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 mandated climate and clean-energy goals. CEERT is helping lead the fight for innovative policies that reflect the true value, costs, and benefits of clean, renewable energy.


Recent Developments:

Summary of CEERT’s Advocacy at the CPUC

CEERT has been active in the following proceedings: Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) (R.20-05-003), Resource Ade­quacy (R.21-10-002), Demand Response (DR) Applications (A.22-05-002, et al.), and Bloom’s Petition for Rulemaking (P.22-06-012).  CEERT also plans to be active in the new Demand Flexibility rulemaking (R.22-07-005).

New Events at the CPUC

On June 22, the CPUC Energy Division issued a White Paper on “Advanced Demand Flexibility Manage­ment and Customer DER Compensation.”  On June 23, Bloom Energy Corporation submitted a Petition for Rulemaking to Adopt a Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Reliability & Resilience Tariff to Address Urgent and Near-Term Grid Reliability Needs.  On July 22, the CPUC issued a new Demand Flexibility Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR).  These items are discussed in more detail below.

CPUC White Paper on Advanced Strategies for Demand Flexibility Management and Customer DER Compensation

On June 22, the CPUC Energy Division issued a White Paper on “Advanced Demand Flexibility Manage­ment and Customer DER Compensation.”  The White Paper describes a Staff Proposal to enable wide­spread adoption of demand flexibility solutions and fair compensation for DER value.  The CPUC Energy Division held a workshop on this White Paper on July 21.  More information on the White Paper and the workshop can be found here.

Bloom’s Petition for Rulemaking to Adopt a DER Reliability & Resilience Tariff to Address Urgent and Near-Term Grid Reliability Needs (P.22-06-012)

On June 23, Bloom Energy Corporation submitted a Petition for Rulemaking to Adopt a Distributed Energy Resource Reliability & Resilience Tariff to Address Urgent and Near-Term Grid Reliability Needs.  Bloom argues that CPUC action is essential to mitigate the continuing grid reliability risk.  Lever­a­ging customer investments in fuel cells and other highly reliable DERs is a credible partial solution to meeting the challenge and providing additional benefits.  The deployment of fuel cells and other DERs would address not only near- and mid-term needs but also long-term objectives.

On July 25, CEERT submitted a Response supporting the rationale behind Bloom’s Petition, noting our appreciation for the focus on bringing resource diversity to the grid and helping California move away from reliance on gas-fired generation.  However, we are concerned that the proposed tariff may only be beneficial to fuel cells, as opposed to all DERs.  One way to remedy that situation would be to limit the scope of this proceeding to adopting a tariff for fuel cells only, unless the tariff can be modified so that it will effectively capture the benefits of all clean DERs.

New Demand Flexibility OIR (R.22-07-005)

On July 22, CPUC issued R.22-07-005, an Order Instituting Rulemaking that seeks to enable wide­spread demand flexibility through electric rates.  The CPUC will establish demand flexibility policies and modify electric rates to advance the following objectives: (a) enhance the reliability of California’s elec­tric system; (b) make electric bills more affordable and equitable; (c) reduce the curtailment of renew­able energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with meeting the state’s future system load;
(d) enable widespread electrification of buildings and transportation to meet the state’s climate goals;
(e) reduce long-term system costs through more efficient pricing of electricity; and (f) enable participation in demand flexibility by both bundled and unbundled customers.

In many decisions and forums, the CPUC has recognized the critical role of demand response in ensuring system reliability, especially during severe weather events, as California’s electric system continues to integrate greater amounts of renewable generation and energy storage. The rapid growth of electric end uses – including electric vehicle charging, distributed energy resources, and building decarbonization – presents new challenges and opportunities for coordinating demand flexibility to meet system needs.

However, the CPUC’s existing piecemeal approach to load management may hinder the growth and ef­fec­tiveness of demand flexibility. This rulemaking will consider updates to the CPUC’s rate design prin­ciples, guidance principles for demand flexibility, and ways to streamline the patchwork of niche rates and programs to expand the use of demand flexibility beyond early adopters.

The proceeding will consider how demand flexibility policies, rates, tools, and programs can better sup­port equitable and affordable rates for all Californians, advance the CPUC’s Environmental and Social Justice Action Plan Version 2.0, and update the CPUC’s rate design principles and guidance for advanc­ing demand flexibility.  Opening Comments are due on August 15 and Reply Comments on August 25.

