Limiting real time metering for residential customers

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, May 13, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

AB 1009 (Keith Richman, R-Northridge), which requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to develop time-of-use (TOU) pricing tariffs and to require real-time metering for all customers, on a phased-in basis pursuant to a specified schedule, failed passage recently in the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee.

Meanwhile, SB 441 (Nell Soto, D-Pomona) which limits the CPUC’s ability to subject residential customers to TOU tariffs, continues to move along in the legislative process.  The bill prohibits the CPUC from authorizing or requiring the installation of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) for a residential or small commercial customer with an average annual usage of less than 1,000 kilowatts per month, unless certain findings are made by the CPUC and prohibits residential customers from being placed on a default time-differentiated rate schedule without the customer’s affirmative written consent.

CMTA opposes SB 441, which unnecessarily limits the CPUC’s ability to examine and implement all cost effective options for AMI deployment (i.e., deployment of AMI for all customers).  Time-differentiated rates could actually reduce rates for many residential customers with average usage of less than 1,000 kilowatts per month and they should be given that opportunity.

TOU meters and tariffs provide strong price signals and encourage conservation during peak demand periods, thus enhancing system reliability.  They also more accurately reflect the actual cost to serve each customer, compared to the current inverted tier rates. 

Residential customers use electricity in fundamentally different ways and for different purposes than large manufacturers.  Whereas large customers require electricity as an essential input into the production process, residential customers’ usage patterns are driven in large part by comfort and convenience, i.e., air conditioning during hot summer days.

Residential customers are now served on tiered rate schedules based on amount, not TOU and as a consequence are shielded from paying the actual cost of the power they receive from their utility. 

Read more Energy articles

Capitol updates archive 989898989