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:

Advocacy at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

Summary of CEERT’s Advocacy at the CPUC

CEERT has been particularly active in the General Order 131-D (R.23-05-018), Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) (R.20-05-003), Resource Ade­quacy (R.21-10-002/R.23-10-011), and Demand Flexibility (R.20-07-005) proceedings.

CPUC Transmission Planning

General Order 131-D (R.23-05-018)

On September 8, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) submitted a Notice of Settlement Con­fer­ence.  The Settlement Conference, which CEERT attended, was held on September 20.  On September 29, SDG&E, Southern California Edison Company (SCE), and Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) (collectively, the Joint Parties) submitted a Joint Motion for: 1) Modification of the Scoping Memo and Setting Aside Submittal of this Proceeding for Consideration of a Phase 1 Settlement Pro­posal; and 2) an Order Shortening Time for Comments and Reply Comments on the Settlement Proposal.  On the same date, the Joint Parties submitted a Joint Motion for Adoption of Phase 1 Settlement Agree­ment.  Parties submitted comments on the Phase 1 Settlement on October 30.

On October 26, Commissioner Reynolds issued a Proposed Decision Addressing Phase 1 Issues.  The Proposed Decision (PD) adopts modifications to CPUC General Order (GO) 131-D to conform it to the requirements of Senate Bill (SB) 529 and to correct outdated references.  The PD modifies GO 131-D as demonstrated in Attachment A to the PD.  Opening Comments on the PD were filed on November 15 and Reply Comments on November 20.

On November 14, CEERT submitted Opening Comments, arguing that the PD errs in failing to acknow­ledge the appropriately filed and broadly supported Phase 1 Joint Settlement Agreement, and must be mod­ified to direct the Amendment of the Scoping Memo to timely consider the Joint Settlement Agree­ment.  Parties submitted Reply Comments on November 20.  On December 18, the CPUC issued final decision D.23-12-035.

On December 18, Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) Park and Mutialu issued a Ruling Inviting Com­ment on Phase 2 Issues.  Phase 2 will address additional changes to GO 131-D that are needed and a Staff Proposal addressing Phase 2 issues is expected to be issued in the first quarter of 2024.  On January 10, ALJ Park issued a Ruling that extended the due dates of Opening Comments to February 5 and Reply Com­ments to February 26.

On January 17, the Protect Our Communities Foundation (PCF) submitted an Application for Rehearing (AFR) of D.23-12-035, arguing that the Decision violates SB 529 mandates because the opening clause of the added paragraph limits application of the Permit to Construct (PTC) process to projects of 200 KV or more that require a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN).  The CPUC must adhere to legislative directives and must oversee the utilities’ construction projects.  Responses to the AFR were submitted on February 1.

CPUC Energy Planning and Procurement and Resource Adequacy

Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) (R.20-05-003)

On August 1, numerous load-serving entities (LSEs) submitted their 2023 IRP Compliance Reports, then provided updated Compliance Reports on October 16.  On December 1, several entities submitted their December 1 IRP Compliance Reports.

Amended Scoping Memo

On August 21, Assigned Commissioner Alice Reynolds issued an Amended Scoping Memo and Ruling addressing issues that remain pending, as well as new issues.  The schedule is reflected above and the issues to be discussed are as follows:

  • Development and adoption of the 2023 Preferred System Plan (PSP), based on individual IRP submissions from November 2022;
  • Transmittal of portfolios to the CAISO for use in transmission planning, including for the 2024-2025 Transmission Planning Process (TPP);
  • Development of the Reliable and Clean Power Procurement Program (RCPPP);
  • Periodic updating of the Inputs and Assumptions (I&A) for IRP modeling for multiple purposes;
  • Crafting of policies to encourage procurement of certain long lead-time (LLT) resources necessary to achieve California’s long-term clean energy and GHG reduction goals; and
  • Other continuing and remaining issues.

ALJ Ruling Seeking Comment on Proposed 2023 Preferred System Plan (PSP) and TPP Portfolios

On October 5, ALJ Fitch issued a Ruling Seeking Comment on the Proposed 2023 Preferred System Plan and Transmission Planning Process (TPP) Portfolios, asking for input on a package of materials pro­posed to be part of the 2023 PSP and portfolio to be sent to the CAISO for analysis in its 2024-2025 TPP, and to give direc­tion to LSEs on their procurement activities and their next round of individual IRPs.

The Ruling recommends that the CPUC adopt the aggregated portfolio that is based on plan­ning to a GHG target for the electricity sector of 25 million metric tons (MMT) by 2035.  In addition, the Ruling recom­mends that the CAISO analyze a high gas-retirement sensitivity, which represents the closure of over 15 GW of existing natural gas generation.

