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The Buzz

10 Jun

The road to essential carbon neutrality is laden with challenges, requiring more than electrification of vehicles and buildings. Renewable fuels, rates that get EV drivers to charge when the grid is flush, and flexible demand also are key, agency staff say during the first cut of the Air Resources Board’s scoping plan update. It also […]

Latest Carbon-Cutting Blueprint Hashed Out at Public Workshop

10 Jun

Electrifying buildings and transportation won’t get the state to carbon neutrality by 2045, staff from energy and air pollution control agencies said over two days of California Air Resources Board workshops this week. The focus was ARB’s significant update to its long-term plan to avert worsening climate change. There also was general consensus that the […]

The Buzz

3 Jun

The California Public Utilities Commission tightens utility safety protocols to limit the number and reach of shutoffs this year. Regulators hope to avoid a repeat of the widespread problematic shutoffs in 2019. The commissioners also direct the three private utilities to submit annual shutoff reports. The CPUC proposes an additional fine on Pacific Gas & […]

CPUC Okays $11 Billion for Rate Assistance

3 Jun

The California Public Utilities Commission this week approved the four private utilities spending $11 billion over the next five years to support low-income energy assistance programs. There are three programs, which provide rate discounts, weatherization assistance and workforce training in disadvantaged communities. Commissioner Genevieve Shiroma said that for the first time the equity of all […]

Regulators Set Stricter Rules for Utility Shutoffs

3 Jun

State regulators voted unanimously June 3 to require improvements in the utilities’ execution and transparency of their safety power shutoffs in the upcoming fire season. “This remains an extremely challenging and pressing issue for us as we enter another season of wildfires,” California Public Utilities Commission member Cliff Rechtschaffen said. The decision includes corrective actions […]

CPUC Eases Path for Utilities to Put in More Chargers

3 Jun

State utility regulators want to help fill an anticipated 2025 shortage of electric vehicle chargers in California by loosening up the rules on installations carried out by utility companies. The California Public Utilities Commission proposal also would accelerate installations of ports and associated infrastructure by allowing utilities to install more of them. At least half […]

PG&E Faces $20M Fine for Leaving Customers in the Dark During Shutoffs

1 Jun

Pacific Gas & Electric is facing a $20 million penalty payable by shareholders for communication screwups during massive so-called public safety outages in 2019. That includes the company failing to notify more than 50,000 customers–including people dependent on electric medical devices–that they were going to lose power. The California Public Utilities Commission Administrative Law Judge’s […]

The Buzz

27 May

Clean local microgrid bills keep moving forward in the Legislature. Also continuing to advance is hotly contested legislation that would add significant costs to net metered solar rooftops. But measures to decarbonize state buildings and promote more renewables fizzle. Find out more in the latest legislative roundup. A big gust is propelling offshore wind energy […]

Energy Bill Winners & Losers

27 May

Among the bills moving ahead in the Legislature are ones backing installations of clean microgrids in fire-prone communities and adding fees to net metered small solar rooftops. The key local community microgrid measure is SB 99 by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa). It would create a grant and technical assistance program at the California Energy Commission […]

State Utility Regulators Call For 11.5 GW of New Resources by 2026

25 May

Two competing California Public Utilities Commission proposals would require utilities, community energy and other provider investments in a combined 11,500 megawatts to come online between 2023 and 2026 to ensure a solid and far less polluting grid. About one tenth would come from fossil-fueled power. One proposal, by Administrative Law Judge Julie Fitch, would okay […]

The Buzz

21 May

State regulators require the private utilities to offer to sell renewable portfolio resources to community energy and other providers. Each aggregator and other entity will be offered a proportional share of the resources bought by the utility for its ratepayers that later joined a non utility. But the California Public Utilities Commission 5-0 vote declines […]

CPUC Only Okays Utilities Selling RPS Resources to Community Energy

20 May

Private utilities that purchased renewable resources on behalf of customers that have now switched to community energy must offer that generation to community aggregators and other providers, the California Public Utilities Commission decided May 20. It deferred action on related contentious issues such as how the three investor-owned utilities will sell resources offered for sale […]

Agency Heads Tout Power Additions Ahead of Summer, Not all Clean

19 May

The chiefs of the California grid operator and energy agencies told lawmakers Tuesday that they have done everything they possibly can to avoid blackouts this summer. “We know we are in a stronger position than last year,” Marybel Batjer, California Public Utilities Commission president, said during a May 18 Assembly Utilities and Energy Commission hearing. […]

Green Hydrogen Alliance Growing in Los Angeles

18 May

A coalition promoting the development of a hydrogen industry based on renewable resources in California grew significantly with the addition of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power this week. Green hydrogen also gets a big boost in the Governor’s revised budget announced May 14, assuming it gets approved by the legislature. The revised […]

The Buzz

13 May

Additional resources give the California Independent System Operator more confidence in this summer’s grid. More than half will come online as the sun sets and air conditioners fire up. The grid operator also points to other resources in the event of intense peak demand if there is another whopper heat wave across the West. The […]

Newsom Proposes $2B for Ratepayer Bill Relief

11 May

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced May 10 that $2 billion in relief will be distributed among Californians having difficulty paying their electricity, gas, and water bills–an estimated 800,000 customers. A moratorium on utility disconnections for failure to pay is set to expire next month, but many residents continue to struggle financially largely because of the pandemic. […]

The Buzz

7 May

Pacific Gas & Electric’s $7.5 billion bond issuance gets final approval. Regulators sign off on its financing order, which includes oversight by a finance team tasked with protecting customers. Ratepayer advocates welcome the oversight on condition it is robust, but object to the legal basis of the approved ratepayer-backed securitization. San Diego Gas & Electric […]

Unprecedented PG&E Ratepayer Bond Gets Final Okay

6 May

The California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved the financing order setting parameters for Pacific Gas & Electric’s unprecedented 30-year, $7.5 billion ratepayer financed securitization. It is the largest and lengthiest utility bond securitization in U.S. history, according to Joseph Fichera, Saber Partners CEO. On May 6, the CPUC approved the order detailing the financial terms […]

RPS Costs Increased Last Year, CPUC Says

5 May

The average cost of non-fossil resources bought by private utilities, community energy and other providers pursuant to California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard rose last year compared to 2019. But they still remain low. That’s according to a new California Public Utilities Commission report. It attributes the cost increase to an expansion of renewable purchases beyond solar […]

The Buzz

29 Apr

State regulators agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric that issuance of $7.5 billion in ratepayer bonds will improve its ratings will be put to the test again. Intervenors will seek rehearing of the controversial California Public Utilities Commission decision. A major rating agency is non plussed because the big utility securitization will not affect its […]

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