CalCCA Statement on New Report from Governor Newsom’s Strike Force

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 12, 2019
Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

CalCCA Statement on New Report from Governor Newsom’s Strike Force

Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) are committed to providing reliable service, clean energy at competitive rates, and innovative programs that benefit people, the environment and the economy in communities across California.

Community choice energy providers applaud Governor Newsom for his leadership during this critical period for California’s energy market and his quick action to assemble a strike force to begin addressing the state’s urgent needs following PG&E’s decision to file for bankruptcy. While we are still evaluating the details of the just-released strike force report, we believe the report rightly focuses on the urgent need for wildfire mitigation and suppression, developing a safer and more reliable electricity system, and keeping costs affordable for all Californians.

We appreciate the report’s recognition that catastrophic wildfires are exacerbated by climate change and, as such, it is critical that efforts to achieve the state’s clean energy goals are not derailed.

As the report highlights, CCAs are playing a crucial leadership role in advancing clean energy investments in California and we agree there is a need for statewide planning and transparency to ensure goals are achieved, and reliability maintained. CCAs are proving adept at securing cost-effective, long-term power resources and have already signed long-term contracts for more than 2,000 MW with new renewable energy projects in California and many new contracts will be announced this year.

Community choice energy providers are eager to continue working collaboratively with the Governor, his administration, and stakeholders, and share his commitment to a stronger, greener, more reliable electric system, while preserving the role of local, not-for-profit CCAs in California’s rapidly evolving energy system.

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, advocating for a level playing field and opposing policies that unfairly discriminate against CCAs and their customers. There are currently 19 operational CCA programs in California serving approximately 10 million customers.

For more information about CalCCA, visit www.cal-cca.org.

Community Choice Electricity Providers Launch Bright Energy Future Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 2, 2019
Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

Community Choice Electricity Providers Launch Bright Energy Future Campaign, Highlighting Principles for Stronger, Greener, More Reliable Electric System

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) announced the launch today of the Bright Energy Future CA campaign, a statewide coalition committed to building a stronger, greener, more reliable electric system — and preserving and promoting the role of local, not-for-profit Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs in California’s rapidly evolving energy system.

At a time of unprecedented uncertainty in electricity markets, the new Bright Energy Future website highlights three principles that will guide involvement of the CCA community and its partners in the transition ahead.

The campaign’s Principles for a Stronger, Greener, More Reliable Electric System emphasize the need for reforms to the state’s electric system that:

  • Prioritize safety – especially after the last few years of devastating wildfires
  • Empower local action – to ensure every community has a say in where their energy comes from
  • Maintain access to reliable, affordable, and clean energy – to protect ratepayers and promote the green infrastructure California needs to meet its climate goals

“With the governor and Legislature thinking broadly about the future of California’s energy system, community choice providers want to be part of the solution,” said Beth Vaughan, executive director of CalCCA. “The Bright Energy Future campaign offers a platform for all of our partners — our constituents, our ratepayers, and many other stakeholders and allies — to contribute and advocate for a safer, more reliable, more affordable clean energy future.”

As the governor and state policymakers continue to review their options for reforming state regulation of the electricity system, the Bright Energy Future website will serve as a hub for the latest news on restructuring and the potential for long-term solutions. It will also provide a platform for harnessing the advocacy of a growing coalition of community choice providers, environmental and social justice organizations, consumer groups, renewable energy producers, and local governments.

The Bright Energy Future CA website can be found here: http://brightenergyfutureca.org.

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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, advocating for a level playing field and opposing policies that unfairly discriminate against CCAs and their customers. There are currently 19 operational CCA programs in California serving approximately 10 million customers.

For more information about CalCCA visit www.cal-cca.org.

Attorney Irene Moosen Joins CalCCA to Lead Regulatory Initiatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 14, 2019
Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

Attorney Irene Moosen Joins CalCCA to Lead Regulatory Initiatives
Moosen brings more than 30 years’ experience in regulatory law to the post

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) is pleased to announce that attorney Irene Moosen has joined CalCCA in the newly-established role of Director of Regulatory Affairs. Moosen brings more than 30 years of in-depth experience practicing law in policy-making forums to the post, having served as an administrative law judge and counsel at the California Public Utilities Commission and, in private practice, represented public and private entities before the CPUC, California Energy Commission, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

CalCCA’s mission is ever more critical amid calls for regulators to adapt the state’s regulatory frameworks and utility structures to a rapidly evolving energy market that includes community choice energy providers. The addition of Moosen to the CalCCA team will significantly enhance the association’s ability to support the continued growth and long-term sustainability of community choice aggregation in California.

