Michael Shaw

CMTA Energy MFG Maker Bills signed by Governor Brown

By Michael Shaw, VP, Government Relations

Capitol Update, Sept. 24, 2018 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Manufacturing energy costs often eclipse other major production cost categories, so for many manufacturers changes in energy rates or the quantities of energy necessary to meet production targets have significant impacts. In 2018, CMTA led some key efforts to achieve reductions in overall energy costs for California manufacturers and have positive news to report. 

On Thursday, Sept. 20th, Governor Brown signed SB 237 (Hertzberg), a CMTA MFG Maker bill, providing for a limited reopening of the Direct Access program. This additional 4,000 GWh will allow for more manufacturers and other nonresidential ratepayers to take advantage of the Direct Access program and purchase more affordable electricity service from a non-utility provider. The CPUC is directed to reopen the DA program for this expansion by June 1, 2019. If you are interested, and have not already done so, contact a DA provider ASAP and get on the waiting list. 

SB 237 also calls for a report due to the CPUC in 2020 regarding a schedule for additional reopening of the DA program. Expanding the Direct Access program was a priority issue for CMTA this year on the energy front and we are happy to report that we accomplished this goal. 

Additionally, on Wednesday, Sept. 19th, the Governor signed another CMTA MFG Maker bill, SB 1131 (Hertzberg),that establishes more certain eligibility requirements on ratepayer-funded support for custom nonresidential energy efficiency projects. A portion of all ratepayer bills go into an account to fund energy efficiency projects, but manufacturers and other nonresidential ratepayers have found it difficult to get funding because the criteria constantly changes as facilities upgrade. This makes it very difficult to know what target you have to reach in order to qualify. SB 1131 will set more stable, nationally recognized standards that manufacturers can count on when planning for energy efficiency projects. 

If you are interested in becoming more involved in CMTA energy policy, please consider joining the CMTA Energy Committee. There is a separate fee associated with membership on this committee that supports our ongoing efforts at the CPUC where electricity and natural gas prices are set. Contact me at mshaw@cmta.netor (916) 498-3328. 

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