The California Energy Commission on Oct. 12 adopted new load management standards requiring utilities to develop retail electricity rates that “change at least hourly” to reflect grid costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
“This update is a huge leap into the 21st century, using digital approaches to unlock benefits for consumers by enabling them to automate their electricity use around cheaper rates and changing grid conditions,” CEC Commissioner Andrew McAllister said in a statement.
Automated load management can help utilities lower bills, more efficiently use renewable energy resources and boost grid reliability, McAllister said.
The CEC said the new load management standards are expected to produce $243 million in net benefits over 15 years and could reduce annual peak hour electricity use by 120 GWh.
The standards take effect in April, and will impact Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, San Diego Gas & Electric, Los Angeles Water and Power and large community choice aggregators.
The new standards will help disadvantaged communities, the CEC said, by “introducing fairer compensation mechanisms, creating bill savings for customers with flat loads in disadvantaged communities or who are able to shift usage to when electricity is cheaper and lowering energy costs for all customers by reducing peak electricity demand.”
Along with developing new retail electricity rates, utilities will be required to provide information to a central repository for rate information called the Market Informed Demand Automation Server. They will also be requred to “educate customers about time-dependent rates and automation technologies to encourage their use,” the CEC said.