“Irene is uniquely qualified to represent the interests of CCAs given her wealth of experience tackling complex energy matters in our primary regulatory settings and her proven track record of successful transactions, legal judgments and negotiated results, including large rate reductions for customers,” said CalCCA Executive Director Beth Vaughan.

Moosen’s knowledge and practical experience span a broad range of focus areas, including energy resource planning and development, environmental, administrative and civil litigation, finance, and economic policy.

Over the last four years, Moosen worked as principal attorney and consultant in her private practice where she advised and represented private, government entity and public utility consumer clients before state and federal agencies, with a particular emphasis on supporting customer-side strategic energy initiatives. Moosen’s clients have included Sonoma Clean Power (a community choice aggregator providing service in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties), Alameda County, the City and County of San Francisco, the Local Government Commission and several University of California campuses and Office of the President.

Moosen served as a CPUC administrative law judge from 2013 to 2015. During that time, she presided over energy, electric transmission, telecommunications, water, and transportation regulatory matters and resolved cases totaling over $2 billion in ratepayer funding. As staff counsel at the CPUC, Moosen negotiated a $120 million reduction in rates for reliability services before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and successfully argued and won an unprecedented audit of Pacific Gas & Electric Company utility/affiliate transactions.

As CalCCA’s Director of Legislative Affairs, Moosen will serve as the head of all regulatory matters for CalCCA. In that capacity, she will develop and lead the CalCCA regulatory agenda and direct and oversee representation of CalCCA before state energy agencies.

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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, advocating for a level playing field and opposing policies that unfairly discriminate against CCAs and their customers. There are currently 19 operational CCA programs in California serving approximately 10 million customers.

For more information about CalCCA, visit www.cal-cca.org.

CalCCA Statement on the Continuing Advancement of Community Choice Aggregation in San Diego 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26, 2019
Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

CalCCA Statement on the Continuing Advancement
of Community Choice Aggregation in San Diego

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) has issued the following statement by Executive Director Beth Vaughan in response to the San Diego City Council voting on February 25 to give Mayor Kevin Faulconer a green light to negotiate the creation of a new joint powers authority (JPA) to implement a regional community choice aggregation (CCA) program. San Diego – California’s second-largest city – is an affiliate member of CalCCA.

“The California Community Choice Association congratulates San Diego as it moves ahead with the formation of a joint-powers authority to implement a community choice aggregation program as the preferred pathway to reach the city’s 100 percent renewable energy goal. We appreciate San Diego’s careful consideration of CCA with a focus on fiscal responsibility, competitive rates, economic development, local job creation, investment in communities of concern, and prioritization of local renewable energy development.”

Key info/links:

  • Under San Diego’s CCA timeline, the city plans to initiate CCA service in 2021. The city council would consider the approval of a JPA agreement in the third quarter of 2019 and submit a CCA implementation plan to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • Environmental, community, labor, business, and climate and environmental justice organizations supported the resolution approved by the city council.
  • Several cities in the region are currently exploring the feasibility of CCA and have expressed interest in joining the JPA, according to city staff. These include Chula Vista, La Mesa, Del Mar, Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Oceanside. Public agencies that may consider joining the JPA or signing on as large customers include the Port, Airport, and County Water Authority. Cities in Orange County that are within SDG&E’s service territory may also have an interest in participating.

About CalCCA
Launched in 2016, the California Community Choice Association represents California’s community choice electricity providers before the state Legislature and at regulatory agencies, advocating for a level playing field and opposing policies that unfairly discriminate against CCAs and their customers. There are currently 19 operational CCA programs in California serving approximately 10 million customers.

For more information about CalCCA, visit www.cal-cca.org.