CPUC Energy Planning and Procurement and Resource Adequacy

Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) (R.20-05-003) and Procurement-Related Activities

As previously reported, on March 29, ALJ Fitch issued a Proposed Decision on a Modified Cost Alloca­tion Mechanism (MCAM) for Opt-Out and Backstop Procurement Obligations.  The Proposed Decision adopts a MCAM to ensure that the net costs of electric resource procurement obligations mandated in D.19-11-016 and D.21-06-035 are allocated and recovered in a fair, economical, and legally-compliant manner.  Opening Comments were submitted on April 18 and Reply Comments on April 25.  Final Deci­sion D.22-05-015 was issued on May 23.

On April 20, ALJ Fitch issued a Ruling Establishing a Process for Finalizing Load Forecasts and green­house gas (GHG) Emissions Benchmarks for 2022 IRP Filings.  On May 16, CEERT submitted Opening Comments, arguing for adoption of a lower GHG target for the electric sector as soon as possible.  We support the addition of a 15 million metric ton (MMT) target in 2035 in addition to the stringent 25 MMT GHG target pro­posed by the Ruling.  On May 23, CEERT submitted Reply Comments, arguing that lower GHG targets must be adopted as soon as possible and the CPUC should adopt a zero emissions target for 2045.  We also supported community choice aggregators (CCAs) that recommend that load-serving entities (LSEs) be allowed to plan for lower emissions.

On June 15, ALJ Fitch issued a Ruling that finalizes the load forecasts and GHG benchmarks for use by LSEs in developing and filing their individual IRPs, due November 1.  Each LSE shall submit a portfolio that meets its proportional share of targets of 38 MMT of GHG emissions in 2030 and 35 MMT in 2035, and a second portfolio that meets a GHG target of 30 MMT or less in 2030 and 25 MMT or less in 2035.  If the LSE has a preferred portfolio that meets its proportional share of a GHG target of 30 MMT or less in 2030 and 25 MMT or less in 2035, then that LSE may submit only that one preferred portfolio.  How­ever, an LSE submitting only one portfolio must submit that portfolio in each of the two Resource Data Templates and Clean System Power calculators.

On July 19, the CPUC issued D.22-07-004, a Correction to D.22-02-004.  The decision grants, in part, a petition for modification from the California Large Energy Consumers Association (CLECA) of the 2021 Preferred System Plan Decision 22-02-004.  In the course of revising the proposed decision in response to comments, an error was introduced that mischaracterized CLECA’s membership and purpose.

Resource Adequacy (RA) (R.19-11-009/R.21-10-002)

On May 20, ALJs Chiv and O’Rourke issued a Proposed Decision that adopts local capacity requirements for 2023-2025, flexible capacity requirements for 2023, and refinements to the RA program scoped as Phase 2 of the Implementation Track.  The Proposed Decision (PD) also adopts Southern California Edison’s (SCE’s) 24-hour slice Reform Track framework, with modifications.

On June 9, CEERT submitted Opening Comments, recommending that the CPUC adopt the SCE 24-Hour Slice-of-Day Proposal.  We held that the use of 2024 as a test year for compliance tools is reasonable, and that DR measures need to be integrated in the new RA framework.  We argued that appropriate ex­ceed­ance levels need to account for technological and regional variations, that the PD should be revised to re­verse its rejection of the Joint DER Parties’ Phase 2 Proposal, and that the CPUC should consider requir­ing portfolio counting rules for RA resources.

On June 14, CEERT submitted Reply Comments on the PD.  We asserted that the CPUC should seek further guidance from parties on capacity counting rules, that additional analysis is needed for assessing an­nual and monthly Planning Reserve Margin (PRM) values, that hourly load obligation trading should be tested in 2024, and that the CPUC should reevaluate rejection of the Joint DER Parties’ Proposal.

On June 24, the CPUC issued Final Decision D.22-06-050,which adopts local capacity requirements for 2023-2025, flexible capacity requirements for 2023, refinements to the RA program scoped as Phase 2 of the Implementation Track, and SCE’s 24-hour slice Reform Track framework, with modifications.  The 24-Hour Slice Framework is attached as Appendix A to the Decision.

On May 31, Assigned Commissioner President Reynolds issued a Ruling Directing Submission of Loss of Load Expectation (LOLE) Study Results.  The Ruling directs the CEC to serve its Midterm Reliability Analysis report and unserved energy event data to the service list in this proceeding.

