Utility companies PG&E, Edison, SDG&E and So Cal Gas have failed to meet energy efficiency goals established by the CPUC.
For Immediate Release From The Utility Reform Network
Despite that failure, Commissioner John Bohn has proposed charging customers statewide an additional $77.3 million to pay "incentives" for utility efficiency programs, ratepayer dollars that will go directly into profits rather than operations. TURN today urged the CPUC to reject the Bohn proposal, which will drive up customer costs with no resultant benefits.
"Energy efficiency has become a gravy train for the utility companies," said TURN executive director Mark Toney. "They already collect billions from customers to run these programs, but are not delivering enough bang for customers’ bucks. For the CPUC to reward substandard performance is utterly outrageous."
A CPUC administrative law judge agreed with TURN that the companies did not earn the additional payments. The judge said that the so-called incentives constitute "a cost to ratepayers that reduces the overall cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency programs without providing any offsetting value."
The judge noted that under a previous CPUC decision, customers are only required to pay incentives "to the extent that .benefits actually materialize." Under that standard the judge determined that PG&E and the other utilities were not entitled to additional shareholder payments, having already received $143.7 million in advance of the CPUC determination of whether it was deserved.
"The utility companies are behaving like spoiled children," said Toney, "insisting they deserve money that they haven’t earned. TURN does not believe they should have to be bribed to do the right thing, much less the wrong one."
Additional charges passed on to customers would be:
- SoCal Gas–$3,936,703