Los Banos to vote on Community Choice Energy

The City of Los Banos in Merced County will vote at its October 21, 7pm City Council meeting on the question of whether or not to join Peninsula Clean Energy. Other options have been evaluated and the decision about joining PCE is the only option on the table. Meeting information can be found HERE and at the City’s official website.

Update: the AGENDA has been posted.

 

Regulatory Update for October 15, 2020

The CPUC is holding its meetings remotely. See the COVID19 information page on the CPUC’s website for more COVID19-related info. Remote meeting notice from CPUC: Pursuant to Executive Order N-29-20, Commissioners may participate in CPUC meetings remotely. The public may observe, provide public comments during the public comment period, and otherwise participate remotely pursuant to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. To listen or make comments not to exceed three minutes by phone, dial 1-800-857-1917, passcode: 9899501. Alternatively, you mail email brief written comments (which do not exceed three minutes when read aloud) to 10222020VotingMeetingComments@cpuc.ca.gov and the Public Advisor may read your comments out loud to the meeting if time permits. 

Brief Notes:

  • We are no longer providing updates on proceedings to which The Climate Center is not a Party. Links to proceedings that are important to advancing local clean energy are included. To find updates, click on the proceeding number which will bring you to that proceeding docket.
  • Starting on December 17, regulatory updates will be issued in The Climate Center e-news.
  • The next CPUC voting meeting takes place on October 22 @ 10am. See AGENDA. For the livestream, click HERE.
  • For details on other proceedings click the links in the Important Proceedings list below or visit CPUC’s Documents Page. Please contact us at info[at]cleanpowerexhange.org to report any errors or broken links.
Proceedings to which The Climate Center is a Party:
  1. Rulemaking 19-09-009 pursuant to SB 1339 (Stern, 2018) Microgrid Commercialization
  2. Investigation 15-08-019 PG&E Safety Culture
Important Proceedings (not updated here):
  1. Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) 12-11-005
  2. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA)  17-06-026
  3. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020
  4. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007
  5. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003
  6. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003
  7. NEM Successor Tariff 14-07-002

Summaries:

  1. Microgrid Rulemaking 19-09-009 pursuant to SB 1339 (Stern, 2018)

The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding.

Recent Developments:

  • October 2, 2020 – The Climate Center and Vote Solar Joint Reply Comments on alternatives to diesel back-up generators (BUGs)
  • Sept 25 – The Climate Center and Vote Solar Joint Filing on alternatives to diesel back-up generators (BUGs)
  • Sept. 4 – Assigned Commissioner and ALJ’s Ruling Seeking Comment on Policy Questions and an Interim Approach for Minimizing Emissions from Generation During Transmission Outages.
  • August 28 Climate Center/Vote Solar Joint Reply Comments, Track 2
  • August 14 – The Climate Center and Vote Solar Joint Comments on Track 2 Ruling

The Commission did not reject use of diesel fuel as a near-term back up generation choice. However, with this Decision in place it should become easier for local governments to access the data they need to engage in Community Energy Resilience planning, part of The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California campaign.

Key Documents:

  • July 3 Scoping Ruling – Assigned Commissioner’s Amended Scoping Memo and Ruling for Track 2.
  • June 11 Decision adopting Short-Term (Track 1) Actions to Accelerate Microgrid Deployment and Related Resiliency Solutions.
  • The Climate Center and Vote Solar Opening Comments filed on May 19 and Reply Comments, filed on May 26.
  • April 29 – Proposed Decision Adopting Short-Term Actions to Accelerate Microgrid Deployment and Related Resiliency Solutions. A special note here: This Proposed CPUC Decision reflects a formal embrace by the CPUC of several key ACE principles that The Climate Center and partner organizations have been advocating for regarding the pivotal role of local governments.
  • March 19 – The Climate Center participated in an Ex Parte communication with CPUC staff
  • January 30 – Climate Center Opening Comments in the Track 1 Proceeding
  • December 20, 2019: Scoping Ruling.
  • October 21, 2019: The Climate Center Opening Comments.
  • September 19, 2019: Order Instituting Rulemaking.

