State Regulation & Policy News

Nevada PUC Says Feds Don't Owe NV Energy Exit Fee

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission ruled that a federal installation’s decision to switch from an investor-owned utility (IOU) to a nonprofit cooperative for its electric service didn’t invoke a state law that requires the payment of an exit fee when a large-volume customer switches electric service providers. The commission said the federal missile test site had never been included within NV Energy’s territory.

CPUC Revises DSM Programs on Extended SONGS Outage

The California Public Utilities Commission has approved a series of revisions to the demand-side management (DSM) programs administered by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE). The authorized changes are aimed at increasing DSM contributions to help the utilities mitigate the effects of ongoing outages at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).

S.C. Governor Orders PSC to Study Business Effects of Regulation

The South Carolina Public Service Commission (PSC) announced that it will call for comments from the public regarding a mandate from a state regulatory review task force directing it to submit a report regarding PSC statutes, rules, regulations, and policies, and their effects on businesses and the South Carolina economy. In an executive order establishing the task force, Gov. Nikki R.

Pennsylvania Expands Access to Customer Account Data

Responding to suggestions from its Office of Competitive Market Oversight (OCMO), the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission issued a tentative order seeking comments to guide its development of procedures needed for giving competitive electric generation suppliers quicker access to the customer account numbers of regulated utilities.

CPUC OKs Rate Hikes for SDG&E and SoCalGas

The California Public Utilities Commission authorized two affiliated energy utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), to increase their rates and charges over the four-year period 2012 to 2015. The approved increases are retroactive to 2012, with SDG&E authorized to raise its rates by $123.4 million compared to its 2012 revenue requirement, and with SoCalGas allowed to collect an additional $84.8 million in rates over 2012 levels.

Massachusetts Finds Long-Term Contract Mandate Premature

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities found it’s unnecessary at the current time to require electric utilities to enter long-term contracts for power supply to address forecasts of insufficient peak-load requirements in the state. The department said that requiring electric distribution companies to enter into long-term contracts with generators would be proper only if there was convincing evidence that the competitive market has failed and that there are imminent reliability concerns.

Colorado Denies SmartGridCity Cost Recovery

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) upheld an initial decision by an administrative law judge (ALJ) issued in January, which had recommended that Xcel Energy subsidiary Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCC) be denied any further rate recovery of SmartGridCity costs. The commission said the utility had been given ample opportunity to prove the prudence of the rising costs of the project but that the company had failed to do so.

Discount Rate Authorized for Returning Default Service Customers

New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission authorized Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH) to institute two different default energy rate schedules, a standard rate for those customers who have never left the utility for a competitive energy supplier and a discounted, albeit “above market,” rate for customers who took service with an alternative provider and then return to the utility’s default service. According to the utility, such pricing flexibility is necessary in order for it to compete effectively against other suppliers.

Washington UTC Slashes Avista Rate Hike

In a rate case largely resolved by settlement, the Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission authorized Avista Utilities to increase its electric revenues by $13.65 million and its natural gas revenues by $5.3 million for 2013. The utility had petitioned for an electric rate hike of $41 million and a natural gas rate increase of $10.1 million.

South Carolina PSC Puts Pension Costs in Rider

In an electric rate proceeding, the South Carolina Public Service Commission accepted a memorandum of understanding (MOU) under which South Carolina Electric & Gas was awarded a net increase in electric rates of $97 million and a ROE of 10.25 percent. The lower ROE value negotiated in the MOU also had a substantial impact on the utility’s authorized revenue requirement, reducing its rate request by a significant amount.