On June 1, the ALJs issued a Ruling on Energy Division’s Regional Wind Effective Load Carrying Capa­bility (ELCC) Study.  A Revised Study was submitted on June 9.  Opening Comments were submitted on June 13 and Reply Comments on June 13.   On June 8, a second Ruling was issued on the CEC’s Mid-Term Reliability Analysis Supporting Data.  Opening Comments were submitted on June 20 and Reply Comments on June 27.

D.22-06-050 directed the co-facilitators of the previous RA Reform workshops to undertake the schedul­ing and facilitating of workshops for the three workstreams described in the decision.  Presenters are re­quested to notify the workshop facilitator of their intent to present at least one week prior to the work­shop, and to provide their final presentation to the facilitator on the Monday before the workshop.  The workshop schedule is as follows – the facilitators are identified in parentheses:

  • July 27: Process Overview and Resource Counting: exceedance for wind and solar (SDG&E)
  • August 3: Master Resource Database and LSE Showing & Compliance Tools: initial discussion (IEP)
  • August 10: Resource Counting: hybrid resources (CalCCA)
  • August 17: Planning Reserve Margin (PRM): part 1 (process and mechanics) and UCAP-Lite (CLECA)
  • August 23: Resource Counting: recap for wind, solar, hybrid; availability requirements for use-limited resources; long-duration storage; MCC Buckets for 2024 (Energy Division Staff)
  • August 31: LSE Requirements: follow-up discussion (CEC data), Cost Allocation Mechanism (CAM), and LSE Showing and Compliance Tools (CESA)
  • September 14: PRM: part 2 (counting values, setting requirements) and Test Year: initial discussion (PG&E)
  • September 21: Interface CPUC/CAISO Processes: changes to CIRA; single net qualifying capacity (NQC) Capacity Value Flexible Requirements and elimination of flexible RA requirements (SCE)
  • September 29: Test Year: follow-up discussion, remaining issues, and Wrap Up (WPTF)
  • October 5: Placeholder (PG&E)

On July 20, ALJs Chiv and O’Rourke issued a Proposed Decision that adopts regional wind ELCC values for the 2023 RA year and addresses the DR qualifying capacity (QC) methodology for the 2023 and 2024 RA years.  As to DR, the PD orders parties to develop refinements to the Load Impact Protocol (LIP) meth­odology for use with the 24-hour slice framework for the 2024 test year in Workstream 2 of this pro­ceeding, and to submit a proposal according to the schedule adopted in D.22-06-050, which ordered Final Proposals from Workstreams 1-3 to be filed and served on November 15.

The proposal shall address: (1) the hours in which DR resources can be shown and whether consecutive, (2) whether the transmission and planning reserve margin adders should be applied, (3) whether or not the DR resources can vary by hour, and (4) whether, and if so, how, snap-back effects should be accounted for.  Energy Division shall facili­tate the first workshop on the refinements to the LIP methodology for use with the 24-hour slice frame­work for the 2024 test year in Workstream 2.  Opening Comments on the PD were submitted on August 9 and Reply Comments on August 15.

Demand Response (DR) Applications (A.22-05-002, et al.)

On May 2, , PG&E (A.22-05-002), San Diego Gas & Electric (A.22-05-003), and SCE submitted Appli­cations for Approval of their DR Programs and Budgets.  On May 25, ALJs Lakhanpal and Toy issued a Ruling Consolidating Proceedings and Setting a Prehearing Conference.

On June 6, CEERT submitted a Response to the DR Applications, stating that our primary interest in this proceeding is to ensure that any resulting decisions will be based on policies and programs that recognize the value of, and the need for increased reliance on, DR to meet California’s clean energy needs.  The CPUC must promote DR to fully capitalize on the benefits the resource brings to the grid.  When the CPUC issues a decision in this proceeding, it should give significant weight to any recommendations put forth by DR providers and DR advocates that modify these Applications.

A Prehearing Conference (PHC) was held on June 16.  Prior to the PHC, the parties had a meet-and-confer on June 8, and submitted a Joint PHC Statement on June 14 that largely agreed on a schedule and scope of issues for Phase 1 (2023 Bridge Funding) but requested deferring a determination on a schedule and scope of issues for Phase 2 (2024-2027 DR Programs).

On June 24, Chief ALJ Simon issued a Notice of Public Workshop for July 7 that covered a recently issued Report on the DR Auction Mechanism (DRAM).

