California Energy Markets
A group of almost 100 board members from 11 different community choice aggregators sent a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission Sept. 24, asking it to take prompt action to resolve the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment fee.
The PCIA is the mechanism that calculates the fees customers pay when they leave investor-owned utility service for CCAs and direct-access providers, and is frequently cited by CCA staff and board members as the root of higher utility fees.
The fee “has risen more than 600 percent since 2013 in the Pacific Gas & Electric service area, and nearly doubled since the CPUC changed the rules in 2018,” according to the letter. “Raising exit fees by hundreds of millions of dollars a year, now in the middle of a global pandemic and its accompanying economic crisis, is entirely unacceptable.
“The 2018 PCIA decision promised stakeholders transparency and stability,” the letter continues. “Neither outcome has occurred. The heart of the problem is that the current regulatory structures governing exit fees provide no incentive for the IOUs to reduce their portfolio costs—an outcome that hurts all energy consumers in the state, customers of the IOUs and the CCAs . . . [W]e call on the Commission to immediately take actions to reduce the PCIA for all customers (IOU & CCA) and smooth PCIA volatility.”