California State Capitol

On October 31, 2017, the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) held an informal public workshop at the State Capitol in Sacramento to discuss issues concerning customer choice of electricity. This workshop follows two, prior agency en banc discussions on choice of energy providers. DWGP attended this workshop to continue to be closely apprised of developments in the customer choice space for electricity.

Customer choice has become an increasingly significant component of the California electricity market. Community choice aggregators (“CCAs”) and Direct Access providers are offering customers greater ability to select their energy providers. CPUC President Picker commented at the outset of the workshop on the need for an effective energy market that protects consumers, and that is affordable and fair.

Panels discussed choice models implemented in New York, the United Kingdom, Illinois and Texas. The CPUC Policy and Planning Division described its development of a white paper which will provide options for decision-makers in approaching electricity choice issues. An early draft of the white paper is projected to be issued in early 2018, with a final white paper targeted to be issued in spring 2018. The workshop featured a “shark tank” roundtable, where participants “pitched” their business models and areas of focus to Commissioners, including CCAs, Direct Access providers, roof-top solar and energy storage. Jan Pepper, Chief Executive Officer of Peninsula Clean Energy, described how CCAs offer advantages toward meeting state policy goals of decarbonization, and provide a platform to achieve that goal through local control. More information regarding the workshop can be found here.

 For more information please contact Michael Postar, Sean Neal, Bhaveeta Mody, and Andrew Art.