On July 5, Commissioner Reynolds issued a Scoping Memo.   The Phase I scoped issues will address only the 2023 bridge funding proposals by the utilities, and at a later time, Phase II issues will be scoped addressing the 2024-2027 DR program proposals.  The DRAM issues covered in this Scoping Memo deal only with the limited question of whether to approve the DRAM for 2023 solicitations and 2024 deliv­er­ies, with the DRAM’s future beyond 2024 to be addressed at a later time.

The remaining schedule for the non-DRAM issues in Phase I is as follows:

  • August 15 and 17: Evidentiary Hearings
  • August 22: Opening Briefs on Phase I
  • September 2: Reply Briefs on Phase I
  • October: Proposed Decision

The remaining schedule for the DRAM issues in Phase I is as follows:

  • September 2: Reply Testimony on Nexant Report and DRAM
  • September 9: Meet and Confer to determine need for Evidentiary Hearings
  • September 16: Last day to request Evidentiary Hearings and conduct discovery
  • Late September: Evidentiary Hearings
  • October 7: Opening Briefs on Nexant Report and DRAM
  • October 28: Reply Briefs on Nexant Report and DRAM
  • December: Proposed Decision

On July 13, OhmConnect, Public Advocates Office, and Small Business Utility Advocates submitted Open­ing Testimony on Phase 1, Bridge Funding.  On August 3, the California Efficiency + Demand Man­agement Council, PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E submitted Reply Testimony on Phase 1, Bridge Funding.

PG&E held a settlement conference on Phase I issues (including DRAM) for August 2, and a Meet-and-Confer is scheduled for August 8.

CPUC Gas System and Grid Initiatives

Aliso Canyon (I.17-02-002)

There has been no significant recent activity in this proceeding.

Gas Reliability and System Planning (R.20-01-007)

On April 22, the CPUC issued D.22-04-042, which extends the SoCalGas Rule 30 OFO winter noncom­pli­ance penalty structure adopted in D.19-05-030 and extended by D.21-11-021, year-round, and makes it applicable to SoCalGas, SDG&E, and PG&E service territories.

On May 20, ALJ Bemesderfer issued a Proposed Decision that resolves Track 1A and 1B issues, requires SoCalGas and PG&E to maintain adequate backbone capacity to meet the average day in a 1-in-10 cold-and-dry-year standard, and establishes a framework for issuing citations when a utility fails to maintain adequate backbone capacity.  Opening Comments were submitted on June 9 and Reply Comments on June 14. The Final Decision D.22-07-002 was issued on July 20.

On May 25, ALJ Bemesderfer issued a Ruling Seeking Comments on Scoping Memo Track 2a Scoping Questions 2.1(b) – 2.1(k), which pertain to gas infrastructure.  Opening Comments were submitted on June 15 and Reply Comments on June 27.

On June 15, ALJ Bemesderfer issued a Ruling Granting a Joint Motion of PG&E, SoCalGas, and SDG&E to File Under Seal Confidential Materials Filed in Response to Revised Administrative Law Judges’ Ruling Seeking Data from California’s Gas Utilities.

On June 27, ALJ Bemesderfer issued a Ruling Directing Parties to File Comments on Proposed General Order (GO) Re Gas Infrastructure.  On July 8, ALJ Bemesderfer issued a Ruling Directing Filing of Data and Extending the Filing Date for Comments.  The list provided by SoCalGas, SDG&E, and PG&E should include gas infrastructure projects that exceeded $50 million.  Opening Comments on these Rul­ings were submitted on July 18 and Reply Comments on July 25,

Microgrids (R.19-09-009)

On April 18, Bloom Energy filed a Petition for Modification of D.21-12-004 (Decision Adopting Micro­grid and Resiliency Solutions to Enhance Summer 2022 and Summer 2023 Reliability).  Bloom Energy argues that the CPUC should remove two sentences from D.21-12-004 that implicitly prejudge the cost-shifting issue.  Parties submitted Responses to the Petition for Modification on May 16.

On July 6, ALJ Rizzo issued a Ruling seeking comment from interested parties on a Staff Proposal for Microgrid Incentive Program Plan Implementation.  Opening Comments on the Ruling were submitted on August 5 and Reply Comments on August 19.

Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) (R.20-05-012)

On July 18, SCE submitted a Petition for Modification of D.22-04-036 (Decision Establishing Heat Pump Water Heater (HPWH) Program Requirements).  While SCE would be troubled by an order to transfer all HPWH program funds to an unregulated third party in any circumstances, its concern is exacer­bated by the program administration structure the Decision establishes.  At a minimum, the Decision must adopt more prudent funding requirements.  Responses to the Petition for Modification were due August 17.

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

On May 5, the CPUC issued D.22-05-002, Adopting Changes to the Avoided Cost Calculator (ACC).  On June 20, the CPUC issued D.22-06-027, an Order Correcting Error in D.22-05-002.  The Decision also closes R.14-10-003.

Grid for High Distributed Energy Resource (DER) (R.21-06-017)

On June 16, ALJ Hymes issued a Ruling on implementing reforms to the Distribution Investment De­ferral Framework (DIDF) Process, the Partnership Pilot, and the Standard-Offer-Contract Pilot.  Reforms have been proposed by the Independent Professional Engineer (IPE), Independent Evaluators (IEs), and parties to this proceeding.

On July 15, ALJ Hymes issued a Ruling Noticing a Data Portals Improvement Workshop, which was held on July 26.  The Agenda discusses the workshop objectives.

Other CPUC Proceedings CEERT Continues to Track

CEERT is either a party to or on the service list for numerous CPUC proceedings that have required or could require CEERT participation, and CEERT continues to track them in anticipation of participating now or in the future.

Because these proceedings were not the focus of CEERT’s efforts in April – August of 2022, only limited information about them is provided here, but is available from CEERT’s regula­tory counsel, Megan Myers (meganmmyers@yahoo.com) or Sara Myers at (ssmyers@att.net.)  Please do not hesitate to con­tact them for information on any of the following proceedings as to status or next steps.

Net Energy Metering (NEM) (R.20-08-020)

On May 9, ALJ Hymes issued a Ruling that asks questions about the Glide Path Approach, Non-Bypass­able Charges on Gross Consumption, and Community Distributes Energy Resources.  Opening Com­ments were submitted on June 10 and Reply Comments on June 24.

PG&E’s Regionalization (A.20-06-011)

On June 24, the CPUC issued Final Decision D.22-06-028, which approves, with conditions, the August 31, 2021 Motion to adopt a multi-party settlement agreement (MPSA) among PG&E, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Large Energy Consumers Association, the Center for Accessible Technol­ogy, Coalition of California Utility Employees, Public Advocates Office, Small Business Utility Advo­cates, and William B. Abrams.  The MPSA proposes to approve PG&E’s updated Regionalization Pro­posal, with additional conditions, to create regions for PG&E’s operations designed to enhance PG&E’s ability to meet its safety obligations.  The MPSA is Attachment A to the Decision. The Decision also approves a second settlement agreement (SSJIDA) between PG&E and the South San Joaquin Irrigation District, also included in the August 31, 2021 Motion.  The SSJIDA is Attachment B to the Decision.

Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) (R.18-07-003)

On May 20, ALJ Lakhanpal issued a Ruling that sets forth a modified procedural schedule for the RPS program that enables timely filing and resolution of matters related to (a) Voluntary Allocation (VA) and/or Market Offer (VAMO) processes adopted in D.21-05-030 in the PCIA Rulemaking 17-06-026 proceeding, (b) 2022 RPS Procurement Plans, and (c) the voluntary allocation of RPS attributes adopted under the Modified Cost Allocation Mechanism in R.20-05-003 (IRP).

On June 24, the CPUC issued D.22-06-034, a Decision Establishing Rules for Portfolio Content Category (PCC) Classification for Voluntary Allocations of RPS Resources.  The Decision adopts the following:

  • Voluntary Allocations are not resales for purposes of determining the PCC classification of Renew­able Energy Credits (RECs) allocated to the PCIA-eligible LSEs including non-investor-owned utility (IOU) LSEs serving departed load.
  • Subsequent transfer/sale of the allocated RECs will be considered a resale, and the REC PCC classifi­ca­tion will change pursuant to D.11-12-052 and other applicable RPS law and policy.
  • “PCC 0” status will apply for pre-June 1, 2010 RPS contract RECs to Voluntary Allocations accepted in 2022 for RPS deliveries beginning in 2023 and subsequent Voluntary Allocations, if they occur.
  • The Voluntary Allocation price based on the Market Price Benchmark methodology adopted in D.21-05-030 shall not be modified at this time.
  • The IOUs are not required to submit advice letter filings for CPUC approval of executed pro forma Voluntary Allocation contracts. However, the IOUs must obtain CPUC approval of executed modi­fied pro forma Voluntary Allocation contracts via a Tier 1 advice letter filing.

