After a more than year-long proceeding with significant stakeholder and public comment, today the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted to support reforms to the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA). The PCIA is supposed to protect electricity customers from cost-shifts that can occur when electricity customers switch power providers. The CPUC opened a formal proceeding because the PCIA is not working. Millions of electricity customers who buy power from investor-owned utilities (IOUs) are paying more than they should for investments in clean energy and system reliability while customers served by Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) and other alternative energy providers are not paying their equitable share for investments made on their behalf.
The following is a statement from Juan Novello, Senior Vice President, California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce on behalf of Equitable Energy Choice for Californians (EECC) a coalition of senior, low-income, business, veterans’ and other groups formed to advocate for changes to the PCIA that will put an end to the illegal and unfair cost shifts:
“We applaud CPUC Commissioners for taking up this important issue and for voting to enact reforms intended to help ensure all electricity customers – regardless of who purchases their power – contribute equitably to investments in clean energy and system reliability.
“When the Legislature authorized local governments to begin buying power for electricity customers through CCAs, they made it clear that a choice for one customer “shall not” result in increased costs for another. However, that is not how the system is working. Millions of customers served by IOUs and not CCAs – including many who are already struggling to make ends meet – are picking up more of the tab for investments that benefit us all.
“The continued growth of CCAs can’t be dependent upon sheltering their customers from the reality of costs by shifting those cost burdens to power customers of IOUs. This is not only unfair, but unsustainable.”
“There is more work to be done, but with today’s vote, the CPUC took the important step of adopting a framework intended to better protect customers from cost-shifts.”