On November 13, CEERT submitted Opening Comments supporting the Ruling’s recommendations to adopt the 25 MMT core portfolio for the 2023 PSP.  We further recommended that a new sensi­tiv­ity case be developed that is compliant with SB 887 and will analyze the locations of natural gas retirements and local reliability impacts.  CEERT reiterated its concerns about the RESOLVE model and argued that the CPUC should solicit an alternative tool for capacity expansion modeling.  We recommended that the CPUC prioritize the development of programmatic procurement and requested that the cost of long lead-time resources be refined.  In addition, we urged the CPUC to clarify its proposed approach to assur­ing reliability in the IRP program and the RA program.

On December 1, CEERT submitted Reply Comments, noting that we were one of sev­eral parties sup­porting the adoption of the 25 MMT core portfolio as the PSP.  We reiterated our rec­om­mendation that a new sensitivity case be developed to eliminate natural gas plants at specific bus­bars adjacent to disadvan­taged communities in the Los Angeles basin for use in transmission model­ing.  And we again urged the CPUC to evaluate new modeling options due to numerous issues with RESOLVE.

Decision Granting Petition for Modification (PFM) on Modified Cost Allocation Mechanism (MCAM)

On December 19, the CPUC issued D.23-12-014, a Decision granting the PFM of D.22-05-015 filed jointly by San Diego Community Power and the Clean Energy Alliance on October 28, 2022.  D.22-05-015 adopted the MCAM, which allocates costs for electricity procure­ment by investor-owned utilities on behalf of non-utility LSEs.  The PFM asks the CPUC to use the year-ahead load forecast instead of the actual load being served as the basis for the one-time provision in D.22-05-015 for purchase of resource adequacy capacity.  Any non-utility LSE may elect to pur­chase additional capacity as a result of this decision, but entities with existing agree­ments are not required to do so.

Proposed Decision Adopting 2023 Preferred System Plan (PSP) and Related Matters, and Addressing PFMs

On January 10, ALJ Fitch issued a Proposed Decision (PD) Adopting 2023 PSP and Related Matters, and Ad­dress­ing Two PFMs.  The PD evaluates the 2022 IRP filings of all LSEs under the CPUC’s IRP purview.

The PD adopts a PSP portfolio that meets a statewide 25 MMT GHG target for the electric sector in 2035.  This portfolio was first developed by aggregating the individual IRPs of all LSEs, reflecting the resource preferences of those LSEs through 2035.  CPUC staff then augmented the resources using modeling analysis to ensure reliability standards and GHG targets were met through 2035, and to extend the resource planning timeframe out to 2039 for trans­mission planning purposes.

This proposed PSP portfolio reduces emissions by 28 MMT in 2035 compared to the 2020 electric sector emissions in the CAISO’s area, equaling a 58% reduction. By 2045, the proposed portfolio reduces emis­sions by 85% and achieves a level of 113% clean energy, based on SB 100’s 100% goal for 2045.  (The clean energy level can exceed 100% because it is based on retail sales and includes exported energy.)

The PD recommends to the CAISO that the 25 MMT PSP portfolio be used as both the reliability base case and the policy-driven base case for study in its 2024-2025 TPP, and further recommends that the CAISO analyze a policy-driven sensitivity case to test the transmission buildout needed for a grid stress case under which 15 gigawatts of natural gas generation resources are retired by 2039.

The PD also addresses two PFMs of earlier procurement decisions in this proceeding:  D.21-06-035 and D.23-02-040. The first PFM was filed jointly by SCE and PG&E, seeking a two-year extension on the energy required to be procured in D.21-06-035 to partially replace the attributes of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. The SCE and PG&E PFM was denied in this PD primarily due to concerns about system reliability and equity among LSEs.

The second PFM was filed jointly by California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA) and Western Power Trading Forum (WPTF), seeking modifications to D.23-02-040 and D.21-06-035, to allow extension of deadlines for procurement of long lead-time (LLT) resources when certain conditions are met. The CESA and WPTF PFM is granted, in part, with modifications.  LSEs that require an extension to bring online the required LLT resources beyond the June 1, 2028 deadline must procure generic capacity to cover the shortfall, and still bring online LLT resources no later than June 1, 2031.

The PD also formally adopts high-level aspects of the reliability framework for IRP that has been used in this proceeding throughout the past two years, including a 0.1 loss of load expectation (LOLE) standard for determining reliability need, a planning reserve margin (PRM) based on gross peak, and resource counting conventions using marginal effective load-carrying capability (ELCC) analysis that is updated periodically. Finally, the PD makes reimbursable funding available to CPUC staff for consulting re­sources to continue to support the IRP process for the next six years.

On January 30, CEERT submitted Opening Comments supporting the adoption of the 25 MMT core portfolio as the PSP to be used in the reliability and policy-driven base case for the 2024-2025 TPP and the high gas-retirement scenario as a policy-driven sensitivity for the 2024-2025 TPP.  CEERT also sup­ported maintaining 1.6 GW of offshore wind mapped to the North Coast (Humboldt) area.  We held that the PD correctly denies the Petition for Modification related to Diablo Canyon replacement resources and correctly grants compliance extension for long lead-time resources beyond 2028.

