Bills we are watching in the California Legislature

The California legislature has begun the process of evaluating bills in the policy committees and we are monitoring over a dozen that relate directly or indirectly to Community Choice Energy. Earlier in the session, the two committees that are key to energy-related bills held informational hearings on the state of the electricity sector in California, with much speculation on how things may play out in the future.

On March 6, the Assembly Utilities Committee held an informational hearing entitled “The Metamorphosis of the Energy Sector: Maintaining Reliability and Affordability on the Road to Decarbonization.” This hearing featured Community Choice representation from CalCCA. The full video is HERE.

On March 19, the Senate Energy Committee held an informational hearing entitled “The Changing Electricity Landscape: The Need for a new Regulatory Approach?” the hearing included some fireworks as Senator Scott Wiener pushed back on previous mischaracterizations of Community Choice agencies as a problem in relation to resource adequacy. CPUC President Michael Picker apologized for the mischaracterization. The full video is HERE.

Bills currently in play that have direct impact on Community Choice include (but are not limited to):

RED FLAG: AB 56 – Garcia – This bill would authorize the CPUC and the California Energy Commission to jointly establish the California Clean Electricity Authority, a nonprofit, public benefit corporation. The bill would empower the authority to undertake procurement of electricity on behalf of retail customers of electrical corporations, community choice aggregators, and electric service providers in support of certain policy objectives. If enacted as currently written, AB 56 would undermine Community Choice procurement autonomy, one of the fundamental benefits of Community Choice Energy. As of this writing it is in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee with a hearing date set for April 10.

SB 350 – Hertzberg – This bill would “authorize the CPUC to consider a multiyear centralized resource adequacy mechanism,” meaning, a central buyer, which would encroach on CCA statutory authority on procurement autonomy. The bill passed out of the Senate Energy Committee on March 27 unanimously. It is now in the Senate Appropriations Committee. As of this writing, no date has been set to hear the bill.

SB-520 – Hertzberg – This bill would authorize the CPUC to develop threshold attributes for a load-serving entity to serve as a provider of last resort (POLR) to provide electrical service to retail end users in California. What those attributes are will determine whether or not a Community Choice agency may serve, assuming it wishes to, as POLR. The bill is in the Senate Energy Committee and a hearing on it is set for April 24.

Bills we support include:

SB 288 (Wiener) – Solar Bill of Rights – Read our Support Letter

SB 246 (Wieckowski)– Severance tax on oil and gas extracted from California – Read our Support Letter

For more information about Community Choice-related state policy and the full list of bills we are monitoring this session, click HERE.




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