Write to your state legislator asking them to stop the California Public Utilities Commission from unfairly increasing rates for community choice energy customers. The CPUC voted last fall to increase the “exit fees” that community choice electricity customers must pay to the monopoly utilities. Supporters of community choice electricity are pushing the legislature to overrule this attack — and to tell CPUC: Stop doing the bidding of utility companies! Start protecting communities!
The increase in the exit fee is only one of the CPUC’s policies allowing monopoly utilities to harm Californians. Others include:
- A multi-billion dollar bailout of PG&E for liability for wildfire damages
- Allowing utility companies to pass on unnecessarily high costs to consumers
- Allowing utility companies to prioritize shareholders’ returns over community safety
- Ongoing bias against decentralized renewable energy
Write your legislators today to roll back the CPUC attack on our communities!
California’s devastating wildfires set the stage for the CPUC to provide Pacific Gas and Electric (PGE) a $6 billion bailout assist. Next, the CPUC will pass tens of billions in fire liability costs onto the public—propping up a monopoly utility the courts have found to be criminally negligent.
These actions are just the latest in a long line of CPUC failures to protect the interests of the people of California. They also coincide with the CPUC’s latest attack—in a long string of attacks—on Community Choice energy, the state’s expanding alternative to the monopoly utility model.
The CPUC recently approved a huge increase in a fee charged to the 11 million customers of Community Choice energy programs. The fee, called the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA), makes Community Choice customers pay for “departing load” costs incurred by the monopoly utilities. These costs are due to above-market prices the utilities have voluntarily and unnecessarily paid for electricity, which they then sell at a loss whenever customers switch to more attractive Community Choice programs.
Because the PCIA covers these losses, the utilities have no incentive to do better. In other words, the PCIA effectively shields the utilities from having to compete with Community Choice programs, The result is that Community Choice customers are saddled with PCIA charges, and utility customers are saddled with over-priced electricity. This is the kind of mismanagement that the CPUC is supposed to prevent, not promote.
Both the fire liability bailout and the PCIA fee hike reflect the CPUC’s regulatory approach: socializing losses and privatizing profits. This approach rewards the state’s three private monopoly utilities, raises rates for all ratepayers, and attacks the state’s public, not-for-profit Community Choice programs – programs that are in the forefront of combating climate change.
Go to the next step to write your legislators to roll back the CPUC attack on our communities and on Community Choice!