Direct Access Fees Brought to CPUC’s Attention

By Published On: January 25, 2013

Representatives of community choice aggregators and the state’s public utilities petitioned state regulators to stop imposing fees on ratepayers that no longer receive electricity from investor-owned utilities. Ongoing departing load changes “have in many cases lasted well beyond their intended timeframes, creating unnecessary rate volatility and uncertainty for customers,” stated the petition filed with the California Public Utilities Commission Jan. 17. Petitioners seek a rulemaking “setting an end date or developing a plan for phasing out ongoing” departing load charges. Charges have fluctuated from $0.00013/kWh in 2007 to $0.00272/kWh this year. Petitioners include the Marin Energy Authority, Modesto and Merced Irrigation Districts, sellers of retail electricity, including Shell North America, the California Municipal Utilities Association, the South San Joaquin Irrigation District and Wal-Mart. Modesto and Merced compete for electricity customers as does the Marin Energy Authority, which launched an electricity choice program two years ago. In a joint petition urging rejection, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric called foul. They said the petitioning parties seek “subsidization and shifting of costs in a discriminatory, inequitable, and anti-competitive manner” paid by private utility bundled service customers.

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