The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) decided to revise the fee for certain utility customers across the state.
On Thursday, the CPUC said the revised fee called Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) will affect Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) and Direct Access customers. These California residents will see increases in their future utility bills.
According to the Commission, CCA and Direct Access customers located in PG&E’s territory will see around 1.68 percent increase in their utility bills. Such customers located on Edison and SDG&E’s territories will see an increase of 2.5 percent and 5.24 percent, respectively.
The PCIA is composed of financial obligations incurred by the utility companies on behalf of customers to build power plants. It also ensures that Californians who remain as PG&E, Edison, and SDG&E customers will not pay the costs incurred by the companies on behalf departing customers who joined CCA or Direct Access providers.
Three California Mayors slam CPUC
The Mayors of San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland criticized the CPUC’s decision as a “severe blow to California ratepayers and the state’s environmental goals.”
According to them, “We are extremely disappointed that the CPUC sided with multi-billion-dollar energy corporations like PG&E and against the interests of consumers and the environment. We will explore all options to sustain and protect our cities’ energy consumers and California’s clean energy leadership in the face of this unfortunate decision.”
CPUC Commissioners say their decision is “fair” to all customers
In a statement, CPUC Commissioner Carla Peterman explained, “We are updating the PCIA formula now because everyone agrees it is broken. 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. Today’s proposal ensures a more level playing field between customers.”
Additionally, Peterman emphasized that the new PCIA formula complies with the statutory requirement that prohibits shifting costs between the customers of CCA and utility companies.
Furthermore, Peterman emphasized, “Our decision is about what customers of the utilities pay. Changing the PCIA formula means costs go up for some customers and down for others. It does not change utility profits.”
On the other hand, Commissioner Liane Randolph commented that the new PCIA formula is “fair to all customers.” It “properly allocates the costs for all resources providing electricity service to Californians.”