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Community choice electricity providers say time has come for PG&E to move out of retail energy business—and be restructured as “wires-only” company

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2019
Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

Community choice electricity providers say time has come for PG&E to move out of

retail energy business—and be restructured as “wires-only” company

To improve safety and reliability, Northern California CCAs urge regulators to focus PG&E on improving its transmission and distribution system—while empowering local governments to procure affordable, clean energy for their communities

Concord, Calif.– In a new filing with the California Public Utilities Commission, community choice aggregators (CCAs) from Northern California urged state regulators to take action to restructure PG&E as a “wires-only” company—moving the utility out of the retail energy business so PG&E management can focus on safely managing the company’s transmission and distribution system, which has been the source of billions of dollars in damage to communities across the state, while empowering CCAs to continue doing their part to meet California’s clean energy goals by serving all members of their communities.

“PG&E’s first bankruptcy in 2001 resulted in the creation of community choice aggregation to serve as a tool to maintain the stability, affordability, and sustainability of California’s electricity system, and with the utility poised to enter yet another bankruptcy, the time has come to expand this approach,” said Beth Vaughan, executive director of the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA). “The joint CCAs strongly endorse a restructuring that allows PG&E to focus where safety improvements are needed most—delivering electricity across the energy grid—while allowing locally-controlled public agencies to safely, reliably, and cost-effectively purchase the energy Californians rely on.”

The CCAs’ recommendations come on the heels of an announcement by Governor Newsom on January 12 that he has created a team to develop a “comprehensive strategy” for updating California’s utility system to better adapt to the rapidly evolving energy market that includes community choice providers. “More and more of our electricity now is procured outside of investor-owned utilities,” the governor said in his State of the State address. “Regulations and insurance practices created decades ago didn’t anticipate these changes. We must map out a longer-term framework, not just for the utilities’ future, but for California’s energy future, to ensure that the cost of climate change doesn’t fall on those least able to afford it.”

The group of CCAs provided a set of detailed recommendations for how the State can build a stronger, greener, and more reliable electric system in their proposals to the California Public Utilities Commission, which has been leading an investigation since 2015 into whether PG&E’s organizational culture and governance adequately prioritize safety. The Commission’s investigation recently expanded to include consideration of the future of PG&E, in light of PG&E’s bankruptcy and the need to improve the safety of its operations after State investigators found PG&E to be responsible for some of California’s worst wildfires.

In comments submitted on behalf of the East Bay Community Energy, Peninsula Clean Energy Authority, Pioneer Community Energy, the City of San José (for San José Clean Energy), Silicon Valley Clean Energy, Sonoma Clean Power, and Valley Clean Energy Alliance, the CCAs highlight four goals for the Commission as it considers opportunities for restructuring PG&E:

  • Improve PG&E’s electric infrastructure safety outcomes by removing PG&E from the retail generation business and concentrating PG&E’s attention and investments on its electric transmission and distribution businesses.
  • Put financial stewardship, responsibility, and control over programs such as demand response, energy efficiency and transportation electrification under local control.
  • Provide communities the opportunity and authority to take affordable clean energy action by ensuring communities have the unhindered ability to proactively pursue full community control of retail generation services through a variety of local governance models. The Commission should work collaboratively with local governments to remove barriers to pursuing full municipalization of the electric system in communities where there is interest.
  • Transform California’s regulatory and legislative framework to concentrate on safety while utilizing existing locally governed, state, or non-profit platforms whenever possible, or new state or non-profit entities, if necessary, to enhance transparency, accountability, and reliability.

“CalCCA and the joint CCAs look forward to working with the Commission and other parties to identify the best path forward for providing Northern California with safe and reliable electric and gas service—at just and reasonable rates,” Vaughan said.

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About CalCCA

Launched in 2016, the California Community Choice Association represents California’s community choice electricity providers before the state Legislature and at regulatory agencies, advocating for a level playing field and opposing policies that unfairly discriminate against CCAs and their customers. There are currently 19 operational CCA programs in California serving an estimated 10 million customers.

For more information about CalCCA, visit www.cal-cca.org.

