Advocacy at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

CEERT’s Regulatory Counsel Sara Steck Myers and Associate Regulatory Attorney Megan Myers act as advocates and intervenors before the CPUC and other regulatory agencies to ensure fairly pricing for clean power, improve renewable energy procurement planning, and strengthen implementation of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). CEERT is helping lead the fight for innovative policies that reflect the true value, costs, and benefits of clean, renewable energy.


Recent Developments:

Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program (R.15-02-020)

On April 16, Commissioner Rechtschaffen issued a Ruling Ordering Party Comments on Proposed Modi­fi­cation on Language in Sections 4.1 and 4.2 of the BioMAT Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).  In those Sections, each of the parties represents that it will not violate any of the terms and conditions in its gov­ern­ing documents, any contracts to which it is a party, or any laws.

However, PG&E has raised a concern about its ability to make the representation with respect to the “or any laws” language.  PG&E questions whether the BioMAT program complies with the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), in light of a recent U.S. District Court decision that finds the Renewable Energy Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT) program’s pricing mechanism and contracting limits violate PURPA.  Although there are distinguishing characteristics between ReMAT and BioMAT, PG&E is concerned that this decision is broad enough to impact the viability of the BioMAT program.  Commissioner Rechtschaffen is considering asking the CPUC to agree to strike the phrase “or any laws” from the BioMAT PPA.  Comments were filed on April 26.

On May 1, a Proposed Decision Implementing Senate Bill (SB) 350 Provisions on Penalties and Waivers in the RPS and Denying Petition for Modification of D.17-06-026 was issued in the RPS proceeding.  Comments were filed on May 21 and Reply Comments on May 28.  The Proposed Decision completes the implementation of enforcement rules for the RPS program in response to changes made by SB 350.  This decision:  maintains the existing RPS penalty scheme, integrates changes made by SB 350 into the current RPS waiver scheme, and denies Shell Energy’s August 2, 2017 Petition for Modification of D.17-06-026.  In more detail, those findings are as follows:

  • RPS Penalty Scheme: The Proposed Decision maintains the existing penalty amount at $50 per REC for the following reasons: (1) nothing in SB 350 or party comments on these issues suggest a change is warranted; (2) the proposals to separate penalties for procurement requirements are un­reasonable; (3) lowering the current penalty level will undermine compliance by creating an eco­nomic disincen­tive to comply; and (4) the evaluation and application of mitigating factors and pre­determined con­di­tions in order to lower penalties were considered and dismissed in D.14-12-023.  The CPUC also does not see any need to adjust the penalty amount for length or severity of non­compliance, and finds that current caps should continue into the future at current levels in order to maintain their effectiveness.
  • Waivers: The CPUC should continue to make case-by-case determinations of the merits of re­quests for waiver of procurement quantity requirements or reduction of portfolio balance require­ments.
  • Transportation Electrification: Beginning with the 2018 RPS cycle, all retail sellers as defined in P.U. Code Section 399.12(j) must annually demonstrate that transportation electrification is ac­counted for in their RPS procurement plans by explicitly referencing forecasted transportation elec­tri­fi­ca­tion in those plans, providing a detailed description of the data and method used to sup­port their forecast, and explaining how they considered the CEC’s IEPR transportation electricity demand forecast in creating their own forecast.
  • Petition for Modification of D.17-06-026: Because Shell is re-litigating issues it already com­mented on in its Opening Comments on the Proposed Decision on SB 350 RPS Implementation, the Petition for Modification should be denied.

RPS ReMAT (Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff) Program – On Hold per U.S. District Court Decision

On December 6, U.S. District Judge Donato issued an order grant­ing summary judgment in favor of Winding Creek Solar LLC’s requests for relief from PG&E’s ReMAT program, and found that CPUC decisions establishing the ReMAT Program conflict with federal law (PURPA).  The decision effectively shut down the ReMAT program and foreclosed the investor-owned utilities (IOUs) from signing new ReMAT contracts.  On January 3, the CPUC filed an “urgent motion” to the Court to stay its order while the Commission appealed it; or stay it to allow the CPUC to seek a stay in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Following a February 8 hearing, the Court advised parties that it was inclined to deny the stay, but would consider, if jointly requested, a carve-out for those de­clar­ants that had made specific representations of alleged harm in the absence of a stay.  The Court di­rected the parties to meet and confer about the possi­bility of such a carve-out.  On February 15, Winding Creek Solar LLC and the CPUC jointly submitted a statement in response, but they met and conferred multiple times after February 8 and were unable to reach an agreement.  A Motion was submitted based on the briefs and the February 8 hearing.