CEERT also supports the adoption of a 0.1 LOLE reliability standard, a PRM based on gross peak and the use of ELCC analysis, but only as an interim approach.  We continue to have concerns about using RESOLVE and SERVM for capacity expansion and production cost modeling.  We challenged Finding of Fact 19 that there is a reliability risk in the summer of 2025 because it is not supported by the record.

Lastly, the PD denies two of CEERT’s recommendations—development of more granu­lar and deeper assump­tions for distributed energy resources (DERs) and addressing cost uncertainties for all resource types by modeling low, medium, and high sensitivities.  However, we are pleased the PD states that these recom­men­da­tions will be considered in the next IRP cycle.

Reply Comments were due February 5.

Resource Adequacy (RA) (R.21-10-002/R.23-10-011)

Joint Parties’ Application for Rehearing (AFR) and Joint Motion

As previously reported, CEERT joined the California Efficiency + Demand Management Council, CPower, Enel X, Leapfrog Power, and OhmConnect (the Joint Parties) in submitting a Joint AFR and Joint Motion for Partial Stay of Decision 23-06-029 due to the numer­ous errors con­tained in the decision, which wrongly impose significant and unsupported ad­verse impacts on demand response (DR), particu­larly as it pertains to third-party DR providers.  On August 20, California Large Energy Consumers Asso­ciation (CLECA) submitted a Response in Sup­port of the Application for Rehearing and a Response in Support of the Motion for Partial Stay.  CLECA agreed with the Joint Parties’ concerns about D.23-06-029 and its adverse impacts on Reliability Demand Response Re­sources (RDRR) and the Base Inter­rupt­ible Program.  CLECA also supported the request for oral argument.

On December 18, the CPUC issued  D.23-12-038, an Order denying the Joint Parties’ AFR and Motion for Partial Stay.  It also denies California Community Choice Association’s (CalCCA’s) AFR and Shell and AReM’s AFR, and denies the Joint Parties’ request for oral argument.  Below is a summary of the CPUC’s discussion on the Joint Parties’ AFR.

As to conflict between D.23-06-029 and D.16-09-056, the CPUC contended there were no “spe­cific alle­gations” about how the CPUC violated any rule or law to support the claim that the Decision un­lawfully continues to favor investor-owned utility (IOU) DR.  The CPUC claimed D.16-09-056 states that DR shall evolve to complement the continuous changing needs of the grid, and “[b]y ensur­ing that rate­payers do not pay twice for third-party DR and by adjusting DR programs as necessary based on the record to ensure grid needs are met by demand response products, the Commission is complying with statutory and decisional law.”

The CPUC claimed the overriding objective is for RDRR to be available to mitigate or avoid an emer­gency grid reliability situation.  The Order stated that while CAISO recognizes this approach may result in more frequent dispatch of RDRR than in the past, DR use limita­tions will continue to be respected.

The CPUC claimed Energy Division’s proposal pointed out that no other distribution-connected resources receive a transmission adder, so there is an inconsistency between the treatment of DR and other re­sources at this time.  As to the Planning Reserve Margin (PRM), Energy Division asserted that while the current PRM adder accounts for forecast error and forced outages, DR does not lower either factor be­cause if the CAISO does not procure to meet load, there would be no DR load to cur­tail.  The Order further stated that “removal of the adders starts in 2024, giving DR providers time to decide to provide RA capacity or not based on the new terms.”

The CPUC contended the Joint Parties had not shown that the additional requirements will not pro­vide additional Proxy DR availability as expected, and that derating of DR qualifying capacity had not been shown to be discriminatory or to constitute a retroactive sanction for third-party DR.  The CPUC made a policy adjustment based on the record in further of its statutory duty, and acted “within our discretion.”

CLECA Petition for Modification

On August 24, CLECA submitted a Petition for Modification (PFM) of D.23-06-029, arguing that D.23-06-029 should be modified to clarify that only economic bids are allowed to be enabled during day-of EEA Watch conditions, to defer implementation of the RDRR dispatch until the CAISO tariff is changed to accurately reflect the physical characteristics of RDRR customers, and to allow Base Interruptible Program (BIP) participants to opt out or change their firm service level now.

On September 25, the Joint Parties submitted a Response to the PFM, supporting CLECA’s continu­ing efforts to rectify the legal and factual errors committed by D.23-06-029 and reverse its harmful effects.  Along with the Joint Parties, PG&E, SCE, and CAISO submitted Responses.  On October 3, CLECA submitted a Reply to the Responses to the PFM.

On January 26, ALJ Chiv issued a Proposed Decision Denying CLECA’s Petition for Modification of Decision 23-06-029.  The PD claims that the PFM pro­vides insufficient basis and contains no new facts that would warrant modification of D.23-06-029.  Opening Comments are due on February 15 and Reply Comments on February 20.

