CPUC Issued Final Customer Choice Paper To Advance Californias Energy Future

Written By: Jen Neville
August 20, 2018

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The California Public Utilities Commission, after extensive public input, recently issued the final version of its customer Choice Paper. The Choice Paper addresses the changing electric market in California and resulting in new challenges that are confronting the state’s energy future and reliability. The purpose of the Choice Paper is to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities in California’s rapidly changing electricity market, engage stakeholders, and advance a public dialogue to ensure continued reliable, clean, and affordable electricity for customers and equitable treatment for all market participants.

The release is a culmination of more than a year of stakeholder input and guidance from the Choice Paper’s Ad Hoc Advisory Committee of nationally recognized energy experts. The final version includes non-material changes inspired by written comments submitted from numerous stakeholders and the remarks of participants at public workshops and En Bancs.

The final report includes an expanded discussion of the types of Load Serving Entities (LSEs), updated tables/figures on policy implementation, procurement, resource adequacy and information on a central buyer and customer data.

The Choice Paper raises a breadth of issues about California's electric market that affects many stakeholders, including state and federal agencies, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the Legislature, and local governments. Without a coherent and comprehensive plan, the current policies in place may drift California to an unintended outcome, like the California Energy Crisis, and breakdown in services.

Undertaking an effort to create a comprehensive plan requires coordination and action by all entities involved. The CPUC will develop the Choice Action Plan to help guide decision makers on the next steps in addressing these complex, and sometimes interdependent, issues.

In conjunction with stakeholder input solicited over the last year and other commission divisions, including Legal, Administrative Law Judge, Energy Division, and the Consumer Affairs Branch, the Customer Choice Project Team will:

– perform a gap analysis which will examine the fundamental questions raised in the Choice Paper to identify critical issues requiring a solution;
– map current CPUC (and other agency) proceedings that address issues presented;
– identify outstanding matters that require further analysis; and
– solicit public input for solutions that will lead to specific outcomes.

Additionally, a public workshop is being scheduled in mid-October, 2018, to discuss the CPUC’s findings in the gap analysis and a draft action plan as the framework for addressing these gaps.

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