On March 16, the U.S. District Court denied the requests by the ReMAT Developers to file an amicus brief, and on April 23, the Court denied the CPUC’s request to stay the order and judgment entered in favor of Winding Creek Solar LLC, pending the CPUC’s appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  That appeal has not yet been filed.

Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) (R.16-02-007)

On February 28 several of the original Joint Parties to the Diablo Canyon appli­ca­tion (Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, California Unions for Reliable Energy, and PG&E) filed a Petition for Modification (PFM) of D.18-02-018, which is the Decision Set­ting Re­quirements for Load Serving Entities Filing IRPs.  The Joint Parties take issue with the fact that D.18-02-018 provides no direction on GHG-free replacement resources for the planned retirement of the Diablo Canyon generators in 2024-2025, an outcome at odds with the Diablo Canyon decision.  The Joint Parties seek modification of D.18-02-018 to provide direction on the procurement of GHG-free resources to pre­vent any increase in GHG emissions after the generating units at Diablo Canyon are retired as planned.

On March 26, CEERT joined Green Power Institute, Union of Concerned Scientists, Environmental De­fense Fund, Sierra Club and California Environmental Justice Alliance (collectively, “Environmental Re­sponders”) in filing a Joint Response to the PFM.  In this Joint Response, the Environmental Respond­ers strongly support additional CPUC consideration of the impact of Diablo Canyon’s retirement within the IRP proceeding, and argue that, if Diablo Canyon’s retirement is not thoughtfully considered now, it has the potential to significantly increase air pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the middle of the next decade.

On April 9, the Joint Parties filed a Reply to the Responses to the Joint Parties’ PFM.  This Reply is very supportive of the Environmental Responders’ Response, and notes that the Environmental Responders’ efforts to promote a cleaner energy environmental and the elimination of GHG emissions are longstand­ing and truly impressive.  The Joint Parties also supported the Environmental Responders’ goal that the retirement of the Diablo Canyon generating units should not trigger any increase in GHG emissions.

On April 3, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Fitch issued a Ruling Seeking Comment on GHG Emissions Accounting Methods and Addressing Updated GHG Benchmarks.  The Ruling invited comments from parties on a method proposed by CPUC Staff for comparing GHG emissions from electricity resource portfolios submitted as part of individual IRP filings.

On April 20, CEERT and other parties filed and served Comments on the April 3 ALJ Ruling.  CEERT was generally supportive of the Clean Net Short methodology contained in the April 3 ALJ Ruling in the context of Load Serving Entity (LSE) IRP development that rewards LSEs for planning for GHG-free resources that best fit their load shape.  We recommended that any steps taken to better align the tools utilized in the IRP with actual emissions would serve to improve the accuracy of the information used to make important planning decisions.

On April 27, the CPUC Energy Division Staff hosted an IRP Modeling Advisory Group webinar.  Topics discussed included an update on the proceeding’s schedule, energy efficiency optimization, demand re­sponse, time-of-use rates, an electric vehicle study plan, and capacity expansion modeling for the IRP.

On May 14, an Amended Scoping Memo and Ruling stated that the remainder of this proceeding would be divided into three categories of work:  items required in preparation for the filing of individual LSE IRPs; consideration of individual IRPs, leading to adoption of the Preferred System Plan; and ground­work and preparation on policy issues for consideration in the 2019-2020 IRP cycle.  The CPUC expects to ad­dress the issues raised by the petition for modification on Diablo Canyon replacement power in the por­tion of the proceeding dealing with items required in preparation for the filing of individual LSE IRPs.

