CMTA opposes efforts to limit advanced metering

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Aug. 12, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Time of use (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. 

SB 441 by Nell Soto, (D-Pomona) which would limit 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 requiring the installation of advanced metering for any building constructed prior to Jan. 1, 2006 and occupied by a customer with annual electricity usage of less than 1,000 kilowatt hours per month – unless the CPUC first evaluates various factors, including the effect on average electricity rates for residential and small commercial customers.

Proposition 80, a statewide initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot, also limits advanced metering and real time pricing.
Both unnecessarily limit the CPUC’s ability to examine and implement all cost effective options for Advanced Metering Infrastructure (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.
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. 
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