A Win for Energy Service Providers in Direct Access Proceeding

On December 1, 2011, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a decision in its proceeding to authorize an increase in Direct Access retail electric service.

The decision was a victory for Commercial Energy of California, represented by Goodin MacBride partner Michael Day, and other Energy Service Providers (ESPs) and their retail energy customers. Decision 11-12-018 modified the pricing of non-bypassable surcharges paid by customers who purchase their energy from ESPs and pay distribution and transmission charges to the utilities, such as PG&E.

These modifications will reduce the surcharges for Direct Access customers, better reflect the value of renewable resources, and make the competitive retail energy market more viable. In addition, the Commission found in favor of Commercial Energy and the other ESPs and flatly rejected a proposal by PG&E and Southern California Edison to force ESPs representing larger commercial and industrial customers to comply with complex and expensive financial security requirements that would make Direct Access potentially uneconomic for both ESPs and their customers.

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