Direct Access Exit Fee Decision July 10

By Loretta Macktal, Executive Assistant to the Vice President, Government Relations

Capitol Update, June 26, 2003 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The long-awaited decision by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on the level of the direct access (DA) cost responsibility surcharge (CRS), or exit fee, is scheduled for Thursday, July 10.

The CPUC will vote on a proposed decision by Administrative Law Judge Pulsifer that retains the 2.7 cent per kilowatt hour cap on the CRS and an alternate decision by Commissioner Loretta Lynch that increases the CRS cap to 4.0 cents per kWh.

The DA CRS includes:

* the Department of Water Resources (DWR) bond charge;
* the DWR power charge for DA customers' share of procurement costs between September, 2001 and December, 2002 (the uneconomic portions of DWR costs incurred after DA suspension but after the exit fee decision last fall);
* the DWR power charge applicable to prospective costs for 2003 (the uneconomic portion of prospective DWR costs); and
* a charge covering the ongoing above-market portion of utility-retained generation costs.

There is still a possibility that one of the Commissioners may author a “compromise” alternate decision prior to the July 10 vote, with a CRS cap higher than 2.7 cents but lower than the Lynch proposal of 4.0 cents. Both CPUC President Michael Peevey and Commissioner Susan Kennedy have said publicly that they support increasing the cap above 2.7 cents.

In the CPUC proceeding, CMTA has argued that the record in this case shows that the 2.7 cent per kWh cap best serves the CPUC's goals of avoiding an undue burden on DA customers and providing for recovery of the CRS amounts within a reasonable time frame.

It is absolutely imperative that the CPUC retain the 2.7 cent per kWh cap. Increasing the cap could make DA contracts uneconomic, thereby eliminating an essential cost-controlling tool for DA customers.

CMTA Energy Conference July 23-25, Tahoe,
Keynote Speaker: CPUC President Michael Peevey.
Go to CMTA's home page for details on programming
and registration:

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