CPUC Approves Higher Electricity Fees For Customers Who Buy From Local Programs

October 12, 2018 8:00 am · 24 comments

The California Public Utilities Commission at a meeting in San Francisco on Thursday approved a revised fee calculation that will result in higher charges to customers who choose to buy their electricity from local governments instead of investor-owned utilities.

The commission said in a news release that the revised plan will increase bills by 1.68 percent for residential customers who purchase their electricity from local programs within PG&E Co.’s service area in Northern and Central California.

The so-called exit fees are intended to ensure that departing customers pay for their share of long-term costs the utility incurred on their behalf, such as the costs of multi-year power contracts and construction of new power plants.

The local programs are known as community choice aggregators, or CCAs, and are intended to provide cleaner energy or lower costs or both.

Commissioner Carla Peterman, who wrote the version of the plan approved by the five-member commission today, said, “Today’s proposal ensures a more level playing field between customers.”

“I support the creation of alternative electric providers to expand customer choice, and our legal obligation is to make sure this happens without increased costs to customers who do not, or cannot, join a CCA,” Peterman said in a statement.

Under the state law authorizing CCAs, people who live in areas with local programs are automatically enrolled in them unless they opt out.

Investor-owned utilities such as PG&E continue to deliver the power, maintain the grid and prepare bills for customers.

WC Guy October 12, 2018 at 8:24 AM

I called and opted out when I was “defaulted” into the program. It didn’t pass the smell test. They could not guarantee that their rates would be lower, and the guy on the phone was evasive about future rates.

PG&E has been here for around 100 years. It’s a natural monopoly. Adding a government designed layer between me and them, that pays salaries and other costs to politically connected individuals couldn’t possibly cost less.

I’m glad that I saw the bait and switch coming.

Chicken Little October 12, 2018 at 8:35 AM

That sure didn’t take long.

Doh October 12, 2018 at 6:09 PM

Less than 6 months since starting. tsk tsk It’s just another money grab by the local politicians. Expect to see more in the near future. Higher tolls, more toll roads, increased traffic finds and parking tickets, cuts in essential services and voter asked to to vote for more bonds or taxes to return budgets where they used to be.

Roz October 12, 2018 at 8:38 AM

WOW!,…well. we opted out a while ago of buying electricity from local government(s), and it seems it’s going to cost the same or more no matter which program you are on.

AnonZ October 12, 2018 at 8:40 AM

Then who the hell is going to stay with local and pay more???


Sign from Above October 12, 2018 at 9:01 AM

Whether you like the program or not, I think it’s amazing that our wonderful PUC again sides with and protects PG&E’s interests. They are not at all concerned about the customer. They are obviously in the pocket of PG&E. Just another example of why the PUC needs to either be revamped or eliminated!

Captain Bebops October 12, 2018 at 9:07 AM

My bill dropped significantly buying local so 1.68% isn’t going to impact much.

Fred P. October 12, 2018 at 9:23 AM

MCE and the other CCAs just skim off the top; bunch of feel good promises.

WC October 12, 2018 at 9:42 AM

We opted out too. It just doesn’t pass the smell test. I can’t stand PG&E (in spite of their wonderful propaganda commercials we pay for), but how is adding another layer of bureaucracy in between the consumer and the provider going to be less expensive?

Doh October 12, 2018 at 9:43 AM

So glad I opted out. But I am very disappointed with all of the price hikes granted PG&E over the last 10 ears. We have to pay for PG&E blowing up San Bruno and burning down large portions of CA. Our rates have dore than doubled.

Barbie Girl October 12, 2018 at 9:43 AM

“Today’s proposal ensures a more level playing field between customers.”
Commissioner Carla Peterman is another Brown appointee. Socialist to the core.

Gititogether October 12, 2018 at 9:57 AM

One of the better suggestions (from a fellow Claycordian) is for Concord to invest in a solar farm on the Navel Weapons station…if viable, that would be a realistic alternative to PG&E.

Justifiable anger October 12, 2018 at 3:40 PM

I’d like to have a solar bank as a car port and a shade from the west summer sun.

John Boy October 12, 2018 at 10:07 AM

Well, this proves that the government isn’t really concerned about the environment, only $$$. Consumers with less discretionary income will switch back to the heavier polluting program if it will save money every month.

Vote them out.

Anon October 12, 2018 at 10:11 AM

Told you.
Hey Mayor,
Would you like a screenshot of questionnaire when opting out of these “clean energy” providers?

Kirkwood October 12, 2018 at 10:42 AM

I wish all public utilities were non-profit districts like sewer and water, also the health care institutions who presently profit from the misery of others. Shareholders in companies like that should be ashamed

RANDOM TASK October 12, 2018 at 10:48 AM

Wow testy are we
This is how socialism works they prod you push you offer you options then balance it out so no one can progress or save

So instead of providing for your family

You are in essence working to support everyone else not working and paying huge political favors to utilities and unions alike

Ahhh demicornia the once proud progressive state full of dreams and hard workers striving and getting and providing more for their families



So easily manipulated by your own self loathing

Doh October 12, 2018 at 3:56 PM

You don’t know the definition of socialism or what it is. Look up youtube video titled America, A Republic. It’s an 8 minute political science course.

The Observer October 12, 2018 at 11:29 AM

I’m even happier now that we opted out. The CCAs appear to be little more than a new layer of bureaucracy skimming money from the rate payers. They claim to be selling green power, but it’s not like PG&E’s next power plant will be run on coal.

Follow the Money October 12, 2018 at 11:33 AM

CCA’s are able to count certain types of energy production as “clean” that PG&E are not able to count the same way for some reason. And they can acquire credits (they could be called REC’s- Renewable Energy Certificate) that can be used to make their energy look cleaner than it really is.

Joe October 12, 2018 at 5:25 PM

Bought Solar and never looked back!
House, AC, and two EVs all covered.


Anon October 12, 2018 at 6:44 PM

What is scaring people away from solar is that they are receiving quotes for Oversized systems.
You do not need a 10 kilowatt system unless you’re in Blackhawk.
3 or 4k systems are fine.

Silva October 12, 2018 at 7:01 PM

Sounded fishy to me. Opted out.

Nunya October 14, 2018 at 5:30 PM

just like the temporary increases in the cost of water which become permanent.

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