California PUC will consider changes to community choice exit fee
- California regulators have agreed to consider changes to how grid system exit fees are calculated after both investor-owned utilities and Community Choice Aggregators agreed the current cost allocation is unfair.
- The state's largest utilities proposed replacing a Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) with a Portfolio Allocation Methodology that would have included a true-up, but the Public Utilities Commission dismissed the filing.
- The CPUC did open a proceeding to consider changes, and said that, among the issues, it will ensure that there is no impact on remaining investor-owned utility customers as a result of customers departing for alternative providers.
As community choice continues to grow in California, regulators say it is more important to ensure costs are being fairly allocated. A report earlier this year estimated that by the mid-2020s, up to 85% of retail load could be supplied through CCAs, rooftop solar and direct access providers.
Take for instance MCE—Marin Clean Energy, which serves Marin and Napa counties, and formed the state's first CCA in 2010. The Marin Independent Journal reports MCE's board will consider almost doubling the number of customers it serves, from about 255,000 to almost a half million.
And Los Angeles County is moving forward with a CCA that could eventually serve a million customers.
Issues in the CPUC proceeding will include: ensuring that utility customers are not harmed when others leave the system; revising the current PCIA to increase stability and certainty for all customers; reviewing specific inputs and calculations for the current PCIA methodology; and considering alternatives to the PCIA.
The fee is paid by all customers, whether supplied by a utility or aggregation program. According to the utilities, the system should be changed because costs are forecast based on administratively-determined estimates of hypothetical future market prices with no true-up for actual costs.
- Marin Independent Journal PUC will consider changing energy exit fee
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