Next Steps to California Direct Access

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 26, 2010 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The ability to purchase electricity from non-utility providers is coming. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has ordered the open enrollment window to submit notices of intent (NOIs) to switch to direct access (DA) to begin on April 16.  The utilities are set to issue final rules and forms on March 31. The final decision will affect new and former DA customers.

DA enables businesses to purchase electricity and natural gas directly from competitive independent suppliers rather than from a regulated utility. Since 2001, only customers then being served by DA were allowed to stay on DA and the option was closed to new applicants.  In 2009 SB 695 (Christine Kehoe, D-Sacramento) was passed to allow DA for new customers.

Each utility has a certain amount of load available to move to DA over a four-year period (including a first partial year from April to December 2010). There are annual limits on new enrollments.  There will be a 90-day open enrollment window each year beginning in April, 2010.

Former DA customers will be subject to the same rules as new DA customers, except that their six-month notice requirement will be waived on a one-time basis, as will the minimum three-year commitment to taking bundled service.  They must still submit NOIs.

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