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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 […]

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 […]

Undercurrents: Upwardly Creeping Gas Prices Prompt LADWP to Boost Power Charge

7 Mar

Higher gas prices are requiring the nation’s largest municipal utility to increase what its customers pay for electricity each month. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is moving to raise what it charges the average customer for power by 0.220 cents per kWh, a total increase of about a $1.10 a month. “This […]

PG&E Poised for 11% Rate Hike As Customers Complain About Already Rising Bills

2 Mar

Amid complaints from Pacific Gas & Electric customers about rising gas and electric bills under rate actions previously approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, the commission heard a presentation at its March 2 meeting in Davis about a proposed decision that would boost the utility’s rates for each of the next three years. CPUC […]

Proposed Deal Scales Back IOU Revenue & Returns

8 Feb

The private utilities and ratepayer advocates Feb. 7 filed a proposed  modification of a deal to reduce the utilities’ approved revenue requirements and dial back their double digit rates of returns in 2018. The proposed settlement before the California Public Utilities Commission would shave back Pacific Gas & Electric’s return on equity from 10.4 percent […]

Distributed PV Installations Fall in Era of Lower NEM Rates

7 Feb

Two of the three investor-owned utilities, which offer less favorable net energy metering rates to customers with new solar rooftop systems, have seen installations drop by up to a third. (more…)

National Labs Find Demand Charges May Undercut Solar Savings

26 Jan

Demand charges being discussed for residential solar system owners appear to diminish power bill savings, according to an analysis by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory discussed on Jan. 25. The report comes as utilities across the nation are examining whether to ask regulators to allow them to institute residential demand […]


8 Dec

The state’s electricity consumption is likely to grow at a tepid rate through 2026, according to a demand forecast discussed Dec. 8 at a California Energy Commission meeting. The draft forecast, which is part of the commission’s Integrated Energy Policy Report update process, shows an annual average growth 1.05 percent in its mid-case scenario, bounded […]

LADWP Expected to Refund Millions in Overbilling Case

21 Nov

  A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Nov. 18 tentatively approved a settlement of a class action suit related to overcharges from the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s new billing system in 2013 that malfunctioned. (more…)

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 […]

FERC Seeks Improved Protections Against Solar and Market Flares

22 Sep

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week approved standards to reduce the grid’s vulnerability to the threat of geomagnetic disturbances and sought input on whether to streamline its market power assessments of utility industry mergers and requests for market-based rates. (more…)