The Amended Scoping Memo states that a Proposed Decision Addressing Petition for Modification of D.18-02-018 related to Diablo Canyon’s closure will be issued in August, and a Proposed Decision Ad­dress­ing Individual IRPs and the Preferred System Plan will be issued in 2019.

A.16-08-006 (PG&E Diablo Canyon Closure & Proposed Procurement Plan)

The Diablo Canyon proceeding is closed.  Final Decision D.18-01-022 is at:  D.18-01-022.  Decisions about replacement procurement for Diablo Canyon’s output will be made in the IRP proceeding.

Resource Adequacy (RA) (R.17-09-020)

The current RA rulemaking is covering local and flexible RA procurement obliga­tions, and addressing changes to the RA program and refinement of RA program elements.  On April 23, the CAISO served the Draft Flexible Capacity Needs Assessment for 2019 and Draft Local Capacity Technical Analysis.

On April 24, the working group on RA reform discussed short- and long-term solutions to RA program reforms that would maintain reliability while reducing potentially costly backstop procurement.  The dis­cussion centered on a multiyear procurement framework, com­pli­ance and enforcement, whether or not to have a central buyer, and reliability studies that may inform a future framework.

On May 2, ALJ Allen issued an E-mail Ruling that the new due date for Opening Testimony on Track 2 issues is July 10.

On May 15, the CAISO provided its Final Local Capacity Technical Analysis for 2019 and Final Avail­ability Assessment Hours Technical Study for 2019.  After a delay due to stakeholder comments identi­fy­ing fundamental concerns with CAISO’s use of California Energy Commission (CEC) hourly load forecast data in determining flexible capacity requirements, CAISO served its Final Flexible Capacity Needs Assessment for the 2019 RA year on May 21.  Comments on these final studies were filed on May 25.  This is the first year the CEC has integrated distributed energy resources (mostly rooftop PV) in its base forecast, resulting in several signi­ficant changes to previous forecasts of both local and flexible capacity needs.  It may take a year or so to sort out the impacts of this change in methodology at the CEC.

On May 22, ALJ Allen issued a Proposed Decision Adopting Local Capacity Obligations for 2019 and Refining the RA Program.  The Proposed Decision adopts local capacity requirements (LCR) for 2019 applicable to CPUC-jurisdictional electric LSEs, and sets forth a process for adoption of flexible capacity require­ments for 2019.  Until new flexible compliance requirements for 2019 are adopted, the 2018 re­quirements will remain in effect.

For the 2019 LCR, the Proposed Decision adopts the CAISO’s recommended values, but with reser­va­tions and concerns, which include a lack of transparency and the fact that PG&E and SDG&E are having difficulty reproducing the CAISO’s LCR results.  These problems must be addressed going forward.

The CPUC will consider changes to the flexible RA requirements in Track 2 and system RA issues fur­ther in this proceeding.  While acknowledging parties’ concerns, the CPUC believes there is value to having a multiyear local RA requirement to ensure that resources needed for reliability are procured in an orderly fashion, and intends to implement a multiyear local RA requirement in Track 2.  Combined stor­age and DR projects are eligible to participate in the RA program.  Comments are due on June 11 and Reply Comments on June 18.

SCE, PG&E, and SDG&E Requests for Proposals (RFPs) or Requests for Offers (RFOs)

SCE Moorpark: In D.17-09-034, the CPUC rejected SCE’s 54 MW gas-fired Ellwood contract and 0.5 MW energy storage contract to meet need in the Santa Barbara/Goleta area, directed SCE to determine whether that need could instead be met with reduced reliance on fossil fuel, and told SCE to update the Commission on actions and resources to address needs in the Santa Barbara/Goleta area that may arise in the event of a loss of the two Goleta–Santa Clara 230 kV transmis­sion lines.

On February 28, SCE issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) soliciting preferred re­sources and energy stor­age that would meet the LCR needs in the Moorpark sub-area, and that also may further resiliency ob­jec­tives in the Santa Barbara/Goleta area.  SCE held a Bidder’s Conference on March 15, and on March 23 amended the RFP to ac­count for final approval by the CAISO Board of Governors of a transmission up­grade that reduced the overall need.  Initial bids for this groundbreaking RFP are due on June 21.

