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Shorts

2 Mar

The Department of Water Resources’ March 2 snow survey found that California’s snowpack was below average. Overall, it’s 61% of the average for this time of year, and 86% of the average at Phillips Station in South Lake Tahoe. At the latter station, a snow depth of 56 inches was measured with a snow water […]

Shorts

2 Feb

updated Feb. 4 A federal judge handling Pacific Gas & Electric’s probation called the utility “criminally reckless” for failing to take out a tree that may have caused last fall’s Zoff fire, which killed four people, the Courthouse News Service reported Feb. 3. Judge Alsup, who is overseeing the utility’s probation following the 2010 San […]

Shorts

12 Jan

The Public Advocates Office announced it saved California ratepayers more than $3 billion in utility rates last year. “The impacts of COVID-19 and the increasing frequency of wildfires have made our advocacy that much more important for Californians,” Elizabeth Echols, Director of CalAdvocates, said Jan. 11. She stressed the need for affordable safe utility services–from […]

Net Present Value for Dummies

23 Sep

The new law created by AB 1054 seeks to tamp down rising utility bills by mandating that when the companies issue bonds paid back by ratepayers they use the lowest rate possible to save customers the most money. That is to be accomplished by applying a net present value analysis. This analysis reflects that a […]

Rooftop Solar Compensation Under Review, Again

15 Sep

How much owners of rooftop solar reap for excess energy produced and the conditions attached have been battled in and outside California for several years. The Golden State has inconsistent solar policies, from providing $3 billion in subsidies under the decade-long Million Solar Roofs program that ended in 2017, to adding hefty charges to net […]

PG&E Shuts off Power in 22 Counties, SDG&E & SCE Customers Lose Power

8 Sep

High temperatures and fires over the Labor Day weekend put the grid to the test. While the California Independent System Operator managed to keep supply and demand in balance Sept. 5-7, tens of thousands of customers of the three investor-owned utilities lost power or had it shut off because of wildfires during and after the […]

Load Shifts and Less Consumption Avert More Blackouts

20 Aug

Widespread conservation at every level of electricity use, from industry, to households, is credited with lowering otherwise soaring demand on the grid on Aug. 17 and 18 by almost 4,000 MW. According to an Aug. 19 joint letter to the governor from three state energy agencies, several energy and water agencies reduced their demand. So […]

CA Grid Operator: “We are scouring every corner of our world.”

17 Aug

More than 3 million California homes could have their power cut off by the three investor-owned utilities starting late afternoon on Monday, Steve Berberich, California Independent System Operator president and chief executive officer, said. “It is a perfect storm,” he warned during an Aug. 17 early afternoon press call. Demand is expected to be higher […]

Less Demand and Cleaner Options Spell Lower 2019 Costs for CAISO

7 Jul

The California Independent System Operator saw a whopping 17% reduction in overall wholesale electricity market costs in 2019 compared to the year before, thanks to energy efficiency, the deployment of small renewables, more hydropower and less natural gas. Total energy costs last year were $8.8 billion, at an average $41 per megawatt-hour, compared to $10.8 […]

JUICE: Doubts about PG&E Promise to Exit Bankruptcy Sans Rate Hike

26 May

Pacific Gas & Electric’s $58 billion borrowing plan to exit bankruptcy is required to be rate neutral. Ratepayers are not supposed to pay an extra dime for the Chapter 11 proceedings under the law creating a $21 billion wildfire fund, AB 1054. Protecting ratepayers from paying for this second bankruptcy, which roughly doubles PG&E’s debt, […]

The Buzz

2 Apr

The surge in residential energy use from millions of people ordered to stay home motivates energy regulators to lighten the financial burden of higher utility bills. They plan to advance the climate credit so they aren’t quite so high. The same day, California’s head energy regulator insists on resolving PG&E’s bankruptcy by the end of […]

News Roundup: CPUC Aims to Lower Utility Bills, Snowpack is Half of Average

2 Apr

The California Public Utilities Commission is working to lower home utility bills that have surged since the issuance of shelter at home directives. The agency announced April 2 it would fast track the second annual climate credit, which comes from the state’s carbon cap-and-trade auction revenue. Residential electric use has increased 15-20% in recent weeks […]

Shorts

30 Jan

The proverbial champagne bottle was broken Jan. 30 on a new compressed renewable natural gas fueling station by SoCal Gas and the mayor of Bakersfield. The station serves gas to trucks and cars made from methane, including that captured from dairy digestors in the Central Valley.  “As one of the most important food and dairy […]

Shorts

2 Apr

Snow depth and snow water equivalent is 200 percent of average, or 51 inches, at the Department of Water Resources’ Sierra measuring station. DWR’s final snow survey for the season conducted April 2, also revealed that the Sierra Nevada snowpack is 162 percent of average. “With full reservoirs and a dense snowpack, this year is practically […]

Shorts

3 Jan

The Department of Water Resources’ first snow survey of the new year revealed the water content of the snow is 80 percent of average at the standard measuring location, Phillips Station. The Jan. 3 survey recorded 25.5 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 9 inches. The Sierra snowpack is 67 percent […]

JUICE: Flying a Jet Plane?

12 Dec

California may create a central power purchasing agency to fill gaps in the state’s electricity supply to ensure the grid remains reliable, and possibly to act as the provider of last resort. The state essentially did the same some 17 years ago with less than stellar results, though the circumstances were different. Out of the […]

Undercurrents: CPUC Okays $812 M for DWR Crisis Bond Charges

4 Dec

The California Public Utilities Commission approved passing through to ratepayers the cost of Department of Water Resources’ bonds arising from the multi-billion dollar power contracts the state signed in the midst of the 2000-01 energy crisis. With no discussion late last week, the CPUC signed off on allocating DWR’s $812 million in 2019 bond service […]

Shorts

2 Apr

Updated April 5 California Attorney General Xavier Becerra  joined a coalition of Attorneys General suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas facilities. “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has a legal responsibility to reduce methane emissions from existing oil and natural gas operations. We are taking him to court […]

SMUD Approves WaterFix Environmental Document

20 Feb

The California WaterFix project, a potential $16 billion dollar public works plan to divert water from the state’s largest delta in order to improve water supplies, has moved a little closer to reality after a Feb. 15 vote by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s board. On a 7-0 vote, the SMUD board approved findings within […]

Shorts

28 Mar

The March 30 state snow survey shows the snowpack is at 164 percent of the historical average, at 45.8 inches, meaning high river flows and full reservoirs. “California enters the snowmelt season with a large snowpack that will result in high water in many rivers through the spring,” said Michael Anderson, state climatologist. Electronic measurements […]

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