Next Steps: ALJ’s Proposed Decision on Track 2

 

2. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation 15-08-019

The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding.

Recent Developments:

  • October 13, 2020 – The Senate Energy, Utilities Committee held a hearing marking the 10 year anniversary of the San Bruno gas line explosion on gas, electric, and transportation safety. For the recording of the hearing, click HERE. Representatives of PG&E, So Cal Gas and others were in attendance to address safety issues. Though not part of the formal proceeding, relevant nonetheless.

Key Documents:

  • January 23, 2020 – Motion of the Ad Hoc Committee of Senior Unsecured Note-holders of PG&E to Withdraw
  • December 13, 2019 – Letter from several LSEs, including a CCA, to CPUC Commissioners expressing interest in taking ownership of PG&E grid assets
  • July 19, 2019 Climate Center Opening Comments
  • June 18, 2019 CPUC Order seeking proposals to improve PG&E safety culture

Next Steps:

  • Sept. 4, 2020 – Administrative Law Judge’s Ruling Updating Case Status. Investigation 15-08-019 will remain open. NorthStar Consulting Group, Inc. will continue its work in a monitoring role. Issues to be address in the proceeding may be raised by parties or the Commission. May 8, 2020 was the deadline for the conclusion of this investigation, however, the ALJ has announced that the investigation will remain open.

Closed proceedings that matter:

  • CCA Rulemaking 03-10-003– This was the rulemaking that defined all the rules pursuant to AB 117, the original California CCA law
  • CCA Bond and Re-Entry Fees 18-05-022– This is the proceeding that re-set the bond required to be posted by CCAs in the event that the CCA fails and customers are returned to the incumbent utility

Legislative Update for October 15, 2020

Special Notice: Starting on December 17, 2020, all legislative updates will be issued in The Climate Center e-news. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a beat!

On October 12, the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee held a special hearing to receive and discuss the “Preliminary Root Cause Analysis on the Mid-August 2020 Heat Storm.” Click HERE for the recording of the hearing.

Heads of the three major energy agencies in the state were in attendance to present the analysis. This included Steve Berberich of the California Independent System Operator, David Hochschild of the California Energy Commission, and Maribel Batjer, President of the California Public Utilities Commission. For a quick summary of the Root Cause Analysis see the October 6 News Release from CAISO.

Sen. Jerry Hill, San Mateo, poses questions to utility representatives

 

On October 13, the Senate Energy, Utilities Committee held a hearing on the ten year anniversary of the San Bruno gas line explosion on gas, electric, and transportation safety. For the recording of the hearing, click HERE. Representatives of PG&E, So Cal Gas and others were in attendance to address safety issues.

 


The 2020 legislative session came to a close at the end of September.

For a complete list of the 135 bills we tracked in 2020, click HERE.

See our collected position letters HERE.

Endorse our Climate-Safe California platform HERE.

 

Action: Comment by October 20 for an all electric Building standard in California

Right now the California Energy Commission is accepting comments on their update on the State’s energy efficiency standards. Now is the time to call on the Commission to:

  • Set an “all-electric” standard for new construction;
  • Prohibit fossil fuel piping in new construction;

All-electric high efficiency heat pumps and induction stoves are available now to eliminate polluting natural gas in buildings. We need members of the public to comment and push for an all electric code, eliminating fossil gas.

Written comments are due Oct. 20 to the docket. Your comments should be submitted using THIS FORM.

Thank you!

Orange County: On a CCA Roll!

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a lot of Community Choice activity in the works in Orange County.

