CalCCA Seeks Rehearing of CPUC’s Unlawful Decision to Restrict CCA Expansions

Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 |

CalCCA Seeks Rehearing of CPUC’s Unlawful Decision to Restrict CCA Expansions
Commission abuses discretion, violates communities’ energy aggregation rights

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) filed an application today with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requesting a rehearing of its unlawful decision to prevent Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) from expanding to new communities. CalCCA is urging the CPUC to revisit the decision and correct numerous legal errors.

“The CPUC has given itself new unauthorized powers to needlessly discriminate against CCAs and prevent their growth,” said CalCCA Executive Director Beth Vaughan. “The decision literally blocks communities from exercising their legal right to aggregate and provide customers with a choice of energy providers.”

Under the CPUC’s July 5 decision, CCAs are prohibited from extending service to new communities if they have had a Resource Adequacy (RA) deficiency in the prior two calendar years—asserting without credible evidence that the addition of new load would be detrimental to grid reliability. The decision violates the CPUC’s legal requirement to apply RA enforcement measures in a nondiscriminatory manner in that it excludes their retail competitors, the Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs).

The CPUC has based its decision on unsupported and incorrect findings. CCA expansion only moves customers from one energy provider to another. It has a zero net effect on RA demand or the available supply to meet California’s energy needs.

“The decision’s lack of evidence and reasoning to support its finding regarding grid reliability constitutes an abuse of discretion by the Commission, as well as a failure to act in accordance with law,” the Application for Rehearing notes.

The decision also omits important facts. It neglects to mention, for example, that California’s RA shortage makes it difficult, if not impossible, for all load-serving entities (LSEs)—CCAs, IOUs, and Direct Access (DA) providers—to secure enough RA capacity to comply with their obligations. It bases the expansion restriction on a finding that RA deficiencies result in cost shifts without providing data to support the claim.

The CPUC already penalizes California’s LSEs with hefty fines for failing to meet RA requirements even though there is not enough supply. The decision does nothing to address the RA supply shortage and creates additional penalties under market conditions where it is unlikely that all LSEs will be able to meet RA requirements.

Newer market entrants such as CCAs and DA providers are most impacted by RA scarcity. That’s because the IOUs hold “legacy” supplies built prior to the recent growth of retail choice.

Ultimately it is ratepayers that are paying a high price for California’s ongoing RA supply problem, which is explained in more detail on this webpage and in this recent stack analysis: California’s Constrained RA Market: Ratepayers Left Standing in a Game of Musical Chairs.

The CPUC may or may not rule on CalCCA’s rehearing request. If there is no ruling by September 26 it will be deemed denied. CalCCA would then evaluate whether to file a petition with a state appeals court.


About CalCCA
Launched in 2016, the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) represents California’s community choice electricity providers before the state Legislature and at regulatory agencies. There are 25 operational CCA programs in California serving more than 14 million customers in 200+ cities and counties throughout the state. For more information visit