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

On May 2, ALJ Kao issued a Ruling Providing Opportunity Regarding Criteria for Finding Sufficient and Appropriate Policies, Practices and Procedures to Ensure Adherence to Commission Intent for Codes and Standards Advocacy and for Supporting Local Governments’ Adoption of Reach Codes.  Responses to the Ruling were submitted on June 1 and Replies to Responses on June 16.

On May 24, Commissioner Shiroma and ALJ Fitch issued an Order to Show Cause (OSC) directing SCE to show why it should not be required to do the following, for its mismanagement of the energy efficiency upstream lighting program for the years 2017 through 2019:

  1. Refund ratepayer funding for the portion of the program budget associated with light bulbs that were unaccounted for;
  2. Refund Efficiency Savings and Performance Incentive shareholder awards associated with un­accounted-for light bulbs; and
  3. Pay penalties for misrepresenting program progress and results to the CPUC, in violation of Rule 1.1 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure and Public Utilities Code Sections 451, 701, and 2107-2108.

On June 20, SCE submitted a Response to the OSC, noting that it has already agreed that returning a por­tion of program funds and shareholder awards associated with unaccounted-for lightbulbs is appropriate.  SCE believes it has remained willing to take responsibility and hold itself accountable for missteps in the way it managed the Program, and does not believe Rule 1.1 penalties are appropriate or warranted.  SCE argued that a Program refund of $13.1 million, which includes a portion of grocery and discount program incen­tives and all program administration costs for Program Years 2017-2019, is proportionate and re­flects SCE’s accountability for Program management gaps.  SCE agrees to refund or forgo all ESPI awards associated with the grocery and discount Upstream Lighting Program.  SCE did not violate Rule 1.1, so no penalties are warranted.

On July 18, the Public Advocates Office and The Utility Reform Network (TURN) submitted a Joint Reply, arguing that SCE’s response falls short of addressing its persistent mismanagement and false re­port­ing of program impacts.  They recommend the following remedies:

  • A refund of all ESPI awards for program years 2017-2019 ($32.7 million), or at least all ESPI awards for the Upstream Lighting Program ($21.1 million).
  • A refund of all program administration costs, and all implementation costs associated with the hard-to-reach portion of the Upstream Lighting Program for program years 2017-2019 ($91.9 million), or at least all administration costs and those implementation costs associated with unaccounted-for bulbs identified in the CPUC’s 2017-2019 Impact Evaluations ($76.1 million).
  • $98 million in fines for violations of the P.U. Code and CPUC Rules.

On June 3, the County of Ventura for the Tri-County Regional Energy Network (3C-REN) submitted a Motion Regarding Data Access, requesting that the ALJs direct the IOUs in 3C-REN’s territory to pro­vide the necessary participant and non-participant data to 3C-REN and/or its program implementer(s) so that 3C-REN can operate its population normalized meter energy consumption (NMEC) Single Family Home Program (SFH Program). This data should be provided by the IOUs under terms and conditions consistent with the terms and conditions applicable to the IOUs’ own energy efficiency implementers.  Parties submitted Responses on June 20 and 3C-REN submitted a Reply on June 30.

On June 17, PG&E submitted its Response to 3C-REN’s Data Access Motion and on June 21, SCE and SoCalGas requested to Reply to PG&E’s Response.  On June 22, ALJ Kao issued an E-mail Ruling directing parties to address the following question related to 3C-REN’s Motion: “PG&E’s June 17, 2022 response states ‘while PG&E agrees with the other IOUs that an order by the Commission to share the data would suffice to establish primary purpose, PG&E is also willing to negotiate an updated pro­gram contract, similar to PG&E’s contract with the Bay Area Regional Energy Network.’ SoCalGas and SCE’s June 20 joint response states they ‘do not agree with the interpretation that a contract absent Commission authorization can establish a primary purpose.’ Explain whether and why you agree, or disagree, that a contract that allows for the sharing of confidential customer information is sufficient to enable the investor-owned utilities to share confidential customer data with 3C-REN, without requiring 3C-REN to acquire prior consent from individual customers for the data sharing.”  Parties were directed to submit a Response to the Ruling on July 1.

