Edison to Reap Nearly $5B for 2020 Energy Costs

By Published On: January 16, 2020

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 has contracted for includes 1,176 MW of hydroelectric power, 91 MW of solar photovoltaics, 11,292 MW of combined heat and power and renewable resources, and 245 MW of natural gas power.

Also factored into the nearly $4.7 billion price tag is a $454 million charge to be collected from Southern California community energy programs and other providers serving former utility ratepayers. This so called “Power Charge Indifference Adjustment” is to make up for the lost revenue associated with energy resources Edison said it procured on behalf of ratepayers that split.

Southern California community aggregators took issue with the utility’s calculation of its resource adequacy and renewable energy costs factored into the PCIA, which are to be passed on to them. They argued without success that the resource adequacy prices Edison and the CPUC used drove down the utility’s revenue forecast, which increases the cost of power that acts as a supply cushion for community energy.

The utility told the CPUC even with the $454 million charge it is still short of PCIA revenue. Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves said that the lost business was attributable to the continued growth in community choice aggregation. Edison will file to reap that under collection, she noted.

Another highlighted issue was the draining of the fund for solar installations on low income, multifamily residences. Guzman Aceves said that the first day the utility incentives were offered they all were claimed. She said more than 50 applications wait in the queue for funds seeking to extend the solar rooftop market to multifamily dwelling rentals.

The decision not only adds to private utility and community energy bills. It also requires Edison to return to its customers $402 million in net carbon cap-and trade auction proceeds it reaped. As a result, Edison ratepayers are to see a $39.00 credit in their utility bills.

The decision also directs Edison, and the other two investor-owned utilities, to include in their 2019 Energy Resource Recovery Account Compliance reports costs associated with power shutoffs initiated in response to worsening last year.

Elizabeth McCarthy

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