CPUC Works Out Utilities’ Cost Changes

By Published On: July 13, 2012

Regulators unanimously approved without discussion two utility revenue requirement increases that won’t raise rates because of offsets from energy crisis contracts that are dropping off utility procurement portfolios. The California Public Utilities Commission July 12 approved $604 million for Southern California Edison’s increased fuel and power costs. That amount is expected to be offset by the expired Department of Water Resources’ energy contracts that the state held for the utility during and after the 2000-01 energy crisis, freeing up the money ratepayers were levied for those contracts. Edison customers are estimated to see generation rates lowered by 5.5 percent--from 5.4 cents kW/hour to 5.1 cents kW/hour, the utility noted in its commission filing. Also approved on the consent calendar was San Diego Gas & Electric’s 2012 revenue requirement forecast of $815 million--$60 million above the 2011 figure. Regulators also authorized a 2012 Ongoing Competition Transition Charge revenue requirement forecast of $55 million. For San Diego, too, the Water Resources contracts expired. “SDG&E’s 2012 procurement costs are forecast to be lower than its costs in 2011,” according to the utility. SDG&E was also given the green light to transfer $1.8 million between accounts to pay for this summer’s demand bidding program. Demand bidding is expected to be desirable this summer in the utility’s region due to the 2,200 MW continuing outage at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Without the nuclear plant, the transmission area in San Diego could be constrained at peak use hours.

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