New RA Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR) – R.23-10-011

On October 19, the CPUC issued a new Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR) to Oversee the Resource Adequacy Program, Consider Program Reforms and Refinements, and Establish Forward Resource Adequacy Procurement Obligations.  The Assigned Commissioner is Commission President Alice Reynolds and the Assigned ALJ is ALJ Chiv.

On November 8, CEERT submitted Opening Comments arguing that the scope of the proceeding should address and rectify the numerous errors contained in D.23-06-029 if the pending Joint Application for Rehearing and Joint Motion for Partial Stay are not granted.  We held that the scope of this proceeding should ensure further examination of a monthly Planning Reserve Margin (PRM) for Slice-of-Day (SOD) implementation, and that coordination between the RA and IRP proceedings should include evaluation of the reliability framework for IRP modeling.

On November 20, CEERT submitted Reply Comments on the OIR and agreed with parties urging that the scope of the proceeding address the issues contained in D.23-06-029.  CEERT also supported parties rec­om­mending consideration of additional DR requirements in this rulemaking.  Multiple parties, including CEERT, supported coordination with the IRP proceeding.

On November 21, ALJ Chiv held a Prehearing Conference.  CEERT’s party status was confirmed, and the Transcript can be found here.

On December 18, CPUC President Alice Reynolds issued a Scoping Memo dividing the rulemaking into three tracks.  Track 1 is expected to conclude by the end of June 2024, and will cover the follow­ing issues: (1) adoption of 2025-2027 Local Capacity Requirements (LCR), (2) adoption of the 2025 Flexible Capacity Requirements (FCR), (3) 24-hour slice-of-day (SOD) framework (including the SOD planning reserve margin), (4) Unforced Capacity Methodology, (5) Demand Response Load Impact Protocols,
(6) RA compliance and penalties, and (7) other time-sensitive issues.

Track 2 will cover the central procurement entity framework, loss of load study, planning reserve margin (PRM), and coor­di­nation with the IRP proceeding, and is expected to conclude by the end of December.  Track 3 will consider system and flexible capacity requirements for the 2026 and 2027 pro­gram years and the 2026-2028 local RA requirements.  Track 3 will also consider refinements to the CEC’s incentive-based supply-side DR QC proposal to be submitted in December 2024, including testing requirements and requirements to market integrated IOU DR programs.

Track 1 Proposal

On January 19, CEERT and the California Efficiency + Demand Management Council submitted a Track 1 Proposal.  CEERT and the Council urged the CPUC to address one of the most time-sensitive issues in this proceeding:  the treatment of DR resources, particularly those negatively impacted by D.23-06-029.  CEERT and the Council proposed that Track 1: (1) schedule testimony and evidentiary hearings to con­sider and address the negative impacts that D.23-06-029 has had on Supply-Side DR and DR providers since issuance of the decision, (2) evaluate the merits of any other CPUC RA DR Supply-Side DR rule changes that the CPUC is planning to undertake in Track 1, and (3) permit parties to submit responsive proposals that identify, limit, and reverse negative effects of those rules.

Demand Flexibility (R.22-07-005)

Joint Motion for Public Participation Hearings

As previously reported, on July 13, CEERT, the Council, California Solar & Storage Association, Clean Coalition, Solar Energy Industries Association, and Utility Consumers’ Action Network (the Joint Parties) submitted a Joint Motion for Public Participation Hearings.  SDG&E submitted a Response to that Motion on July 28.  The Joint Parties submitted a Joint Reply on August 7.

The Joint Parties argued that Public Participation Hearings are not “unique” in rulemakings and are not limited to utility rate applications; and that the Public Participation Hearings in this proceeding are not “premature,” and must be appropriately scoped by the CPUC, not the utilities, and timely sched­uled for needed public input.  On August 15, ALJ Wang issued a Ruling denying the Motion for Public Partici­pa­tion Hearings, and stating that it is too late in the proceeding to hold such Hearings and the Commission has already received significant public comments.

Track A Activities (Income Graduated Fixed Charges (IGFCs)

A Meet-and-Confer session was held on August 2.  On August 11, PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E sub­mitted a Joint Case Management Statement for Track A that provided a list of stipu­lated facts, status of settlement negotiations, and party positions on whether hearings are required.

On August 22, ALJ Wang issued a Ruling on the Track A Procedural Schedule, Opening Briefs Guid­ance, and Exhibits.  Opening Briefs were submitted on October 6 and Reply Briefs on November 3.

On December 18, ALJ Wang issued a Ruling that directed PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E to file by January 24 addi­tional information about the proposed budgets for implementing the first income-graduated fixed charges.  The Ruling also invited party comments by January 24 on the timing of implementation for the first income-graduated fixed charges.  Reply Comments are due February 12.