 

PG&E Bankruptcy Filing 2019: FAQs

PG&E Bankruptcy Filing 2019
CalCCA’s Responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

With Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) facing billions of dollars in potential wildfire liabilities the investor-owned utility on January 29 filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) are committed to providing reliable service, clean energy at competitive rates, and innovative programs that benefit people, the environment and the economy in communities across California. CCAs are closely monitoring the situation and continue to work closely with PG&E in a coordinated manner to address any potential impacts of the bankruptcy filing on CCA programs. Here are answers to common bankruptcy-related questions that we’ve received:

Q. What is Pacific Gas & Electric’s role when it comes to CCAs in California?
A. PG&E is responsible for providing transmission and distribution services to CCA customers (delivering power) as well as serving as billing agent for CCAs. CCAs provide power generation services and are independently responsible for securing sufficient electricity supplies to meet the needs of their customers. CCA customers receive a consolidated bill issued by PG&E that includes charges from both parties. PG&E collects payments on behalf of the CCA, and these payments are then transferred to the CCA. PG&E is legally required to continue to perform as the billing agent for CCAs.

Q. How many CCAs operate in PG&E’s service territory?
A. There are 12 CCAs serving customers in PG&E’s territory. They are: CleanPowerSF, East Bay Community Energy, King City Community Power, MCE, Monterey Bay Community Power, Peninsula Clean Energy, Pioneer Community Energy, Redwood Coast Energy Authority, San Jose Clean Energy, Silicon Valley Clean Energy, Sonoma Clean Power, and Valley Clean Energy.

Q. What percentage of PG&E load is served by CCAs?
A. Approximately 41 percent of PG&E’s load will be served by CCAs in 2019. Approximately 25 percent of the load of all three investor-owned utilities (PG&E, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric) will be served by CCAs in 2019.

Q. What will happen to my electricity service?
A. It’s expected PG&E will continue to operate in a business-as-usual fashion and that the lights will stay on. This was the case when PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001.

Q. Has PG&E’s current situation resulted in any impacts to CCA programs in California?
A. CCAs are continuing to serve their customers with electricity supply as usual.

Q. Will there be additional fees added to rates to pay for the wildfires?
A. Any additional fees to pay for PG&E’s wildfire liabilities would need to be considered by its regulator, the California Public Utilities Commission, and possibly the California Legislature and bankruptcy court. We cannot speculate about future impacts to rates.

Q. Do CCAs support a ‘breakup’ of PG&E?
A. The California Public Utilities Commission is investigating PG&E’s current corporate governance, management, and structure to determine the best path forward for Northern Californians to receive safe energy service. CCAs are committed to working with the State of California to ensure the stability of the retail electricity market and stand ready to engage on next steps while providing community-responsive clean and reliable electrical service.

Q. Some have been calling for a public takeover (municipalization) of PG&E. Are CCAs interested in acquiring PG&E’s infrastructure?
A. Some jurisdictions that operate CCA programs may investigate municipalization, while others may want to remain focused on providing generation services only. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Some civic leaders have called on their local utilities commission to explore municipalization.

Q. Has the court ruled on PG&E’s first-day motion seeking approval to continue providing CCA services?
A. Yes. On January 29, PG&E filed a first-day motion seeking the Bankruptcy Court’s approval to continue passing through CCA revenues in the ordinary course of business. Under this motion, the CCA revenue that PG&E collects as the legally-required billing agent for CCAs would not be encumbered by the bankruptcy process.

On January 31, Judge Montali granted PG&E’s interim motion authorizing PG&E to continue to pass through CCA revenues in the ordinary course of business. This order allowed PG&E to resume the flow of revenues to CCAs. The court is expected to finalize this order on February 27. We agree with PG&E that “the normal and uninterrupted remittance” of customer payments to CCAs and other public-purpose programs is of the utmost importance.

Q. When will the remittance of customer payments to CCAs resume?
A. The remittance of customer payments to CCAs was briefly halted by the court as part of the normal bankruptcy review process. PG&E has resumed all billing and revenue remittance services to CCAs and we expect these to continue without interruption.

Q. Are CCAs actively participating in the bankruptcy court proceedings?
A. Yes. Sonoma Clean Power filed statements to ensure the ongoing pass-through of CCA revenues. CleanPowerSF, EBCE, San Jose, SVCE, MBCP, Pioneer and VCE signed on in support. MCE and PCE have filed individual statements that support the SCP motion.

Q. What are CCAs’ contract exposure with PG&E?
A. Each CCA in PG&E’s service territory has a legally-required Service Agreement. PG&E filed a first-day motion to continue those services to CCAs. On January 31 Judge Montali granted preliminary approval of the motion. The court is expected to finalize this order on February 27.

