Tag Archives: PG&E

Residential Solar Installation Costs In America’s Battleground State

By Roy L Hales

California’s energy sector is hurtling towards the point of decision. Despite its reputation as a green leader, this is the #3 American state for crude oil production. In the past few years, solar energy production has grown to supply around 16% of the state’s electricity.1   A significant portion (5.7%) is supplied by rooftop solar. Though there is considerable push back from Big Oil, the California legislation’s goal of 50% renewable electricity by 2030 seems attainable. What are residential solar installation costs in America’s battleground state?

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  1. Adding the 9.98% produced by facilities at least 1 MW in size according to the California Energy Commission and 5.7% from rooftop solar according to California Distributed Generation Statistics.

The Largest EV Charging Program In North America

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pm1On February 9, 2015, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) brought forward a proposal to install more than 25,000 EV charging stations within their territory. Readily embraced by environmentalists, the project faced opposition from ratepayers (questioning the value of this investment) and other electric service providers (who did not relish direct competition from a utility). Last October PGE reached a settlement with ten interested parties that reduced the project to almost a third of its’original size. Pointing out that “No proposal is supported by all parties, and no party supports all of the proposals made,”1 a California Utilities Comission (CPUC) judge brought forward a new proposed decision of his own. Only according to Tom Ashley, Greenlots’ head of government relations, the proposed terms for what is still the largest EV Charging program in North America “could have a chilling effect on utility investment in EV infrastructure.”

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  1. Proposed Decision of Administrative Law Judge Darwin E. Farrar, State of California Public Utilities Commission, Agenda ID #15334 Ratesetting, p 12

CPUC Rejected Net Metering Rate Increases

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1It has been two years since AB 327 brought the last conflict between California’s rooftop solar industry and the state utilities to an end.  California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) was left to decide whether the utilities could impose demand charges, grid access charges, installed capacity fees, standby fees, or fees. A proposed ruling was made today. The CPUC rejected net metering rate increases.

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Supervisor Dianne Jacob Defends Rooftop Solar

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Many hoped California’s net-metering war was ending two years ago, when Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 327. The state’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) was given to the end of this year to create a new tariff that will kick in once the state’s big three investor owned utilities (PG&E, SCE and SDG&E) reach 5% nameplate generation capacity under net metering. With the deadline approaching,  the “big three” went on the offensive. One of the California Public Utilities Commission hearings was in San Diego, on Oct. 28, 2015. That was where County Supervisor Dianne Jacob Defends Rooftop Solar.

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California’s State Assembly unanimously approved AB 825

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1California’s State Assembly unanimously approved AB 825, which is meant to bring increased transparency and independent oversight to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

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100% Green Electricity Now

The ECOrepot reviews Lane Sharman’s San Diego Clean Energy Presentation, 100% Green Electricity Now

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMSan Diego could use 100% green electricity today, for only a little more than what customers pay the existing utility.  That’s one of Lane Sharman’s conclusions, in a presentation preparing the way for the launch of San Diego Clean Power. His data, largely drawn from financials of the existing CCA’s in Marin and Sonoma counties, shows that one of the largest costs California’s community choice aggregates face are transmission fees for using existing utility lines.

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California Assembly Bill 2145 is dead

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMCalifornia’s monopoly utilities failed in what many perceive as their latest attempt to squash community choice aggregates. Assemblyman Steven Bradford could not find a senator willing to sponsor his controversial bill. So it expired when the legislature’s current session ended, at 3 am on Friday night. California Assembly Bill 2145 is dead.

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Pacific Gas & Electric’s Answers

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Some call California’s Assembly Bill 2145 “the Monopoly Protection Act,” or a “CCA killer.” They believe that it was designed to protect large utilities like Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) from communities that would prefer to form their own utilities (CCA). The origins of this story goes back a few years, but was resurrected through this bill. I recently had the opportunity to ask one of the utility’s spokespersons some  questions. Towards the bottom of the page, you will find Pacific Gas & Electric’s answers.
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Is California’s Monopoly Protection Act a resurrection of Prop 16?

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1A member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, Hunter Stern, recently sent Marin County residents an email supporting state Assembly Bill 2145, popularly called the “Monopoly Protection Act.” According to the PACIFIC SUN, it is filled with “filled with misinformation” – but the real problem is that it may evade a California law meant to create transparency in the market place. After PG&E spent $46 million trying to introduce legislation that might have stopped Marin Clean Power from launching, in 2010, a law was passed against the state’s utilities from using ratepayer funds to pay for marketing campaigns against communities that attempt to set up their own utilities (community choice aggregates, or CCA). Utilities have to file a plan with the California Public Utilities Commission, before launching anti-community choice advertising. Unfortunately, this legislation does not extend to the use of use third-party intermediaries. Mr Stern’s email carried a link to an organization called the Marin County Common Sense Coalition, an organization with known ties to PG&E. This is starting to sound like a rerun. Is California’s Monopoly Protection Act a resurrection of Prop. 16?
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California’s Second Community Choice Utility Goes Online

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMSonoma Clean Power is now supplying power to 16,845 commercial and 6,225 residential customers. Over the next two years, all customers in the unincorporated areas of the county, Santa Rosa, Windsor, Cotati, Sebastopol and Sonoma will become eligible for service. On May 1, 2014, California’s second community choice utility goes online.
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