Track B Activities (Pilot Expansion)

On August 15, ALJ Wang issued a Ruling on Track B Staff Proposal to Expand Existing Pilots.  Attach­ment A is the Staff Proposal on Existing Dynamic Rate Pilot Expansion and Attachment B is the Prelimi­nary Assessment of VCE’s Agricultural Pumping Dynamic Rate Pilot.  Parties submitted Opening Com­ments on September 25 and Reply Comments on October 2.

On October 3, ALJ Wang issued a Ruling directing SCE, PG&E and community choice aggregators to provide additional information about their proposed budgets for expanded pilots by October 13.  Parties submitted comments on October 25.

Track B Working Group proposals were submitted on October 11.  Opening Comments on the Track B Working Group proposals were submitted on November 13 and Reply Comments on December 22.

On January 26, the CPUC issued D.24-01-032, a Decision that directs PG&E and SCE to expand the demand flexibility pilots authorized in D.21-12-015 to provide summer reliability benefits between June 1, 2024, and December 31, 2027.  The decision directs PG&E to expand the Valley Clean Energy Alli­ance agricultural pumping dynamic rate pilot and SCE to expand its dynamic rate pilot for residential, commercial, and industrial customers.

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

On August 24, ALJ Toy issued a Ruling Canceling Evidentiary Hearings and Setting Dates for a Phase II DRAM Briefing.  Opening Briefs were submitted on October 2 and Reply Briefs on November 3.

On December 20, the CPUC issued D.23-12-005, a Decision Directing Certain Investor-Owned Utilities’ Demand Response Programs, Pilots, and Budgets for the Years 2024-2027.  The proceeding remains open to address outstanding DR Auction Mechanism issues, which will be addressed in a separate PD.

Customer DER (R.22-11-013)

On August 8, ALJ Lau issued a Ruling Issuing the 2024 Avoided Cost Calculator (ACC) Staff Proposal for Party Input.  Attachment A to the Ruling is the Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 2024 ACC Staff Proposal.  Opening Testimony on issues related to the 2024 ACC was submitted on October 30 and Rebuttal Testimony on November 20.  Evidentiary Hearings on this issue were held January 23-25.  Tran­scripts for the Evidentiary Hearings can be found here: Day One, Day Two, and Day Three.

On December 8, the CPUC issued D.23-11-087, a Decision Authorizing an Additional $250,000 for the 2024 ACC Update and Future ACC Updates.  On December 1, Assigned Commissioner Houck issued a Ruling Setting the Scope of Work for the Consultant, Scope of Work for the Data Working Group, and Formation of the Working Group.

On December 8, ALJ Lau issued a Ruling Requesting Party Comments on a study CPUC staff will be conducting to analyze avoided transmission and distribution costs.  Opening Comments on the Ruling were submitted on December 22 and Reply Comments on January 5.

CPUC Gas System and Grid Initiatives

Aliso Canyon (I.17-02-002)

On July 28, ALJ Zhang issued a Proposed Decision Granting in Part and Denying in Part the Joint Petition for Modification of Decision 21-11-008.   The PD modifies Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Ordering Paragraphs in D.21-11-008 to reflect the increase of the interim storage limit of working gas at Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility to 68.6 billion cubic feet (bcf).

On August 17, CEERT, Dr. Issam Najm, the Protect Our Communities Foundation, and Utility Consum­ers’ Action Network (Joint Parties) submitted Opening Comments on the PD, arguing that Aliso Canyon remains unsafe and the maximum storage volume should be maintained at 41.16 bcf.  On August 22, the Joint Parties submitted Reply Comments reiterating their contention that the maximum storage volume should not be increased.  On September 6, the CPUC issued D.23-08-050, a Decision Granting in Part and Denying in Part the Joint Petition, and increasing the interim storage limit of working gas to 68.6 bcf.

On December 5, ALJ Zhang issued a Ruling that ordered supplemental testimony on the potential addi­tion of an economic factor to the biennial assessment proposed in the September 2022 Staff Proposal.  Supple­mental Opening Testimony was submitted on December 19; Supplemental Rebuttal Testi­mony was submitted on January 16, and Supplemental Sur-Rebuttal Testimony was submitted on January 22.

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

On December 21, the CPUC issued D.23-12-003, which adopts review criteria and information require­ments for gas utility applications proposing to repair or replace transmission pipeline infrastructure, in­clud­ing criteria to determine when declining demand can enable transmission pipelines to be derated or decommissioned without adversely impacting reliability.  It requires gas utilities to provide an informa­tion-only submittal describing planned transmission pipeline derations.

This decision does not adopt new definitions of “transmission pipeline” or “distribution pipeline.” In­stead, it reinforces that gas utilities must continue to comply with CPUC General Order 112-F require­ments to align with Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration definitions of these terms as most recently set forth in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 49 Part 192.3.