Some CCAs have contracts to buy energy products from PG&E. Since those energy contracts provide revenue to PG&E, we expect those to remain in place. Some CCAs also have contracts for state-authorized energy efficiency (public purpose program) funding that PG&E is authorized to collect and pass through to the CCAs. PG&E has also requested that these funds continue to flow in the ordinary course of business. We are optimistic that these funds will continue to flow normally.

PDF of this document:  CalCCA FAQs PG&E Bankruptcy 2.8.19

CalCCA Response to PG&E Filing for Bankruptcy Protection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 29, 2019
Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

CalCCA Response to PG&E Filing for Bankruptcy Protection

Concord, Calif. – Today, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) has issued the following response:

Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) are continuing to work closely with PG&E in a coordinated manner to address any potential impacts of the bankruptcy filing on CCA programs.

We support PG&E’s first-day motion seeking the Bankruptcy Court’s approval to continue passing through CCA revenues in the ordinary course of business. We agree with PG&E that “the normal and uninterrupted remittance” of customer payments to CCAs and other public-purpose programs is of the utmost importance.

We are optimistic that PG&E will continue to provide all billing and revenue remittance services to CCAs in a business-as-usual fashion. Some CCAs have contracts to buy energy products from PG&E. Since those energy contracts provide revenue to PG&E, we expect those to remain in place.

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About CalCCA: Launched in 2016, the California Community Choice Association represents California’s community choice electricity providers before the state Legislature and at regulatory agencies, advocating for a level playing field and opposing policies that unfairly discriminate against CCAs and their customers. There are currently 19 operational CCA programs in California serving an estimated 8 million customers.

For more information about CalCCA, visit www.cal-cca.org.

 

New CalCCA Hires to Focus on Legislative, Strategic Initiatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 28, 2019
Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

New CalCCA Hires to Focus on Legislative, Strategic Initiatives
Addition of MacNeil and Pappas Bolsters CalCCA’s Presence in Sacramento

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) is pleased to announce that Sean MacNeil and Nick Pappas have joined CalCCA in the newly-established roles of Director of Legislative Affairs and Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach, respectively. Their extensive public policy and utility sector experience will significantly enhance CalCCA’s efforts to support the growth and long-term sustainability of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) in California.

“Sean’s and Nick’s wealth of experience working on energy matters in the California Legislature and with key energy market stakeholders will bolster CalCCA’s ability to advance and protect community choice, which is playing an ever more critical role in California’s clean energy future,” said CalCCA Executive Director Beth Vaughan.

CalCCA’s new Director of Legislative Affairs, Sean MacNeil, is a public policy veteran with a strong background in energy, environmental, labor, and local government policies. Sean began his career as legislative aide for Assemblymember Helen Thomson, and subsequently served as chief of staff for the following California Senate and Assembly members: Patricia Wiggins, Noreen Evans, Michael Allen and, for the last six years, Richard Bloom. In Bloom’s office, Sean managed a staff of ten and served as liaison between Bloom and elected officials, lobbyists and advocacy groups.

Sean will serve as the head of all legislative matters for CalCCA. In that capacity, he will work closely with statewide representatives and decision-makers at the California Legislature, develop and lead the CalCCA legislative agenda, and direct and oversee representation of CalCCA before local and state representatives and the Legislature.

CalCCA’s new Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach, Nick Pappas, began his career as a staffer in Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher’s office, focusing on energy and climate legislation and impacts to residential rate design, net energy metering, and cap and trade, among other issues. Nick subsequently worked as a senior legislative advocate at Southern California Edison where he developed and executed strategies on a broad suite of policy issues ranging from energy procurement and customer programs to emissions regulation and distribution reliability. Since 2016, Nick has been a dual MS student at UC Davis in the Energy Systems and Agricultural and Resource Economics programs.

Nick will develop and manage various initiatives aimed at supporting the continued development and success of CCA, with particular emphasis on identifying and facilitating strategies for multi-jurisdictional and long-term industry issues and trends, as well as expanding the CCA community’s engagement with other energy industry stakeholders. Nick will also work with CalCCA leadership to Identify critical policy issues facing the CCA community and develop potential pathways for resolution.

Sean and Nick are based in CalCCA’s new Sacramento office.

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About CalCCA: Launched in 2016, the California Community Choice Association represents California’s community choice electricity providers before the state Legislature and at regulatory agencies, advocating for a level playing field and opposing policies that unfairly discriminate against CCAs and their customers. There are currently 19 operational CCA programs in California serving an estimated 8 million customers.

