PG&E Again Making News about Electricity Rates

Sun Solar Panels Controls & HouseThe California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) made the news earlier this year when it approved electricity generation rates for most of PG&E’s customers.  CPUC has now (Dec. 15) announced its proposal for rates for homeowners who install rooftop solar. Public comments will be taken until January 7 and the final decision will probably be made by the end of January.   This announcement was generally welcomed by all but the utilities because, although some modest increases are included, the large increases that had been proposed by the utilities were basically rejected.  In particular, CPUC is preserving the reimbursement of customers who generate more electricity than they use.

A very readable article on the proposal is here:
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/breaking-california-net-metering-2.0-keeps-retail-rates-for-rooftop-solar

A second contentious electricity rate issue involves customers who leave PG&E to join a CCA (Community Choice Aggregate). PG&E wants to raise the “Exit Fee” two-fold for those customers.  This fee, officially the Power Charge Indifference Amount, supposedly compensates PG&E for loss of their investment in infrastructure resulting from customers’ leaving PG&E.  Environmentalists think that such an increase in the cost to CCA customers will negatively impact the sustainable energy industry.  In response, CPUC will hold public hearings the first half of 2006.

The CPUC website (cpuc.ca.gov) is daunting, but there is a Public Advisor Office that is very helpful in providing callers and emailers with information, reached at (415)703-2074 – Bob and Ruby MacDonald

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