On July 15, ALJ Kao issued a Ruling seeking comments from parties on five topics: (1) potential im­prove­ments to the third-party solicitation process, (2) governance and reform of two of the CPUC’s EE database tools (CET and CEDARS), (3) Strategic Energy Management program issues, (4) the CATA­LENA project, and (5) data sharing for CPUC-authorized EE programs.  Attached to the Ruling is the Third-Party Solicitations Process Improvements Staff Proposal prepared by CPUC Energy Division Staff.  Opening Comments were submitted on August 9, and Reply Comments on August 16.

On July 20, BayREN submitted a Motion seeking clarification that the Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements (BAMBE) Program is not subject to the custom project review process.  Responses to the Motion were submitted on August 4.

2024-2031 Energy Efficiency Business Plans and 2024-2027 Portfolio Plans (A.22-02-005, et al.)

On February 15, PG&E submitted its Application for Approval of 2024-2031 EE Strategic Business Plan and 2024-2027 Portfolio Plan.  On March 4, 2022, BayREN (A.22-03-003), 3C-REN (A.22-03-004), SDG&E (A.22-03-005), SCE (A.22-03-007), SoCalGas (A.22-03-008), SoCalREN (A.22-03-011), and MCE (A.22-03-012) submitted Applications.  In addition, Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) submitted a Motion for Approval of its Energy Efficiency Portfolio Application in R.13-11-005.

A Prehearing Conference was held on May 17.  On May 26, ALJ Kao issued a Ruling Denying the Public Advocates Office’s Motion to Consolidate SCE’s EE Business Plan Application (A.22-03-007) and its Building Electrification Programs Application (A.21-12-009, finding that consolidation would not serve the purposes of judicial economy, conservation of resources, and avoidance of prejudice to any party.

On June 24, Assigned Commissioner Shiroma issued a Scoping Memo.  The issues to be addressed are budget, goals and accountability, segments and programs, third party procurement, statewide programs, portfolio policy issues, and program administrator coordination.  The schedule is as follows:

  • Quarter 2-4, 2022: Rulings and possible workshops on natural gas incentives; third-party solicitation reform; governance of CPUC tools; program administrator coordination; indicators, performance metrics and targets; and other matters raised in the scope of issues.
  • August – September: Comments and Reply Comments on Policy Rulings
  • October 7: Direct Testimony
  • November 7: Rebuttal Testimony
  • November 21: Motion to Request Evidentiary Hearings
  • December 1: Meet and confer
  • December: Potential interim Proposed Decision on policy issues
  • January 30, 2023: Status Conference
  • February 6-17, 2023: Evidentiary Hearings (if needed)
  • April 17, 2023: Opening Briefs
  • May 4, 2023: Reply Briefs
  • Quarter 3, 2023: Proposed Decision

On August 2, ALJ Kao issued a Ruling Inviting Comments on Staff Proposal for Energy Efficiency In­centives and Codes and Standards Sub-Programs and Budgets  The Ruling invites comments on two topics pertaining to the 2024-2031 business plans and 2024-2027 portfolios under consideration.  Attach­ment 1 to the Ruling is the CPUC Energy Division’s EE Natural Gas Incentive Phase Out Staff Proposal.  Opening Comments were due on August 26 and Reply Comments on September 5.

PG&E Clean Energy Optimization Pilot (CEOP) (A.22-03-006)

On May 24, Assigned Commissioner Shiroma issued a Scoping Memo.  The issues to be deter­mined and otherwise considered are:

  1. Whether the CEOP is compliant with applicable statues related to the use of Cap-and-Trade allow­ance revenues for clean energy and energy efficiency projects.
  2. Whether the CEOP meets D.14-10-033’s requirements for clean energy and energy efficiency projects.
  3. Whether there are any safety concerns.
  4. Impacts on environmental and social justice communities.
  5. Whether the CEOP aligns with the goals of the Distributed Energy Resource Action Plan.
  6. Whether funding a portion, or all, of the CEOP through Public Purpose Program funds is just and reasonable.

The remaining schedule is as follows:

  • August 24: Intervenors’ Prepared Direct Testimony
  • September 26: Prepared Rebuttal Testimony
  • October 10: Meet and Confer
  • October 17: Joint Case Management Statement
  • November 7: Evidentiary Hearing
  • December 5: Opening Briefs
  • December 19: Reply Briefs

Building Decarbonization (R,19-01-011)

On April 18, ALJs Tran and Liang-Uejio issued a Ruling that receives into the evidentiary record the responses of PG&E, SoCalGas, SDG&E, and Southwest Gas to Energy Division’s March 14 Data Request.  It also addresses the final common outline parties shall use for briefs.  Opening Briefs were submitted on May 4 and Reply Briefs on May 18.