A bit of background first. On September 25, 2018, the Irvine City Council approved conducting a feasibility study to determine the pros and cons of implementing a Community Choice program, including potential economic benefits for the community. Fast forward to July of this year when the Irvine City Council voted to move forward with their CCA plans and seek partner cities in a joint powers authority (JPA). That JPA formation process is now underway.
Currently three cities have requested their load data from Southern California Edison so the technical consultant can create one study with all participating cities.
The participating cities are:
  • Irvine: Leading the formation. Population roughly 303,000
  • Costa Mesa: Population 114,000 (set to hear a report on Oct 20th Council Meeting)
  • Fullerton: Population 140,000 (set to hear a report on Oct 20th Council Meeting)
  • Laguna Woods

In addition:

  • Santa Ana has shown some interest (population of roughly 333,000)
  • Huntington Beach paid for a study, but won’t do anything till after the election, which may be too late
  • Tustin showed strong interest, but has not moved forward
For a deep dive, here are copies of the technical studies, including the original 2019 study and staff report: https://www.cityofirvine.org/community-choice-energy. And a follow-up Peer Review study.
Timeline:
1. Cities meet in October and November to vote on results of Irvine report, read and negotiate JPA and sign (or not!).
2. Seat the JPA board late November
3. Approve an Implementation Plan and submit to the California Public Utilities Commission by 12/31/20 for a 2022 service launch.

To stay up to date, visit OC Clean Power.

Transitions at the Clean Power Exchange

Dear Clean Power Exchange subscribers,

Thank you for being a subscriber to The Clean Power Exchange e-news! CPX was created in early 2016 to help build and strengthen the Community Choice Energy movement in California. When we started there were only three CCAs up and running in California. Now, with over 20 operational agencies serving over 11 million customers and a statewide Community Choice association growing in statewide political and regulatory strength, we at The Climate Center, the parent organization of CPX, feel that the CCA ship is sailing strong, and have decided that the purpose of CPX has largely been fulfilled.

First, don’t worry, we are not removing information and features, we are moving them to our main website, theclimatecenter.org where most of the key features of CPX will still be available, including our news and webinar archives, the resources pages, and the interactive map.

CPX e-news will continue to be published until December 10, which will be the last edition as CPX e-news. After December 10, updates and info about CCA activity around the state will be shared in a Climate Center hosted platform. Note: the geographical divisions will be eliminated and we will post the top CCA stories from around the state to all subscribers.

Like CPX, the new CCA news will come out every other week on Thursdays. All CPX subscribers will be automatically subscribed to The Climate Center news. Just like the choice architecture of CCAs, you don’t need to do anything if you want to stay on board. If for whatever reason you would prefer not to keep receiving our e-news, you can opt out at any time with a few mouse clicks.

Some of our accomplishments over the past five years:

  • Built a subscriber base of around 2000
  • Produced over twenty CCA-related webinars
  • Hosted five well-attended Business of Local Energy Symposia between 2014 and 2019 in different parts of the state
  • Served as an informational resource for a wide variety of stakeholders

We invite you to explore The Climate Center website, especially our flagship campaign, Climate Safe California. If you like what you see, we invite you to endorse the Climate Safe California campaign.

More than anything else, all of us on the CPX team and The Climate Center, want to express our deep gratitude to all of our readers, users, subscribers. We’ve appreciated your feedback, suggestions, and guest blogs along the way. So, THANK YOU!

And a hearty thanks to all of our partners and sponsors who have made it possible.

Sincerely,

Woody, Nina, Stacey, Ann, Barry, and Ellie

Peninsula Clean Energy Expands Electric Vehicle Rebate Program

Up to $1,000 rebate covers all new EVs under $45K

REDWOOD CITY, CA – Oct. 1, 2020 – Peninsula Clean Energy is expanding its program offering rebates to help first-time buyers of new electric vehicles.

The 2020 New EV Rebate Program will offer rebates of $1,000 towards the cost of a new fully electric vehicle and $700 for a plug-in hybrid purchased by San Mateo County residents between Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. Eligible vehicles are any new EVs that have a purchase contract cash price of $45,000 or less, before sales tax.

Peninsula Clean Energy is also providing residents the opportunity to experience driving an EV with a $200 rebate toward the rental of an EV and assistance in setting up at-home or at-dealership test drives.