The decision adopts a proposal by PG&E to update its definition of the term “transmission [pipe]line” and related terms in alignment with 49 CFR Part 192.3.1, which results in the reclassification of some 600 miles of PG&E transmission pipeline as distribution pipeline. The decision also finds that natural gas storage facilities are necessary for reliability and cost management at this time.

Microgrids (R.19-09-009)

On August 8, ALJ Rizzo issued a Ruling Ordering PG&E, SDG&E, and SCE to Draft a Microgrid Multi-Property Tariff (MMPT), and on October 9, PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E submitted a draft, sample pro-forma stand­ard MMPT.  Opening Comments were submitted on October 27 and Reply Comments on November 10.

On October 6, the Joint Parties (Green Power Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, the Climate Cen­ter, and Microgrid Resources Coalition) submitted a Motion to Amend Track Five Scoping Memo and Rul­ing.  On October 23, Assigned Commissioner Shiroma and Assigned ALJ Rizzo issued a Ruling deny­ing the motion but modifying the Track 5 activities schedule.

On December 15, several parties submitted their Pro-Forma Standard Microgrid Multi-Property Tariffs.  Opening Comments were submitted on January 12 and Reply Comments on January 26.

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

On November 17, ALJ Fortune issued a Ruling that set dates for Opening and Reply Comments on a November 14 status conference, which was held to discuss two issues: (1) the Center for Sustainable Energy’s Motion for a budget reconciliation with SDG&E on authorized budget amounts and carryover funding, and (2) the structure necessary to create new statewide program administrator(s) for the SGIP that would serve customers of publicly owned utilities.  Opening Comments were submitted on Novem­ber 27 and Reply Comments on December 4.

On December 21, the CPUC issued D.23-12-004, which modifies the existing heat pump water heater program in D.22-04-036 to expand program eligibility.

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

On August 11, Assigned Commissioner Shiroma issued an Amended Scoping Memo and Ruling.  The issues in this proceeding are: Track 1 (Distribution Planning and Execution Process and Data Improve­ments), Track 2 (Distribution System Operational Needs and System Operator Roles and Responsibili­ties), and Track 3 (Smart Inverter Operationalization and Grid Modernization Planning).

On October 17, ALJ Hymes issued a Ruling that grants the Motion of the Public Advocates Office (Cal Advocates) re­quest­ing to admit its Distribution Grid Electrification Moel (DGEM) Study and Report in the R.21-06-017record, grants the request by PG&E and SCE to allow parties to comment on the DGEM Study and Report, and establishes a schedule for such comments.  Opening Comments on the DGEM Study and Report were submitted on October 31 and Reply Comments on November 7.

On January 18, PG&E submitted a Motion to Authorize Certain Distribution Planning Tool Costs and Integration Capacity Analysis Costs to be Recorded to the Distribution Resource Plan Tools Memoran­dum Account.  Responses are due on February 2.

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 we continue to track them in anticipation of participating now or in the future.

Because these proceedings were not the focus of CEERT’s efforts in August – December of 2023, only limited information about them is provided here, but is available from CEERT’s regula­tory counsel, Megan Myers ( or Sara Myers at (  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 November 22, the CPUC issued D.23-11-068, which addressed the remaining six issues of the NEM proceeding.  Following up on the modernization of net metering in D.22-12-056, this decision adopted a virtual net billing tariff that, in several respects, mirrors the net billing tariff adopted in D.22-12-056 and balances the requirements of P.U. Code §2827.1 and the Guiding Principles adopted in D.21-02-007.  The decision adopted an aggregation net billing subtariff that also mirrors the net billing tariff but maintains the credit and debit approach used in the existing NEM aggregation subtariff, and it established the pro­cess for an evaluation of the net billing tariff, virtual net billing tariff, and aggre­gation net billing sub­tariff.  The decision also closed the proceeding.  Six applications for rehearing (AFRs) were filed on December 22, and responses to some of the AFRs were submitted on January 8.

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

On August 29, LSEs submitted their Draft 2023 RPS Procurement Plans, and on January 22, numerous parties submitted their Final 2023 RPS Procurement Plans.

On October 18, the CPUC issued D.23-10-006, which denies the October 8, 2021 petition for modifi­ca­tion (PFM) filed by Burning Daylight, JTN Energy, Reido Farms, and Vote Solar of D.20-10-005 (Deci­sion Resuming and Modifying the Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT) Program).    How­ever, the proceeding may consider further changes to the ReMAT Program as data on the revised pro­gram’s performance and other RPS procurement (including CCAs’ and ESPs’) becomes available.

On December 21, the CPUC issued D.23-12-008 on 2023 RPS Procurement Plans.  The decision adopted, with modifications, the Draft 2023 RPS Plans of the large IOUs, small and multi-jurisdictional utilities, community choice aggregators (CCAs), and electric service providers (ESPs).  The Final 2023 RPS Plans are due no later than 30 days following the issuance of this decision.