The residual LCR need in the Santa Clara sub-area increased substantially with the new CEC load fore­cast, and SCE has revised the procurement objective as a result.  There also appears to be a very real pos­si­­bil­ity that new gas in the Goleta area will be at least short-listed.  Efforts to improve the prospects for de­mand response by proper accounting for hybridization with storage have not been successful, and it will be very difficult for substantial quantities of demand response to pass the initial screens for short-listing.

SCE Preferred Resources Pilot RFPs:  SCE has continued to pursue approval of contracts signed pursuant to its PRP RFP 2, and in October filed briefs in support of 19 contracts for 125 MW of pre­ferred re­sources (Johanna A-Bank or Santiago A-Bank substations) that will meet DER and GHG goals.

However, on February 23, the CPUC issued a Proposed Decision denying approval of all 19 pur­chase and sale agreement contracts in SCE’s PRP RFP 2.  The decision states that SCE failed to adequately justify why these contracts are needed — whether under the PRP or to meet the objectives and requirements of existing CPUC procurement programs or policies — and since the CPUC is not convinced that the con­tracts are in the best interests of SCE customers, it does not authorize recovery of their costs in rates.

CEERT was not a party to this proceeding, but took issue with the Proposed Decision (PD), and on April 20 we prepared and served a letter on the Commissioners, their Advisors/Chiefs of Staff, and the Service List in A.16-11-002, emphasizing that the PD ignores applicable California policy and disregards and is in conflict with previous CPUC directives.  We noted our grave concern about the message that adop­tion of the PD would send, the impact it would have on meeting California’s clean energy goals, and what it would signal about the CPUC’s commitment to meeting these goals.

On May 2, Megan Myers and Jim Caldwell, as noticed by CEERT in compliance with the CPUC’s ex parte rules, met with advisors of Commissioner Peterman (the Assigned Commissioner in this proceed­ing) and Commissioner Rechtschaffen to discuss CEERT’s position in this matter.  The PD was on two previous agendas, but was held first by Commis­sioner Peterman and then by Commissioner Picker.

PG&E Storage and Preferred Resources RFP:  CPUC Resolution E-4909 orders PG&E “to hold a competitive solicitation for energy storage and preferred resources (including renew­ables, DR, and EE) to address two local sub-area capacity deficien­cies and to manage voltage issues…”  As several parties oppose the Reso­lution, it may be the subject of an application for rehearing, but no such ap­plication stays the effect of the Resolution or PG&E’s obligation to perform under it.

PG&E issued an RFP in February for up to 200 MW of storage at the Moss Landing substation for the South Bay/Moss Landing sub-area, plus an additional 50 MW of storage at two smaller sub-areas in the San Joaquin Valley.  Initial bids are due in June.

PG&E Oakland Clean Energy Project:  In September PG&E filed a study request in the CAISO 2017-2018 Transmission Plan process, propos­ing to substitute preferred resources for its “reliability must-run resources” (RMR) contract with Dynegy for the Oakland C peaking plants, which are the only utility-scale oil-fired generators in the state.  The PG&E plan closely mirrors the SCE Moor­park RFP and Resolution E-4909.

On March 20, the CAISO Board of Governors approved the plan and authorized recovery of costs in the CAISO low-voltage Transmission Access Charge under FERC jurisdiction for substation upgrades and installation of a battery storage facility at the Oakland C substation.  PG&E will file at the CPUC for a preferred-resource RFP to provide local energy to recharge that battery during a transmission outage, which will allow cancellation of the RMR contract and retirement of the 40-year-old high-emission plants near Oakland’s Jack London Square.

PG&E reached agreement with the new East Bay CCA to conduct a joint procurement of pre­ferred re­sources, with the East Bay CCA procuring the LCR attributes, as PG&E is generally very long on RA given the large load migration to CCAs.  However, demand response is essentially shut out of the pro­cure­ment because the East Bay CCA has yet to start operations, and did not feel com­fortable with its knowledge of customer behavior and its ability to judge the efficacy of DR for this procurement.

