CPUC Judge Proposes Postponing Peak Pricing Plan

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 1, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Two months ago, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a framework for default Critical Peak Pricing (CPP) tariffs for commercial and industrial customers (usage above 200 kw) to take effect this June. The proposal is aimed at reducing peak demand this coming summer when supplies are expected to tighten, and would result in significantly higher electricity rates for business customers during super peak demand periods.

Adoption and implementation of tariffs wouldn’t occur until later this spring, and if Administrative Law Judge Michelle Cooke has her way, it won't happen at all this year. On March 29th, Cooke issued a proposed decision that would either delay implementation of CPP to the summer of 2006 or incorporate it into a comprehensive rate design in 2006 or 2007.

Cooke rightly concluded there is insufficient time to implement the proposed CPP plan in time for this summer. The proposed decision must still be approved by the CPUC.

CMTA opposes the proposed CPP plan and has filed numerous comments in the proceeding.  (Download CMTA's filing) For large manufacturers who cannot shift load, the mandatory tariffs would be punitive and would likely harm the state’s economy. Most of CMTA’s members operate on a 24/7 basis, and therefore do not cause the peaks in the utility "load shapes." They are generally not able to shift load from on-peak to off-peak without serious disruption in their operations.

CMTA urges the CPUC to instead adopt the demand response and reliability programs proposed by the utilities that have been pending since last October.

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