On January 25, 2024, the CPUC issued D.24-01-033, which denies the October 4, 2017 PFM of D.14-12-081 (Decision Implementing Senate Bill 1122) filed by the Bioenergy Association of California (BAC).  BAC requested modification of D.24-12-081 to remove or extend the Bioenergy Market Adjusting Tariff (BioMAT) program end date to 2025 and to add measures to expedite interconnection for BioMAT projects.  These matters have been addressed in D.20-08-043 issued in this RPS proceeding.

On February 1, the CPUC issued R.24-01-017, an Order Instituting Rulemaking to Continue Imple­men­tation and Administration, and Consider Further Development, of California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program.  R.18-07-003 remains open only to consider filings related to the retail sellers’ final 2023 RPS Procurement Plans.  Opening Comments on the OIR are due on March 4 and Reply Comments on March 14.

Diablo Canyon (R.23-01-007)

On August 8, several parties submitted a Joint Statement Following Rule 13.9 Meet and Confer.  On August 14, ALJ Seybert issued a Ruling Granting Motions to Hold Phase 1: Track 2 Evidentiary Hearings and/or Submit Briefs, and Providing Further Instruction.  Evidentiary Hearings were held on September 5, 6 and 7.  Opening Briefs were submitted on September 15 and Reply Briefs on September 29.

On August 14, the CPUC issued D.23-08-004, a Decision Addressing Funding for the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee (DCISC).  The decision updated compensation to the members of the DCISC as follows:  each member shall receive an annual retainer of $10,800; each member shall receive an hourly fee of $270 both for attendance at DCISC meetings and for DCISC work performed outside of Committee meetings in excess of 40 hours per year; and each member shall receive reimbursement of expenses in performance of DCISC work.

On September 26, ALJ Seybert issued a Ruling Incorporating the CEC’s Draft Senate Bill 846 Diablo Canyon Power Plant Extension Cost Comparison into the Proceeding Record, attached to the Ruling as Attachment 1.  Opening Comments were submitted on October 6; Reply Comments were not accepted.  Oral argument was held on November 7 and a transcript can be found here.

On December 15, the CPUC issued D.23-12-036, a Decision Conditionally Approving Extended Opera­tions at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant (DCPP) Pursuant to Senate Bill 846, and directing and au­thor­izing extended operations at DCPP until October 31, 2029 (Unit 1) and October 31, 2030 (Unit 2).

The approval in this decision is subject to the following conditions: (1) the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission continues to authorize DCPP operations; (2) the $1.4 billion loan agreement authorized by SB 846 is not terminated; and (3) the Commission does not make a future determination that DCPP extended operations are imprudent or unreasonable.  Additional processes are established for the CPUC to continue to consider the prudence and cost-effectiveness of extended DCPP operations.

The decision also allocates the costs and benefits of extended DCPP operations among all load-serving entities subject to the CPUC’s jurisdiction; creates a new non-bypassable charge and associated processes to collect DCPP extended operations costs; establishes a new process, similar to the annual Energy Re­source Recovery Account proceedings, to review and authorize DCPP extended operations costs; and pro­vides further direction on the use of surplus performance-based fees.

On January 16, PG&E submitted an Application for Rehearing (AFR) of D.23-12-036 and argued that D.23-12-036 commits legal error by requiring PG&E to obtain CPUC approval before spending operat­ing-risk compensation and by requiring operating-risk compensation to offset actual operating costs over 115% of forecasted costs.  On the same day, Californians for Renewable Energy (CARE) sub­mitted an AFR of the same decision, arguing that the CPUC failed to:  (1) deter­mine if there were adequate new renew­able and zero-carbon resources to replace Diablo Canyon by the end of 2023, (2) de­termine that extend­ing the operation of Diablo Canyon was prudent, (3) determine the true costs of ex­tending Diablo Canyon operations, (4) analyze whether the project was reliable, and (5) de­termine if the project was safe.  Responses to these AFRs were submitted on January 31.

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

On November 17, ALJ Kao issued a Ruling Inviting Comment on the Draft Revised Normalized Metered Energy Consumption (NMEC) Rulebook.  On November 30, ALJ Kao granted an extension request made by SDG&E to extend the due dates of Opening and Reply Comments on this Ruling.  Opening Comments were due on February 29 and Reply Comments on March 15.

On January 5, San Diego Community Power (SDCP) on behalf of the San Diego Regional Energy Net­work (SDREN) submitted a Motion for Approval of the SDREN 2024-2031 Strategic Business Plan, SDREN 2024-2027 Portfolio Plan, Budget, and supporting documents.  On January 18, ALJ Kao granted request of Public Advocates Office for an extension to respond.  Responses were due on February 5.

On January 18, the Association of Bay Area Governments and County of Ventura submitted a Motion Requesting Adoption of Streamlined Processes for Multifamily Projects.  Responses to this Motion were due on February 2.