“These rebates will encourage hundreds of new car buyers to choose a cleaner vehicle and also raise awareness and consideration for those who are looking ahead to their next vehicle purchase down the line,” Peninsula Clean Energy CEO Jan Pepper said. “By choosing electric vehicles, we can all help make a sizable dent in transportation-sector greenhouse gas emissions, which is by far the biggest contributor to climate change in San Mateo County, and do our part in helping California’s planned transition from gasoline-powered vehicles.”

The expanded rebate program comes on the heels of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call for all new vehicles sold in the state to be zero-emission by 2035.

Applications and other details are available at PenCleanEnergy.com/NewEV.

The 2020 EV Rebate Program expands on programs in 2019 and 2018 to allow San Mateo County residents to purchase from a wider range of vehicle models and from sellers outside of the county, including online sellers.

“Don’t wait. There is already a full-electric EV or plug-in hybrid passenger vehicle that will work for almost everyone,” said Paul Breslow, innovation director at EDF Energy who purchased a new EV as part of the 2019 program.

The 2020 program is limited to San Mateo County residents who have not previously purchased or leased an EV. The rebate is limited to one per person and two per household.

The rebates are part of a larger effort by Peninsula Clean Energy to spur EV use in San Mateo County and provide a model for the expansion of EVs elsewhere. That includes the recent launch of the EV Ready Program, an unprecedented $28 million effort to install EV charging infrastructure at commercial workplaces, multi-family dwellings and other public locations. It is the largest EV charging infrastructure program tied to a single Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) agency and aims to install 3,500 charging ports in San Mateo County over the next four years.

 

About Peninsula Clean Energy

Peninsula Clean Energy is a Community Choice Aggregation agency and the official electricity provider for San Mateo County. Founded in 2016 with a mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the county, the agency serves 295,000 customers by providing more than 3,500 gigawatt hours annually of electricity that is 95% carbon-free and at lower cost than PG&E. As a community-led, not-for-profit agency, Peninsula Clean Energy makes significant investments in our communities to expand access to sustainable and affordable energy solutions. Peninsula Clean Energy is on track to deliver electricity that is 100% carbon-free by 2021 and 100% renewable on a 24/7 basis by 2025. The agency has earned investment grade credit ratings from Moody’s and Fitch.

 

Follow us at PenCleanEnergy.com, on Twitter and Facebook (@PenCleanEnergy) and on LinkedIn.

Media Contact

Darren Goode

Peninsula Clean Energy

dgoode@peninsulacleanenergy.com

(202) 550-6619

School Kids to Breathe easier – Governor Newsom signs AB 841

In a true nail-biter with less than five hours left on the clock for the to sign or veto bills, Governor Newsom signed AB 841, the bill authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting that creates the School Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program. The new law will create a healthier environment for schoolchildren, save energy, create jobs in a time of economic crisis, and provide other direct support to schools and schoolchildren in underserved communities.

AB 841 enjoyed a rare broad and diverse coalition of supporters that included labor, public health, environmental organizations, and others. The Climate Center was proud to be an active member of the Coalition.

“Given our public health crisis and economic hardship, this is the right policy at the right time. AB 841 is a bill that helps provide a healthier indoor environment for our children, and provides quality employment and job training for the labor force performing the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) upgrades at schools in underserved communities. The Climate Center applauds the Governor, Assemblymember Ting, and the broad coalition that helped get AB 841 across the finish line. We were proud to be a part of it,” said Ellie Cohen, Chief Executive Officer of The Climate Center.

About a week before the deadline, The Climate Center and its Central Valley staff pulled together a letter of support from Central Valley elected leaders. In general The Climate Center participated with the Coalition in getting support letters turned around in short order, talking to offices, social media, and press. The Governor was conflicted and was urged to veto the bill, but the strong coalition used every connection and pressure point possible got the bill across the finish line and it worked. The bill was highly unlikely to be signed if our voices had gone unheard.

