Community Choice Conduct Playbook in Play

By Published On: December 21, 2012

The California Public Utilities Commission Dec. 20 approved without discussion ground rules for utility interactions with localities opting for community choice aggregation in direct competition on electrical service. The code of conduct laid out in commission president Mike Peevey’s decision won a unanimous vote. It aims to help community choice aggregators “compete on a fair and equal basis,” as mandated by state law SB 790. Lawmakers passed the measure in 2011 after Pacific Gas & Electric ran a ballot initiative--Proposition 30--that attempted to thwart community choice aggregation, but failed. The utility also aggressively fought community choice in Marin County. The decision does the following: -Requires separation between a utility’s marketing division and other divisions, including billing, when a utility intends to market against aggregators; -Requires utilities to provide aggregators access to information on par with that provided to its independent marketing division; – Prohibits utilities from speaking on behalf of an aggregator or making misleading statements about a local aggregator’s service; – Institutes reporting requirements for utility interactions with aggregators and their own independent marketing divisions; and -Establishes a complaint procedure.

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