Green Tariff/Shared Renewables Program (GTSR)

Introduction/Background

Senate Bill (SB) 43  (Wolk 2014) enacted the Green Tariff Shared Renewables (GTSR) Program.  The GTSR Program is intended to (1) expand access "to all eligible renewable energy resources to all ratepayers who are currently unable to access the benefits of onsite generation," and (2) "create a mechanism whereby institutional customers…commercial customers and groups of individuals . . . can meet their needs with electrical generation from eligible renewable energy resources."

The statute further provides that the GTSR Program should "provide support for enhanced community renewables programs to facilitate development of eligible renewable resource projects located close to the source of demand."  By statue, the costs of GTSR may not be borne by customers who did not elect GTSR service.

Program Description

The GTSR program enables PG&E, SCE and SDG&E customers to receive 50 to 100 percent of their electricity demand from renewable sources. The program has a capped enrollment of 600 megawatts (MW) statewide.

The GTSR program has two components: the Green Tariff (GT) component and the Enhanced Community Renewables (ECR) component.  Through GT, a customer may pay the difference between their current generation charge and the cost of procuring 50 to 100 percent renewables.  With ECR, a customer agrees to purchase a share of a community renewable (typically solar) project directly from a developer, and in exchange will receive a credit from their utility for the customer’s avoided generation procurement.  Neither of these program sub-components are dedicated a certain amount of the overall 600MW cap.

Key CPUC Decisions

In January, 2015, the CPUC adopted a Decision (D.15-01-051), beginning the process of GTSR implementation:  it required the utilities to submit their plans for GTSR by May, 2015. The implementation plan includes three phases: Phase I – Green Tariff options for SDG&E and PG&E, Phase II – Green Tariff options for SCE, and Phase III – Enhanced Community Renewables program requirements.  The Commission subsequently issued Resolution 4734-E which clarified some implementation issues raised in the IOU's advice letters.

In May 2016, the CPUC adopted D.16-05-006 that addressed Phase IV, participation of ECR projects in the Renewable Auction Mechanism. In addition, the decision provided guidance on a number of outstanding issues including the reporting of GHG claims, the securities opinion requirement, and forecasting of rate elements, including bill charges and credits.

In July 2017, the CPUC adopted D.17-07-007, which grants the joint Petition for Modification of D.15-01-051, which replaces the AmLaw 100 Securities Option Requirement with a three-part standard which requires that securities opinions come from a lawyer or firm with 1) eight years of experience in securities law, 2) be currently licensed by the California Bar, and 3) carry a minimum of $10 million in professional liability coverage.  These requirements were based on an all-party workshop hosted by the CPUC on October 13, 2016.

In 2019, the CPUC denied SCE's application to terminate its GTSR Program through D.19-05-031, and adopted Resolution E-5028, which extended the GTSR Program beyond its original termination date.  Resolution E-5028 also adopted a number of changes which do not result in a different structure or materially different capacity for the program but do capitalize on lessons-learned to improve the overall customer experience.

GTSR in Disadvantaged Communites

The Environmental Justice reservation sets aside 100 MW for areas identified by the CalEnviroScreen tool as being in one of the 20 percent most disadvantaged census tracts in each IOU's territory.  These projects must be between 500kW and 1MW and can fall within 200 percent of the maximum executed contract price, rather than 120 percent for standard GTSR power purchase agreements.

The CPUC also manages complementary Solar Programs in Disadvantaged Communities created in response to Assembly Bill (AB) 327 (Perea 2013).  These specific alternatives are designed to increase adoption of renewable generation in disadvantaged communities (DACs), and do not face the same ratepayer indifference restrictions mandated through the GTSR program. For a more comprehensive list of the CPUC's efforts in Disadvantaged Communities, see http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/discom/.

For a more comprehensive list of the CPUC's efforts in Disadvantaged Communities, see http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/discom/.

Program Status

Per Commission Decision 15-01-051, the three investor-owned utilities are required to file monthly and annual reports, which are available on the Commission's Docket Card for this proceeding.

As of September 2019, 163 MW of new renewable capacity has been built on behalf of the GTSR program.

 

Cumulative Procured GTSR Capacity (MW)

Category

Available Capacity

GT Procured

ECR Procured

Remaining Capacity

Unrestricted

480

151

10

319

Reserved for Environmental Justice

100

2

0

98

Totals

600

153

10

437

Percentage

 

 

 

73%

 

Procured Solar Capacity by IOU

 

PG&E

                   SCE

SDG&E

Category

Cap

GT

ECR

Rem

Cap

GT

ECR

Rem

Cap

GT

ECR

Rem

Unrestricted

207

51

2

155

224

60

6

158

49

40

2

7

EJ

45

2

0

43

45

0

0

45

10

0

0

10

City of Davis

20

0

0

20

 

 

 

 

 



 

Totals

272

53

2

218

269

60

6

203

59

40

2

17

%

45.3%

 

 

80%

44.8%

 

 

75%

9.8%

 

 

28%

2016 Annual Reports:  PG&E, SCE, SDG&E

2017 Annual Reports:  PG&E, SCE, SDG&E

2018 Annual Reports: PG&E, SCE, SDG&E

How Much Does GTSR Cost?