AB 841 is a win-win for the health of California students by installing up-to-date plumbing and HVAC systems in schools, starting with those in under-served communities. It also supports clean transportation by putting money into the EV charging infrastructure. No new tax is involved to fund the programs as the money is already available and unused at the California Public Utilities Commission.

In a September 24 OpEd by State Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond stated that “This is critical for getting kids and teachers safely back into classrooms. The CDC recommends “ventilation systems operate properly” as a key consideration for school leaders considering reopening. AB 841 addresses that problem. That’s why the bill has the support of schools and teachers, public health experts, labor, business and environmental organizations.” The bill will use idle energy efficiency funds to install and modernize school HVAC systems, will streamline the process for approving public electric vehicle charger projects and will also protect consumers and the public by creating training requirements for workers installing public chargers.

For updates on other bills we tracked in 2020, see our October 1 Legislative Update.

Legislative Update for October 1, 2020

Yesterday was the last day for the Governor to sign bills. Below is a summary of the results of some of the bills we monitored. To save you time, we have only included bills that have been signed by the governor or are still pending on his desk. All other bills previously tracked were withdrawn by the author or died in committee.

For a complete list of the 135 bills we tracked in 2020, click HERE.

Endorse our Climate-Safe California platform HERE.

See our collected position letters HERE.

Assembly Bills

AB 78 (Multiple co-authors) This is a budget trailer bill within the overall 2020-21 budget package necessary to implement actions related to the California Infrastructure Bank (IBank). It establishes a Climate Catalyst Revolving Loan Fund at the IBank to receive funds from non State governmental entities and private sources for the purpose of making loans for climate catalyst projects that further the state’s climate goals. STATUS: Signed by the Governor.

AB 841 (Ting) Supported – Reallocates funds to help upgrade school HVAC systems and advance electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  STATUS: Signed by the Governor. See article about AB 841 in this edition of CPX e-news.

AB 2800 (Quirk) – Creates a Climate Safe Infrastructure Working Group. STATUS: Signed by the Governor.

AB 3214 (Limón) – Supported. Read coalition Letter of Support that The Climate Center’s signed on to. This bill increases existing fines for oil spills. STATUS: Signed by the Governor.

Senate Bills

SB 702 (Hill) – This bill authorizes an electric retail seller the option to rely on the contracts or ownership agreements entered into prior to January 1, 2019, directly by its nonprofit educational institution end-use customer to help satisfy the longterm procurement requirement in the state’s renewable portfolio standard. STATUS: Signed by the Governor.

SB 1320 (Stern) SUPPORT – Directs the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), through the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP), to complete a California-specific climate change assessment no less frequently than every five years to assess the impacts and risks of climate change and identify potential solutions to inform legislative policy. STATUS: Signed by the Governor.

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Please send suggestions and corrections to woody@theclimatecenter.org

 

Regulatory Update for October 1, 2020

The CPUC is holding its meetings remotely. See the COVID19 information page on the CPUC’s website for more COVID19-related info. Remote meeting notice from CPUC: Pursuant to Executive Order N-29-20, Commissioners may participate in CPUC meetings remotely. The public may observe, provide public comments during the public comment period, and otherwise participate remotely pursuant to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. To listen or make comments not to exceed three minutes by phone, dial 1-800-857-1917, passcode: 9899501. Alternatively, you mail email brief written comments (which do not exceed three minutes when read aloud) to 10082020VotingMeetingComments@cpuc.ca.gov and the Public Advisor may read your comments out loud to the meeting if time permits. 

Brief Notes:

  • We are no longer providing updates on proceedings to which The Climate Center is not a Party. Links to proceedings that are important to advancing local clean energy are included. To find updates, click on the proceeding number which will bring you to that proceeding docket.
  • The next CPUC voting meeting takes place on October 8 @ 10am. See AGENDA. For the livestream, click HERE.

