Fresh from summer break, lawmakers advanced numerous energy bills this week toward final consideration, but held off on others, including the Million Solar Roofs bill and the Governor's energy reorganization plan. Two significant bills advanced for floor votes would mandate a break down of costs factored into rates and guarantee cost recovery when utilities re-power generating stations. The bills joined others making it through long queues in the Senate and Assembly Appropriations committees this week. Overall, however, the Capitol remained relatively quiet, except for the staffers burning up their calculators in an attempt to understand how the just enacted 1,700-page federal energy bill will affect pending state measures dealing with liquefied natural gas and renewable energy. Final action on much of the energy legislation is expected to take place in a couple of weeks on the Assembly and Senate floors. Meanwhile, SB 1, the Million Solar Roofs Initiative, is expected to come before the Assembly Appropriations Committee next week. The Senate Energy, Utilities and Commerce Committee will take up the governor's plan to reorganize the state's energy bureaucracy on August 24. A warm reception is unlikely, according to sources, as a growing number of voices insist that any energy agency consolidation be handled by the Legislature, not by executive edict. The governor's attempt to consolidate several of the state's energy agencies into a Department of Energy suffered a serious blow after the Legislative Counsel and Attorney General concluded the plan clashed with the state's constitution-opinions seconded by the Little Hoover Commission (<i>Circuit<\/i>, June 24, 2005). In addition to creating a state Energy Department, the governor's reorganization would create an Energy Secretary and transfer transmission siting authority from the California Public Utilities Commission to the California Energy Commission. While the reorganization plan appears bogged down, these bills went to the Senate floor: <b>AB 67<\/b> by Assemblymember Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) requires a clear break down of the major categories factored into utilities' rates so various expenses can be tracked. The bill, for example, would prevent costs once recovered from continuing to be factored into rates. "It will help planners and policy makers assess the real costs" of power to ratepayers, said Edward Randolph, consultant for the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee. <b>AB 515<\/b> by Assemblymember Keith Richman (R-Granada Hills) authorizes the Department of Water Resources to lease the state's facilities used for water supplies for private PV installations. <b>AB 1383<\/b> by Assemblymember Fran Pavley (D-Woodland Hills) creates a grant program to fund the installation of solar panels on low-income residences. The annual cost of the 10-year program is estimated to be up to $100 million. <b>AB 1585<\/b> by Assemblymembers Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo) and Levine orders a report on the feasibility of requiring 33 percent of power supplies to be made with renewable energy by 2020. <b>AB 1576<\/b> by Assembly Speaker Fabian N??ez (D-Los Angeles) requires that investor-owned utilities be able to recover in rates the cost of contracts for electricity supplies from modernized power plants. <b>AB 1723<\/b> by Assemblymember Doug La Malfa (R-Redding) requires investor-owned utilities to release their load forecasts to competitors and the CEC to submit the load loss forecasts to the CPUC. A Senate bill that made it to the final legislative round this week was SB 441. The measure by Nell Soto (D-Pomona) prohibits the CPUC from requiring the installation of advanced meters in small businesses and homes unless it is cost effective. Bills waiting for the green light include: <b>SB 426<\/b> by Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), which requires the California Energy Commission to evaluate the state?s need for liquefied natural gas and compare the pros and cons of the LNG terminals proposed on and off the coast of California. The legislation suffered a setback when the federal energy bill signed August 8 authorized the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to assume jurisdiction in LNG terminal siting onshore and within state waters. SB 426 was sent to the Legislature's "suspense file"-thus, is sitting around waiting for action, according to staff. <b>SB 107<\/b> by Simitian advances the state's 20 percent renewable portfolio standard from 2017 to 2010. It was amended to specify that out-of-state renewable supplies must be physically delivered to California to count towards an investor-owned utilities? renewables portfolio standard. The bill subsumes AB 1362 by Levine mirroring the Senate legislation. The legislation's provision creating a trading program for green tags, which represent the green attribute of a renewable supply, was stripped out. San Diego Gas & Electric, which pushed for the renewable credit trading program, is angling for it to include provisions that would allow deliveries of renewable energy into other utilities' service areas. SDG&E's ability to access renewable energy is constrained by transmission links. Pacific Gas & Electric wants SB 107 reworked to allow it to count signed renewable deals toward its 20 percent green mandate, not just actual renewable deliveries. In an August 16 letter, PG&E asserted flexibility is needed because of "limited time for new renewable facilities to sign, build and deliver to the utilities." A number of other measures are lined up before the Assembly Appropriations Committee. SB 769 by Simitian would help subsidize replacement of 20,000 old refrigerators in low-income rental residences. SB 1037 by Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) would codify the CPUC's decision (known as the "loading order") requiring utilities to meet new power demand with energy efficiency first and fossil fueled power plants last. One bill that could have substantial costs—at last estimate about $1 million—was waylaid in Appropriations earlier this year and became a two-year bill. SB 984 by Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) would have the Energy Commission calculate and compare the life-cycle costs of fossil fuel, nuclear, renewable, and hydroelectric plants. <b>New Coalition Proposes Long-Term Contracts<\/b> Led by California Energy Commission chair Joe Desmond, a few dozen representatives from investor-owned utilities and private power plant owners met August 17 in an attempt to break what they see as a logjam in developing electricity supplies. The group, the Coalition for California Energy Policy, discussed adopting 10-year contracts between merchant generators and utilities, with utilities spreading the cost of the contracts to load-serving entities that have short supplies. Also discussed, according to reports of the private meeting, was lifting the grid operator's $250\/MWh price cap and reinstating direct access.