SDG&E Preferred Resources RFO:  On April 19, 2017, SDG&E filed A.17-04-017, asking for ap­proval of 88 MW of new preferred resource contracts.  In January 2018, the ALJ admitted into the record pre­pared testi­mony that had been served, and briefs were filed.  No Proposed Decision has yet been issued.

Demand Response (DR) (R.13-09-011)

CEERT is convinced that unless we make significant pro­gress on DR, it will continue to be difficult to stop new gas de­vel­opment and to carry out an orderly retirement schedule for existing gas facilities.  Therefore, we continue to advocate vigorously before the CPUC to strengthen exist­ing DR pro­grams while pressing for changes in DR procure­ment, and to urge the CAISO Board of Gov­er­nors and senior management to re­duce barriers to expanded use of this crucial resource.

On May 15, ALJ Hymes issued a Proposed Decision (PD) modifying D.16-09-056, which adopted guid­ance for future DR portfolios and established a list of prohibited resources, exempting from that list energy storage and storage coupled with renewable generation that meet the relevant GHG emis­sions metric adopted for the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).  The PD determines that the DR pro­hibited resources policy should not rely on any metric developed in the SGIP.

The PD also modifies D.16-09-056 to exempt from the list of prohibited resources all energy storage resources not coupled with fossil-fueled generation.  This will be reviewed again in either the proposed rulemaking on new models of DR or the 2023-2027 DR program applica­tions, whichever commences first.  At that time, the CPUC will have more experience with storage re­sources participating in DR and can better consider whether to continue their exemption from the prohibited-resources list or to develop and adopt a new independent emissions requirement for storage resources that take part in DR programs.  The PD also closes this proceeding.  Comments are due on June 4 and Reply Comments on June 11.

On May 15, ALJ Hymes issued an E-mail Ruling requiring the Supply Side Working Group established in R.13-09-011 to file its proposal addressing local resource adequacy, weather-sensitive DR qualifying capacity requirements, and multi-year procurement contracts in R.17-09-020 (RA) no later than July 10.

DR Applications (A.17-01-012, et al.)

On December 14 the CPUC issued D.17-12-003 in the DR Application pro­ceed­ings (A.17-01-012, et al.).  The decision adopts DR activities and budgets for PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E to conduct DR programs, pilots and associated activities for 2018 – 2022, and also expresses sup­port for the limited integration of DR and energy efficiency activities.

An April 20 telephone conference on the Auto DR program covered such topics as sufficiency of defini­tions, complete and correct background description, and a complete and correct overview of current rules and guiding principles.  A day-long workshop on guidelines for Auto DR will also be held at the CPUC.

On May 8 a Joint Agency Workshop on Energy Reliability in Southern California discussed reliability issue updates and tracking progress on conventional generation, preferred resources, transmission up­grades, and contingency measures from the CEC, the CAISO, LADWP, SCE and SDG&E.  There were presentations on reliability issues associated with natural gas pipeline outages and the constrained opera­tions at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, and on mitigation measures to address those issues.

On May 22, Assigned Commissioner Guzman Aceves issued an Amended Scoping Memo and Ruling that extends the deadline of this proceeding to July 17, 2019, and expands its scope to determine the next steps for the DR Auction Mechanism (DRAM).  A future decision will address: (1) development of guid­ance to the utilities on designing pilots targeting DR in transmission-constrained local capacity areas and disadvantaged communities, (2) whether to revise the DR dual participation rules, (3) adoption of a final set of guidelines to implement the automated DR control incentive policy, (4) confirmation of the final Capacity Bidding program trigger method, (5) management of and potential changes to the 2% Reliability Cap, and (6) determination of the next steps for the DRAM pilot as a result of the preliminary evaluation analysis.  A Pre-Hearing Conference is scheduled for June 12.

Draft California Customer Choice Green Book

On May 3, the CPUC issued California Customer Choice: An Evaluation of Regulatory Framework Op­tions for an Evolving Electricity Market Draft Green Book (Draft Customer Choice Paper).  This docu­ment was prepared by CPUC staff, was revised on May 17, and was intended to set the stage for a con­ver­sation among California energy policy decision-makers and stakeholders about the need to develop a plan to address current shifts in the evolving electricity market and the next steps in managing this transition.

