NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: Does C-C-A Spell The End Of The Regulated Electric Utility In California?

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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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    Wednesday, May 30, 2018

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Does C-C-A Spell The End Of The Regulated Electric Utility In California?

    Does C-C-A spell the end of the regulated electric utility in California? Alternative providers may deliver more than 85% of the Golden State's electricity by the mid-2020s, and there is a lot of uncertainty about how much they will be regulated.

    Herman K. Trabish, Nov. 17, 2017 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: A decision from the CPUC due by the end of the summer on the PCIA (see story) will determine the economic viability of CCAs.

    One of the biggest ideas challenging today’s utility business model is the customer choice aggregation (CCA) movement in California. There were nine CCAs serving load in California at the end of 2017, and 12 more are expected this year, according to CalCCA Executive Director Beth Vaughan. By the end of 2018, CalCCA forecasts more than 4.5 million CCA customer accounts, Vaughan told Utility Dive…More than 85% of the state’s retail load could be served “by sources other than the IOUs” by the middle of the 2020s, according to a 2017 white paper from the CPUC. Dawn Weisz, CEO of CCA flagship Marin Clean Energy (MCE), told Utility Dive the movement is growing because “customers want cleaner choices” and CCAs “are building more renewable energy in California than the IOUs.”

    The CCA movement is gaining momentum, but an unlikely alliance of clean energy and consumer advocates and utilities say CCAs could impede California's nation-leading drive to build clean energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions. And the CPUC white paper raised another big issue. The limits to the commission’s authority over public power utilities has already “somewhat reduced the most optimal procurement and coordination of resources and utilization,” CPUC staff reported. “As non-IOU load-serving entities [LSE] serve an ever-greater percentage of load, the CPUC’s top-down approach to regulation will be challenged.” CPUC authority will first be tested by CCA reaction to the commission’s decision on the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA), the mechanism that determines how costs should be allocated among customers who stay with their utilities and CCA customers… click here for more

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