CPUC Efficiency Proposal Sparks Lobbying

By Published On: May 29, 2009

Regulation that could increase investor-owned utilities’ income from energy efficiency programs by $1 billion has been at the center of efforts by environmentalists, consumer groups, and utilities to lobby the California Public Utilities Commission the last couple weeks. A proposed decision by administrative law judge David Gamson categorizes utilities’ proposed methods to calculate bonuses as mired in technicalities. “We do not have sufficient information to judge” utilities’ requests for income from efficiency measures, noted the proposed decision. It calls plans from Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric heavy on “complex technical details” of what can and cannot be attributed to their efficiency programs. The proposed decision attempts to create a plan where efficiency savings are verified directly to utility programs without influence of other occurrences--such as federal stimulus programs or a varying economy. The proposal calls for “evaluation, measurement and verification.” Public workshops on the proposal are scheduled in Southern California next week.

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