For more information about CalCCA, visit www.cal-cca.org.

CalCCA Statement on PG&E Bankruptcy Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 14, 2019

Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel

(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org 

 

Concord, Calif. – With Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) facing billions of dollars in potential wildfire liabilities the investor-owned utility has announced it is on the verge of filing for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Today, the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) issued the following statement:

“Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) are committed to providing reliable service, clean energy at competitive rates, and innovative programs that benefit people, the environment and the economy in communities across California. They are closely monitoring any developments related to PG&E’s financial situation and are in the process of evaluating potential impacts on CCA customers and operations.”

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About CalCCA: The California Community Choice Association supports the development and long-term sustainability of locally-run Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) electricity providers in California. There are currently 19 operational CCA programs in California serving an estimated 8 million customers.

For more information about CalCCA, visit www.cal-cca.org.

California CCAs Seek Rehearing of CPUC’s Inequitable ‘Exit Fee’ Decision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11.19.18

Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel

(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

 

California CCAs Seek Rehearing of CPUC’s Inequitable ‘Exit Fee’ Decision

Decision thwarts competition by shifting avoidable costs to community choice customers

 

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) and two of the state’s community choice aggregators, CleanPowerSF and Solana Energy Alliance, filed an application for rehearing today with the California Public Utilities Commission in response to the CPUC’s October 11 decision to revise the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA).

The PCIA is an “exit fee” charged by the state’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to community choice aggregation (CCA) and other departing load customers to compensate for electricity generation built or contracted in the past at prices that are now above-market. The CPUC’s decision is expected to result in a sharp increase in PCIA rates for CCA customers and may make it uneconomic for new CCAs to launch.

“The PCIA decision fails to ensure equitable treatment of all market participants in California,” said Beth Vaughan, executive director of CalCCA. “It favors incumbent utilities by shifting costs, including recovery of shareholder returns, from IOU bundled customers to CCA customers.”

In the application, the CCA parties request that the Commission correct a number of legal errors in the PCIA decision that run afoul of the California Public Utilities Code, California Code of Civil Procedure, as well as other statutes. The errors include:

  • Failing to exclude the costs of utility-owned generation (UOG) in the PCIA imposed on CCA departing load customers
  • Failing to reduce the net PCIA portfolio costs of the IOUs by the value of any benefits that remain with bundled service customers
  • Failing to exclude from the PCIA portfolio costs that are not “unavoidable” or “attributable to” departing load customers

The parties are seeking expedited review of the application on the basis that the decision will in some cases result in PCIA rates that prevent CCAs from serving their customers at the same total generation rates that an IOU can charge its customers. The PCIA rates may also cause CCAs to suspend or cancel the launch of service to new customers.

There are 19 CCA programs serving approximately 8 million customers in California. The higher PCIA rates will have local as well as statewide impacts, particularly when it comes to energy decarbonization. CCAs have signed long-term contracts with new renewable energy facilities totaling more than 2,000 megawatts, and they serve their customers with electricity that is cost-competitive, and in many cases greener, with the supplies of investor-owned utilities.

As UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation notes in a 2018 study, “the rise of CCAs has had both direct and indirect positive effects on overall renewable energy consumed in California, leading the state to meet its 2030 RPS targets approximately ten years in advance.”

The precise effects of the new PCIA on 2019 rates will ultimately depend on the outcome of Energy Resource Recovery Account proceedings that are now underway at the CPUC. ERRA proceedings are where the PCIA methodology is combined with an IOU’s actual cost and contract data to calculate the PCIA that will go into effect at the beginning of each year (January 1).

CalCCA is preparing for Phase 2 of the PCIA proceeding and remains undeterred in its efforts to support a new PCIA that lowers costs for all consumers and fosters a competitive environment that offers communities more energy options.

PDF of Press Release: CalCCA Application for Rehearing 11.19.18

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About CalCCA: The California Community Choice Association supports the development and long-term sustainability of locally-run Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) electricity providers in California. CalCCA is the authoritative, unified voice of local CCAs, offering expertise on local energy issues while promoting fair competition, consumer choice and cost allocation and recognizing the social and economic benefits of localized energy authorities.

For more information visit www.cal-cca.org.