 
The GTSR premium is determined by a combination of the customer-class average cost (i.e Residential, small /medium/large commercial, agricultural, etc.) the IOUs’s costs, and the year the customer elects GTSR service.  By statute, the costs for GTSR may not be shifted onto other, non-participating ratepayers.

 In general, the Green Tariff Shared Renewable rate consists of four general cost components:

1.  Solar Charge/Renewable Power Rate: The cost of renewable generation purchased:

a.  GT: As a pass-through from the IOU
b.  ECR: Always zero on the IOU bill, since the customer is paying the renewables developer directly.

2.  Program Charge: Charges are set to (1) fund the administration and marketing costs associated with the program, and (2) to ensure that non-participating customers do not fund the program. 

3.  Class Average Generation Credit: The customer taking service on Green Tariff will receive a credit equal to the average generation rate for the Otherwise Applicable Class of service; i.e., residential, small commercial, agricultural, streetlight.  The average generation credit is provided to recognize that the customer's energy supply is now being provided by a renewable resource and displaces the charges for the generation portfolio associated with the Otherwise Applicable Tariff.  Therefore, this charge differs by customer class, since different customer classes have different usage profiles.  SCE customers on the Green Tariff receive a Class Average Generation Credit, along with the Time-of-Delivery Adjustments, as credits against the Solar Charge/Renewable Power Rate and Program Charge.

4Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA): The PCIA is a charge that was developed to address the potential for cost shifting when bundled customers switch to unbundled direct access service, and is used as a proxy on which to base the GTSR customer indifference amount.  The PCIA charge varies according to when the customer left bundled IOU service.  In the table below, the PCIA and CTC are combined for SCE.

Below is an illustrative table of the GTSR charges broken down by IOU and rate-component.  Note that each IOU groups their charges slightly differently.  For full details, please click on the IOU's applicable tariff sheet or program page.

PG&E

Renewable Power Rate

Generation Credit

Program Charges

PCIA
(2019)

Total ($)

In Cents

GT Residential

.0648

-.11777

.02956

.02706

.00365

0.365

GT Small Bus.

.0648

-.11486

.02582

.02705

.00281

0.281

SCE

           

GT Residential

.06718

-.08927

.01993

.02766

.0255

2.55

GT Small Bus.

.06718

-.09034

.01993

.02401

.02078

2.078

SDG&E

           

GT Residential

.062

-.1087

.00995

.03237

-.00438

-0.438

GT Small Bus.*

.062

-.10725

.00995

.02917

-.00613

-0.613

 *EcoChoice has reached its enrollment capacity for commercial customers only.

Program and Marketing Names

Each IOU has rebranded and renamed their respective GTSR programs.  Each name, as well as relevant internet link to the utility's GTSR website is included in the table below.  

Tariff Pages

Program Page and Marketing Name

PG&E

Green Tariff Residential

Solar Choice

Green Tariff Small Business

Solar Choice

Enhanced Community Renewables Residential

Regional Renewable Choice

Enhanced Community Renewables Small Business

Regional Renewable Choice

SCE

Green Tariff Residential

Green Rate

Green Tariff Small Business

Green Rate

Enhanced Community Renewables Residential

Community Renewables

Enhanced Community Renewables Small Business

Community Renewables

SDG&E

Green Tariff Residential

EcoChoice

Green Tariff Small Business.

EcoChoice

Enhanced Community Renewables Residential

EcoShare

Enhanced Community Renewables Small Business

EcoShare


Relevant Legislation

  • SB 43 (September 2013) Enacted the GTSR Program
  • SB 793 (October 2015) Removed the program's 2019 sunset date and permits participating customers to be provided with a nonbinding estimate of reasonably anticipated bill charges for a period of up to 20 years.
  • SB 840 (September 2016) Extended the operation of the program indefinitely.  The program will now end when the 600 megawatt cap of the program  is reached.
 

Contacts

All submitted documents can be found on this proceeding's Docket Card Page for A.12-01-008.

To join this or any other proceeding's service list, please visit our Service List page.  For more information on how you can participate in this proceeding, please visit the Commission's Public Advisor page.

For questions about the GTSR program, please contact Cherie Chan at cherie.chan@cpuc.ca.gov or (415) 703-1779.


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