Proceedings we are tracking

Below is a numbered list of the regulatory proceedings we are tracking, followed by a brief summary of background information, new or recent developments, and Climate Center filings, if any, for each of the proceedings. The following summaries are intended as very brief highlights of selected key actions and activities. For details on any of these proceedings, we suggest logging in to the relevant proceeding page on the CPUC’s website. An expedient way to do that is to click on the proceeding number below or visit CPUC’s Documents Page. Please contact us at info[at]cleanpowerexhange.org to report any errors or broken links.

Proceedings to which The Climate Center is a Party:

  1. SB 1339 Microgrid Rulemaking 19-09-009
  2. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation 15-08-019

Important Proceedings (not updated here):

  1. Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) 12-11-005
  2. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA)  17-06-026
  3. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020
  4. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007
  5. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003
  6. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003
  7. NEM Successor Tariff 14-07-002

Summaries:

  1. Microgrid Rulemaking 19-09-009 pursuant to SB 1339 (Stern, 2018)

The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding.

Recent Developments:

  • Sept 25 – The Climate Center and Vote Solar Joint Filing on alternatives to diesel back-up generators (BUGs)
  • Sept. 4 – Assigned Commissioner and ALJ’s Ruling Seeking Comment on Policy Questions and an Interim Approach for Minimizing Emissions from Generation During Transmission Outages. Comments due Sept. 25.
  • August 28 Climate Center/Vote Solar Joint Reply Comments, Track 2
  • August 14 – The Climate Center and Vote Solar Joint Comments on Track 2 Ruling

The Commission did not reject use of diesel fuel as a near-term back up generation choice. However, with this Decision in place it should become easier for local governments to access the data they need to engage in Community Energy Resilience planning, part of The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California campaign.

Key Documents:

  • July 3 Scoping Ruling – Assigned Commissioner’s Amended Scoping Memo and Ruling for Track 2.
  • June 11 Decision adopting Short-Term (Track 1) Actions to Accelerate Microgrid Deployment and Related Resiliency Solutions.
  • The Climate Center and Vote Solar Opening Comments filed on May 19 and Reply Comments, filed on May 26.
  • April 29 – Proposed Decision Adopting Short-Term Actions to Accelerate Microgrid Deployment and Related Resiliency Solutions. A special note here: This Proposed CPUC Decision reflects a formal embrace by the CPUC of several key ACE principles that The Climate Center and partner organizations have been advocating for regarding the pivotal role of local governments.
  • March 19 – The Climate Center participated in an Ex Parte communication with CPUC staff
  • January 30 – Climate Center Opening Comments in the Track 1 Proceeding
  • December 20, 2019: Scoping Ruling.
  • October 21, 2019: The Climate Center Opening Comments.
  • September 19, 2019: Order Instituting Rulemaking.

Next Steps: Track 2 for longer term measures has begun.

 

2. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation 15-08-019

The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding.

Recent Developments:

  • Sept. 4, 2020 – Administrative Law Judge’s Ruling Updating Case Status. Investigation 15-08-019 will remain open. NorthStar Consulting Group, Inc. will continue its work in a monitoring role. Issues to be address in the proceeding may be raised by parties or the Commission.
  • January 23, 2020 – Motion of the Ad Hoc Committee of Senior Unsecured Note-holders of PG&E to Withdraw
  • December 13 – Letter from several LSEs, including a CCA, to CPUC Commissioners expressing interest in taking ownership of PG&E grid assets

Key Documents:

  • June 18, 2019 CPUC Order seeking proposals to improve PG&E safety culture
  • July 19, 2019 Climate Center Opening Comments

Next Steps:

  • May 8, 2020 was the deadline for the conclusion of this investigation, however, the ALJ has announced that the investigation will remain open.

 

Closed proceedings that matter:

  • CCA Rulemaking 03-10-003– This was the rulemaking that defined all the rules pursuant to AB 117, the original California CCA law
  • CCA Bond and Re-Entry Fees 18-05-022– This is the proceeding that re-set the bond required to be posted by CCAs in the event that the CCA fails and customers are returned to the incumbent utility