Gino DiCaro

CPUC opposes energy measure (Prop 80)

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Sept. 9, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously voted to oppose Proposition 80, the measure on the November special election ballot to change California energy policy.

**CMTA urges all companies in California to join the coalition to oppose Proposition 80.  Forms and information are available at www.NoProp80.com

The CPUC gave the following reasons for opposing Proposition 80:

Duplicates Procurement and Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Authority: The Commission already has authority granted under AB 57 (Wright, 2002) to develop a procurement planning process for the investor-owned utilities. Additional statutory authority is unnecessary and the authority granted could make it difficult for the Commission to change course in the procurement planning process if necessary due to changing conditions in the electricity sector. Proposition 80 also moves the utilities' 20 percent RPS obligation deadline from 2017 to 2010, but this acceleration is already underway through the joint-agency Energy Action Plan.

Terminates Direct Access: As outlined in the Commission's Energy Action Plan II, the Commission supports continuing the existing competitive retail market and re-opening that market in a core/non-core structure as soon as possible. Proposition 80 would permanently freeze the current direct access market, which does not resolve utility concerns about what their customer base will be going forward as the potential return of direct access customers to utility service remains unknown.

Harms Community Choice Aggregation (CCA): Energy Service Providers (ESP) that serve larger customers in the current direct access market are expected to assist cities and counties with their CCA efforts. However, by regulating them and freezing direct access permanently, the ESP business will not have future growth opportunities in California and is likely to leave the state and not be available to assist with CCA efforts.

Eliminates Dynamic Pricing: By eliminating dynamic pricing for existing small commercial and residential customers, Proposition 80 reduces California's ability to reduce peak demand through time-sensitive pricing and by maximizing the use of advanced metering infrastructure currently under consideration at the Commission. Removing this option will force additional investment instead in costly and heavily polluting peaking generation.

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