Regulatory Updates by Region

Legislation to Expand Retail Electricity Choice Advances in California: Continued Customer Support is Important

On April 21, legislation that would expand electricity direct access for commercial and industrial customers in California unanimously passed the California Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee (Senate Committee).    The legislation, Senate Bill 286 (SB 286), was introduced by Senator Hertzberg (D – Van Nuys) on February 20, 2015.  Direct access is the term used in California to refer to retail choice.  Senator Hertzberg states the purpose of the bill is to help commercial and industrial customers reduce energy costs and increase access to renewable energy.  Senator Hertzberg issued a press release regarding the introduction of SB 286. 

Direct Energy Business has been serving commercial and industrial customers in California as a licensed Energy Service Provider for over 10 years.  Direct Energy Business supports SB 286, because SB 286 will allow more commercial and industrial customers to choose an Energy Service Provider that offers energy products and services that best meet the needs of that specific customer. 

Passage of SB 286 by the California Legislature would continue to advance direct access for commercial and industrial electricity customers in California.  The Senate Committee approved version of SB 286 would increase the direct access market for commercial and industrial customers by approximately 8,000 GWHs phased in over not more than three years beginning on January 1, 2016. The current direct access market for commercial and industrial customers in California is limited to approximately 20 percent of the commercial and industrial load statewide for the California Investor-Owned Utilities (Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, and San Diego Gas & Electric) and SB 286 would increase the amount of commercial and industrial load eligible to approximately 25 percent.   The Senate Committee approved version also would require the new, incremental direct access electricity transactions to meet a renewable standard of at least 51 percent from Renewable Portfolio Standard eligible renewable energy resources.  This requirement goes beyond the current statutory obligation of at least 33 percent renewable by 2020.

Customer support for SB 286 has been important and will continue to be important as SB 286 advances through the legislative process.  The next stop for the legislation will be the Senate Appropriations Committee later this spring.  If California businesses are interested in supporting SB 286, then please contact your Direct Energy Business representative for more information regarding how to support SB 286.

More information regarding SB 286 is available on the California Legislative Information website at this link. Don’t forget: Follow Direct Energy Businesson LinkedInTwitter & Facebook for more energy market information.



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