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility’s petition for a plant closure before 2025 […]

The Buzz

6 Mar

State lawmakers ask the private utilities hard questions about the new wildfire mitigation plans’ impacts on ratepayer pocketbooks and safety. Legislators also introduce new bills to keep PG&E et al from writing off penalties for safety violations. Other measures seek to increase the flow of renewable resources into utility grids and vehicles. To help close […]

Utility Wildfire Plans Raise Cost and Safety Issues

5 Mar

The cost to ratepayers and how soon fire protections will be in place are key concerns for lawmakers reviewing new billion dollar-plus wildfire plans submitted by the private utilities. The three utility 2020 prevention plans will raise rates, but there’s currently no way to figure out how much, Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) said during a […]

New PG&E Exit Fee More than Doubles CCAs Tab

27 Feb

The California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 27 unanimously approved big hikes in the exit fees community choice aggregators must pay to Pacific Gas & Electric. The Commission’s 5-0 vote was cast with no discussion. Community choice organizations whose customers left PG&E to join CCA programs in 2017 and 2018 will see roughly 60% increase in […]

Shorts

26 Feb

Updated Feb. 27 The Department of Water Resources latest snow survey found the snow depth was 47% of the March average at the Phillips Station in South Lake Tahoe. The statewide snowpack depth was measured at 11 inches, or 46 percent of the March average. “Right now, 2020 is on track to be a below-average […]

New Bill Seeks to Limit Private Utility Lobbying

12 Feb

State legislation was introduced that would significantly reduce the size of investor-owned utilities political contributions to campaign coffers. AB 2079 by Assemblymember Kevin Kiley (R-Placer) would restrict contributions from Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to $3,000 per political campaign under proposed revisions to the state’s Political Reform […]

PG&E-Bondholder Deal Gets Judge’s Vote

4 Feb

The federal judge in the PG&E bankruptcy proceeding approved the settlement proposed by the utility, after listening to arguments from the sole opponent, a wildfire victim. Before announcing his decision Feb. 4, Judge Dennis Montali asked William Abrams the ramifications to fire victims, creditors and others if he were to reject PG&E’s nearly $60 billion […]

PG&E’s New Bankruptcy Plan Meets Newsom Part Way

3 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric’s latest plan to settle with creditors strikes a compromise with Gov. Gavin Newsom. The multi-billion-dollar revised reorganization plan released late on Friday, Jan. 31, includes replacing some of the members of the corporate and utility boards–most of whom have only been in place for a year–with new members who are California […]

CPUC Warns of Rising Electric Rates

22 Jan

San Diego Gas & Electric’s rates increased 50 percent over the last decade. The utility bills of ratepayers of the other two investor-owned utilities will soon follow suit. That is what California Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer told the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee during its Jan. 22 annual CPUC review. Batjer said continuing […]

Edison to Reap Nearly $5B for 2020 Energy Costs

16 Jan

State energy regulators Jan. 16 unanimously approved Southern California Edison collecting $4.7 billion in energy and greenhouse gas emission projected costs this year from current and former ratepayers. Edison’s 2020 electric resource procurement forecast authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission includes $3.72 billion in power costs. Edison stated that the generation it owns and […]

Senate Energy Panel Okays Outage Penalties, Rejects Big Hydro as Renewable

15 Jan

Legislation that would impose fines on utilities for unreasonable power outages and require them to compensate businesses and other customers harmed by blackouts passed the Senate Energy Utilities & Communication Committee Jan. 15. Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) authored SB 378 because private utility “financial incentives err on the side of blackouts.” Weiner accused utilities […]

CPUC Okays Utilities 2020 Ratemaking

19 Dec

The California Public Utilities Commission Dec. 19 unanimously authorized the four investor-owned utilities’ long-term debt and preferred and common equity percentages as part of the test year 2020 ratemaking capital structures. Regulators approved only some of the requested rate of return increases. “The financial stability of the utilities is vital,” said CPUC Chair Marybel Batjer. […]

Sempra’s Earnings Jump, Edison’s Fall

6 Nov

California’s investor-owned utilities in the southern half of the state reported solid earnings, with those of San Diego Gas & Electric and SoCal Gas rising significantly. Southern California Edison’s margin dropped, however. Pacific Gas & Electric, with little notice, reported its third quarter net income Nov. 7. Edison International: the utility’s corporate parent saw its net […]

SCE Wants Ratepayers to Cover Rising Fire Insurance Cost

29 Oct

A California Public Utilities Commission Administrative law judge Oct. 29 opened a proceeding to determine if Southern California Edison can roll a $505 million increase into its rates stemming from the rising cost of utility wildfire insurance. Edison, according to its attorneys, needs the $505 million to cover “incremental wildfire insurance” for the period between […]

The Buzz

24 Oct

Shutoffs and more shutoffs more shutoffs this week because of dangerous winds and fires. Pacific Gas & Electric reports a transmission tower with broken jumper near the latest Sonoma fire. In the midst of blazes, major fire risks and public outrage over outages, regulators approve collecting $10.5 billion from utility ratepayers for a legislatively mandated wildfire […]

CPUC Approves Ratepayers Paying $10.5 B into Wildfire Fund

24 Oct

A wind-driven blaze that grew from 300 to 10,000 acres overnight in Sonoma County was the background for the California Public Utilities Commission’s Oct. 24 meeting. During the meeting held in Redding, regulators unanimously approved collecting $10.5 billion from utility ratepayers for a $21 billion utility wildfire fund. Southern California also was experiencing weather driven […]

Real Time Pricing Gets Yellow Light

16 Oct

Energy utility regulators Oct. 15 weighed various proposals for potentially expanding dynamic and real time power pricing. The day-long California Public Utilities Commission meeting focused  on various dynamic and real time pricing programs San Diego Gas & Electric has tested through the years. The limited programs have tested whether variable pricing can  hone the energy […]

CPUC Opens Examination of PG&E Reorganization Plan

30 Sep

California utility regulators late last week opened an investigation into the rate and public safety impacts of Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy reorganization plan. The California Public Utilities Commission is set to begin its formal review at a public meeting slated for Oct. 23. “As we move through this reorganization,” said Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves, […]