Tag Archives: Utilities

SCE Continues Encouraging Solar Development

Southern California Edison (SCE) this week issued a press release that describes the utility’s ongoing efforts to encourage and support the development and interconnection of solar projects within its service territory.

According to the release, SCE has about 125,000 rooftop solar systems installed in its territory, totaling more than 1,000 megawatts. Those systems include residential and non-residential installations, as well as some utility-owned projects. Nearly 600 megawatts are from residential projects.

Adding to those totals, SCE also recently announced that the California Public Utilities Commission has approved 22 projects totaling 42.6 megawatts of direct current power from the utility’s fourth solicitation to obtain electricity from independent power producers as part of its Solar Photovoltaic Program (SPVP).

Read the full press release from Southern California Edison

California’s Major Residential Rate Reform: The Solar-Friendly Alternative

By Jeff St. John, Greentech Media

Last month, the California Public Utilities Commission proposed a new regime for how most of the state’s residential customers are charged for their electricity, including some major changes that could have a negative effect on the economics of rooftop solar power and household energy efficiency.

On Friday, CPUC Commissioner Mike Florio offered his own Alternate Proposed Decision (PDF) aimed at avoiding some of these effects, while still meeting the terms of the rate reforms called for by 2013 state law AB 327. In simple terms, Florio’s rate proposal does two things differently, both aligned with what most solar, efficiency and environmental groups have been asking for.

  • The first difference has to do with changes to California’s four-tier monthly rate structures, which can vary from about 13 cents per kilowatt-hour for the lowest tier to as high as 42 cents per kilowatt-hour for the highest tier. Last month’s proposal would allow the state’s big three utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, to move to a two-tier system with only a 20 percent difference between the top and bottom tiers. But Florio’s proposal would keep three tiers instead, and leave a wider 33 percent differential between the top and bottom rates.
  • The second big difference with Florio’s proposal has to do with minimum monthly charges on customers bills. Last month’s proposal would allow a minimum bill of up to $10 per month through 2019, and then allow a fixed charge to be imposed instead. Florio’s alternate proposal keeps the minimum bill, but rejects the idea that a fixed charge could ever take its place — a subtle yet important difference that can shore up the value of solar and efficiency for customers with smaller monthly bills.
  • Florio’s alternate proposal does keep one important idea from its predecessor proposal in place, however — the switch to time-of-use (TOU) rates. Both plans would require the state’s big three utilities to start TOU pilots by next year, and to file proposals by the end of 2017 to move to a default TOU rate structure by 2019.

This chart outlines the key differences between last month’s proposal and Florio’s alternate proposal.

Both proposals are set to be considered by commissioners at the CPUC’s June 25 meeting.

Read full article from Greentech Media