Transportation Electrification (R.18-12-006/R.23-12-008)

On November 9, the CPUC issued D.23-11-009, a Decision Modifying D.22-11-040 (Decision on Trans­portation Electrification Policy and Investment).  The decision granted SCE’s unopposed Petition for Mod­i­fication in parts, modifying D.22-11-040, and removed the requirement of compliance with state con­tracting requirements by SCE and the Program Administrator.

On November 13, ALJ Poirier issued a Ruling Delaying the Timing of the Vehicle-Grid Integration (VGI) Forums Ordered in D.22-11-040 until Quarter 1, 2024.  The Forums will provide an opportunity for stra­tegic communication, information sharing, discussion of relevant VGI issues, gathering input on VGI topics prior to procedural action, and a venue for stakeholders to raise emerging or persistent VGI issues.

On November 17, CLECA and Energy Producers and Users Coalition (EPUC) (the Joint Parties) sub­mit­ted a PFM requesting that the CPUC modify D.22-11-040 by replacing the equal cents per kWh cost allo­cation methodology with a system average percent change methodology.  They claim this modifica­tion is needed to align the transportation electrification framework with the state’s broader electrification and climate goals, and to address growing reliability constraints.  Responses to the Petition for Modification were submitted on December 18.

On December 20, the CPUC issued an Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR) Regarding Transportation Electrification Policy and Infrastructure and Closing Rulemaking 18-12-006.  The new OIR continues the CPUC’s oversight of infrastructure to support the acceleration of transportation elec­trification.  This rule­making also establishes a venue for considering future transportation electrification policy matters, and may consider the development of rates if a substantial need arises.  Opening Comments on the OIR were submitted on January 19 and Reply Comments were due on February 5. The Prehearing Conference pre­viously scheduled for February 7 has been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a future date.

Disconnections (R.18-07-005)

On August 24, Assigned Commissioner Houck issued a Ruling requesting comments on the pay­ment structure for the proposed Community-Based Organization (CBO) Arrears Case Management Pilot and the large utilities’ disconnection rate caps.  Opening Comments were submitted on September 11 and Reply Comments on September 25.

On January 9, Commissioner Houck issued a Proposed Decision approving a CBO Arrears Case Manage­ment Pilot Program to reduce residential energy service disconnections by PG&E, SCE, SDG&E, and Southern California Gas Company.  The utilities shall contract with CBOs to provide case management services to assist up to 12,000 customers with managing their unpaid bills, enrolling in energy assistance and energy efficiency programs, and arranging bill payment plans.  Within 180 days of the effective date of this decision, the utilities shall award contracts for such assistance to CBOs.  Two years after the effec­tive date of this decision, the pilot program shall conclude.  Opening Comments were submitted on January 29 and Reply Comments were due on February 5.

Building Decarbonization (R,19-01-011)

On November 3, Commissioner Houck issued a Proposed Decision Eliminating Electric Line Extension Subsidies for Mixed-Fuel New Construction and Setting Reporting Requirements.  The PD resolves the outstanding Phase 3B issues and furthers the CPUC’s goal of adopting policies aimed at reducing green­house gas (GHG) emissions associated with energy use in buildings while also furthering California’s goals of reducing economy-wide GHG emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2045 or sooner.

This PD eliminates electric line extension subsidies for all mixed-fuel new construction (building projects that use gas and/or propane in addition to electricity), effective July 1.  Additionally, the rules adopted herein require all mixed-fuel new construction projects to use actual cost billing of an electric line extension rather than estimated cost billing, effective January 1, 2025.  To track the progress of the rule changes and to monitor savings from the elimination of electric line extension subsidies, the decision establishes an annual reporting requirement for California’s three largest electric IOUs beginning May 1.

The PD adopts the same exemption criteria set by the CPUC to grant subsidies for gas line extension proj­ects, as outlined in Decision 22-09-026.  Effective July 1, the new rules will only apply to new appli­ca­tions for electric line extensions in mixed-fuel new constructions.  The PD will not impact upgrade appli­cations for existing facilities, or any applications submitted to the electric IOUs before July 1.  Within 30 days of the effective date of this PD, each IOU shall submit a Tier 2 Advice Letter to revise their respec­tive electric line extension tariffs in compliance with this decision.  The proceeding remains open.  Open­ing Comments were submitted on November 27 and Reply Comments on December 4.  Final Decision D.23-12-037 was issued on December 21.

Affordability (R.18-07-006)

On December 13, Assigned Commissioner Houck issued a Ruling Seeking Annual Feedback on the Imple­mentation of the Affordability Framework.  Opening Comments were submitted on January 25 and Reply Comments are due on February 16.

Additional proceedings tracked, but where there has been little or no activity since our last Quarterly Report, or the proceeding has been closed:

  • 22-03-006: PG&E Clean Energy Optimization Pilot
  • 17-07-007 (Improvements to Rule 21)