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

On April 26, ALJ Hymes issued a Ruling that establishes the schedule for Phase II of this rule­making and provides guidance to parties on the contents of Opening Testimony for this phase. Opening Testimony shall be served on September 30 and Reply Testimony on October 21. The ruling notifies parties that a second workshop to continue discussion on distribution upgrades cost-sharing proposals will be held re­motely on June 3.

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

On April 18, ALJ Wang issued a Ruling which requested comments on how to calculate certain Market Price Benchmarks (MPB) for the PCIA.  Opening Comments on the RPS MPB calculation were submit­ted on April 28 and Reply Comments on May 12.  Proposals for calculating the Energy Index MPB were submitted on May 27, Comments on the Energy Index MPB were submitted on June 16 and Reply Comments on June 30.

On June 10, ALJ Wang issued a Proposed Decision that establishes a standard process for reviewing rep­resentatives of community choice aggregators (CCAs) to access confi­den­tial Energy Resource Recovery Account (ERRA) data for the purpose of developing PCIA forecasts, and to disclose non-confidential analyses of PCIA forecasts to CCAs.  The Proposed Decision also confirms that the CPUC’s Staff should exclude Voluntary Allocations from calculations of the RPS Market Price benchmark.  The proceeding remains open.  Opening Comments were submitted on June 30 and Reply Comments on July 5.

Disconnections (R.18-07-005)

On July 15, Assigned Commissioner Houck issued a Phase 2 Scoping Memo and Ruling.  The issues to be considered in Phase 2 are: Arrearage Management Plan (AMP), Community-Based Organization (CBO) Pilot, Long-Term Payment Plans, Medical Baseline Study, and Future Percentage of Income Payment Plans (PIPPs).  Opening Comments on the Scoping Memo were submitted on August 5.

On July 18, ALJ Wang issued a Phase 1-A Proposed Decision Establishing Residential Disconnection Protections for Small and Multi-Jurisdictional Utilities.  The Proposed Decision orders Southwest Gas Company, Liberty Utilities, Bear Valley Electric Service, PacifiCorp, Alpine Natural Gas, and West Coast Gas to implement the following residential customer protections and reporting requirements to reduce disconnections and ease reconnections of residential service:

  • Establishes a residential disconnections rate cap for each small and multi-jurisdictional utility based on its average disconnection rate between 2017 through 2019.
  • Adopts residential customer protections arising from D.18-12-013 and Ordering Paragraph 1 of D.20-06-003, including severe weather safety provisions.
  • Prohibits establishment of credit deposits for new residential service and reestablishment of residen­tial service deposits.
  • Prohibits residential reconnection fees.
  • Requires these utilities to provide quarterly reports on residential arrears and disconnections data for two years following this decision.

Opening Comments were submitted on August 8 and Reply Comments on August 15.

Affordability (R.18-07-006)

On June 10, Commissioner Houck issued a Proposed Decision Implementing the Affordability Metrics.  D.20-07-032 adopted three metrics: the Affordability Ratio, Hours-at-Minimum Wage, and Socio­economic Vulnerability Index, by which the CPUC would assess the relative affordability of essential utility service across industries and proceedings, including examination of how different geographic areas of California are impacted.  The PD directs when and how the affordability framework will be applied in CPUC proceedings and further develops the tools and methodologies used to calculate these affordability metrics.  Opening Comments were submitted on June 30 and Reply Comments on July 8.  The Second Revised Proposed Decision was adopted at the August 4 CPUC Business Meeting.

Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) (R.18-07-017)

On June 10, the CPUC issued D.22-06-003, a Decision Adopting Provisions in the New Qualifying Facil­ity (QF) Standard Offer Contract (SOC) for Storage-Paired PURPA QFs.  The Decision addresses issues regarding QFs that consist of small power production facilities paired with storage configurations, consis­tent with PURPA.

Additional proceedings tracked, but where there has been little or no recent activity:

  • 13-09-011: Demand Response
  • 18-04-019: Climate Change Adaptation
  • 21-02-014: COVID-19 Debt (closed)