A webinar on the Draft Customer Choice Paper was held on May 3.  On May 21, the CPUC announced that an En Banc would be held on the Paper on June 22, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., at the CPUC, and that the comments period on the Paper would be extended from June 4 to June 11.

Other CPUC Rulemakings and Governance Actions:

CEERT has had a limited budget to actively participate in other CPUC issues.  Never­the­less, we are cur­rently a party to or are tracking the following proceedings in order to advance key resources.

Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) (R.17-06-026)

On March 2, Commissioner Peterman issued an Amended Scoping Memo and Ruling that modified the schedule of this proceeding.  Here is the revised schedule for Track 2 with the new due dates:

  • Evidentiary Hearings: May 7 – May 11
  • Opening Briefs: June 1
  • Reply Briefs: June 15
  • Proposed Decision: Late July

Distribution Resource Plans (DRPs) (R.14-08-013)

On March 22 the CPUC issued D.18-03-023, a Decision that addresses the issues identified in Track 3, Sub-Track 2 (Grid Modernization), and provides a framework for Grid Moderni­za­tion Guidance to inform future General Rate Cases (GRCs), as follows:

  • Defines grid modernization with regard to its multiple objectives and the scope of Grid Modern­i­zation Plans;
  • Establishes a classification framework to serve as a common vocabulary for grid modernization investments, and terminology to guide the organization and presentation of future GRC filings;
  • Establishes the structure and timing of the grid modernization planning process, including sub­mis­sion of Grid Modernization Plans and Grid Needs Assessments, and identifies how this fits into the larger DRP process;
  • Provides guidance on how the Commission will evaluate the cost-effectiveness of grid modern­i­za­tion investments proposed in future GRCs, including net ratepayer benefits;
  • Establishes submission requirements for the grid modernization portion of future GRC requests, including how to justify each request; and
  • Identifies next steps for further refining certain aspects of the grid modernization guidance adopted in this decision.

Integration of Distributed Energy Resources (IDER) (R.14-10-003)

On March 14, ALJ Hymes issued a Ruling on the Societal Cost Test (SCT).  The Ruling contains a re­vised Staff Proposal on the SCT that refines the original Staff Proposal, provides additional informa­tion, and makes more detailed recommendations for the proposed cost-effectiveness tests in general and the two adders specifically.  The Ruling also sets forth questions on the revised Staff Proposal.  Opening Comments were filed on April 20 and Reply Comments on May 7.

On April 30, ALJ Hymes issued a Proposed Decision modifying D.16-12-036, which established the Com­petitive Solicitation Framework and a Utility Regulatory Incentive pilot for procurement of distri­buted energy resources (DERs) that displace or defer the need for capital expenditures on traditional dis­tribution infrastructure.  The PD requires that utility spending for D.16-12-036 DERs pilot projects that either avoid or defer a distribution capital project previously authorized or pend­ing be recovered initially through previously authorized distribution capital project spending from the utility’s general rate case.  Comments on the PD were filed on May 21 and Reply Comments on May 28.

DER Action Plan

There has been no recent activity with the DER Action Plan.   The Final DER Action Plan was issued on May 3, and it is still unclear how this plan will be used going forward.

DER Improvements to Rule 21 (R.17-07-007)

On February 14, ALJ Hymes issued a Ruling Revising Schedule and Reassigning Issue Six.  The remain­ing items on the new schedule are:

  • September 15: Deadline for filing the Working Group Two proposal.
  • October 15: Deadline for Comments on the Working Group Two proposal.

The issue of whether the CPUC should require utilities to develop forms and agreements to allow DERs to fulfill Rule 21 requirements related to smart inverters, identified previously as Issue Six and assigned to the Smart Inverter Working Group, is now assigned to Working Group Two.

In a related matter, on April 27 the CPUC issued Resolution E-4898, which approves, with modifications, a request for modifications to the Electric Rule 21 Tariff to incorporate Smart Inverter Phase 3 advanced functions in compliance with D.16-06-052.

Energy Efficiency (EE) (R.13-11-005)

On April 26, Assigned Commissioner Peterman and Administrative Law Judge Fitch issued a Ruling and Amended Scoping Memo (Regarding Remainder of Phase III) in the energy efficiency rolling portfolio proceeding.  Items in the scope of the remainder of Phase III include the three-prong fuel substi­tu­tion test, market transformation, custom projects, and accounting and funding issues.

This rulemaking remains the appropriate venue for overarching policy issues related to administration of energy efficiency policies, portfolios and programs.  A Proposed Decision addressing the three-prong test will be issued in the fourth quarter of 2018, a Proposed Decision further addressing market transformation will also be issued in the fourth quarter of 2018, and a Proposed Decision addressing accounting issues will be issued in the first quarter of 2019.

EE Business Plans (A.17-01-013, et al.)

On March 23, ALJ Fitch issued a Ruling that invites parties to file comments on requirements developed by CPUC Staff on custom classification; behavior, retrocommissioning and Operations Maintenance Plan; limit on normal replacement measures; repair and maintenance programs; pay-for-performance; sav­ings estimates/claims requirements; and submetering accuracy.  The Ruling also proposes to sunset the filing process for high-opportunity programs or projects as soon as EE business plans under review in this proceeding are approved.  Comments were filed on May 14 and Reply Comments on May 30.

On April 4 the CPUC issued a Proposed Decision Readdressing Energy Efficiency Business Plans in A.17-01-013, et al.  Comments were filed on April 24 and Reply Comments on April 30.  The PD ap­proves the energy efficiency business plans of eight Program Administrators (PAs), except as modified in this decision: four investor-owned utilities (PG&E, SDG&E, SCE and SoCalGas), three regional energy networks (BayREN, SoCalREN, and Tri-County REN) and one community choice aggregator (MCE).

The PD includes a required set of metrics and indicators to track progress toward energy efficiency goals at the portfolio and sector level, and includes refined definitions of disadvantaged communities and hard-to-reach customers.  Statewide programs are approved, including lead PA assignments, and guidance is included on governance, balancing account treatment and fund contributions.  The PD also includes clar­i­fications of previous requirements applied to REN programs and portfolios and approves MCE as a single point of contact in its geographic area, on a non-exclusive basis.  The proposal of the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition for statewide administration of local government programs is rejected.

The PD includes detailed requirements for the annual budget advice letter submissions and a standard of review for CPUC staff in analyzing these submissions.  The proceeding remains open to consider the standard and modifiable terms proposed for use in contracts associated with third-party solicitations.  On May 10, a Red-lined Revised Proposed Decision was issued and is on the agenda for the May 31 CPUC Business Meeting.

Public Records Access (R.14-11-001)

On April 27, the CPUC issued D.18-04-032, which is an Order Denying Rehearing of D.17-0-023 filed by the City of San Bruno.  D.17-09-023 adopted a new General Order (GO) 66-D, which was designed to update the CPUC’s processes for the submission, review, and potential disclosure of information sub­mitted to, and created by, the CPUC.  The City of San Bruno filed an Application for Rehearing that chal­lenged the validity of the processes set forth in GO 66-D, alleging that the lack of a fixed timeframe for completing the resolution process and rehearing process violates several authorities governing open ac­cess to public records.  The Order Denying Rehearing finds no good cause for rehearing of the chal­lenged decision and denies the Application.

Climate Change Adaptation (R.18-04-019)

On May 7, the CPUC issued an Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR) to Consider Strategies and Guidance for Climate Change Adaptation. This OIR considers strategies to integrate climate change adaptation mat­ters in relevant CPUC proceedings.  The rulemaking is divided into at least two proceedings, with the electricity and natural gas utilities to be the only entities addressed in Phase 1.  The scope for future phases will be considered at a later time, and it is anticipated that those phases will consider adaptation for water and telecommunications utilities.  The preliminary schedule for the proceeding does not provide any specific dates.  It is anticipated that a Scoping Memo will be issued shortly.  The initial categorization of this proceeding is quasi-legislative; the assigned Commissioner is Liane Randolph and the assigned ALJ is Mary McKenzie.  CEERT staff is currently tracking this proceeding as Information Only.