Identifying Disadvantaged Communities in the San Joaquin Valley and Evaluating Options to Increase Access to Affordable Energy

Background

The CPUC is exploring the economic feasibility of various options to bring affordable energy options to residents of disadvantaged communities in the San Joaquin Valley, many of whom lack access to natural gas and are reliant on propane and wood for cooking and heating, Assembly Bill (AB) 2672 (Perea) added 783.5 to the Public Utilities Code and CPUC initiated proceeding R.15-03-010 to identify eligible communities and identify affordable energy options.  Formal proceeding documents can be obtained from the CPUC Docket Card.

Phase I - Outreach and Identification of Communities

The Phase I Decision identified 170 disadvantaged communities that met the criteria established in the statute, related to households income levels, population size, and distance from a natural gas pipeline.  The Decision also identified energy options that may be explored further in Phase II.

Click here for  an interactive map of the 170 communities identified in Phase I

Phase II - Pilot Projects and Data Gathering

The CPUC is currently evaluating the scope, feasibility, and cost effectiveness of pilot projects that would explore ways to offer cleaner, more affordable energy options to San Joaquin Valley communities, as well as designing a data gathering strategy.  These pilot projects and data gathering endeavors will directly inform Commission decisions on the best ways to provide assistance to a broader array of communities.

The Phase II Scoping Memo was released on December 6, 2017 and sets expectations for pilot projects and data gathering activities.

Track A - Pilot Projects

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, and SoCalGas Company ("the utilities") submitted pilot project proposals for 12 communities on January 31, 2018.  Alternative pilot proposals were submitted by non-utility parties in comments on the pilot proposals on March 2, 2018.

An Assigned Commissioner Ruling was released on October 3, 2018 and there will be 2 Public Participation Hearings where the public is encouraged to comment on the proposals put forth for the 12 pilot communities in the Assigned Commissioner Ruling. There will also be an All-Party Meeting prior to the November 1 Public Participation Hearing that the public may observe. Upcoming events:

Dec. 13, 2018: CPUC Approves Pilot Projects to Improve Affordable Access to Energy in San Joaquin Valley

Workshop on San Joaquin Valley Disadvantaged Communities Pilots Split Incentives

  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019 | 8am-11am | PG&E, 245 Market St, West Lobby, Conference Room A, San Francisco
  • WebEx: here
  • Meeting number: 748 476 019
  • Meeting password: no password needed
  • Conference line: 1-800-603-7556 
  • Attendee access code: 748 476 019
Purpose 

The purpose of this workshop is to provide the opportunity to present and solicit stakeholder feedback on the appropriate models for structuring an agreement with a property owner to ensure that their tenant(s) experiences bill savings as a result of participating in the San Joaquin Valley pilots and does not suffer unintended consequences.

Background  

The Decision Approving San Joaquin Valley Disadvantaged Communities Pilot Projects (D.18-12-015) identified that a central objective of the pilots is ensuring that all households, including those occupied by tenants, experience bill savings as a result of the pilot and do not suffer negative unintended consequences. To accomplish this, the Decision determined it is reasonable to require all pilot administrators to seek assurances from property owners that they will not significantly increase rents or evict tenants as a result of home improvements for at least five years following completion of pilot appliance installations, and that this should be attained through some form of agreement by the property owner. The Decision determined it was reasonable for parties to explore the appropriate models for such agreements in a workshop setting.

Materials  

Workshop on San Joaquin Valley Disadvantaged Communities Pilots Bill Protections & Affordability

  • Friday, February 1, 2019 | 9am-3:30pm | PG&E, 245 Market St, West Lobby, Conference Room A, San Francisco
  • WebEx: here
  • Meeting number: 746 422 167
  • Meeting password: no password needed
  • Conference line: 1-800-603-7556
  • Attendee access code: 746 422 167
Purpose

The purpose of this workshop is to provide the opportunity to present and solicit stakeholder feedback on bill protections and affordability approaches for households participating in the San Joaquin Valley pilots.

Background 

The Decision Approving San Joaquin Valley Disadvantaged Communities Pilot Projects (D.18-12-015) identified that a central objective of the pilots is ensuring that all participating households experience energy cost savings. Parties proposed multiple approaches to ensuring cost savings. Ultimately, the Decision determined it was premature to adopt any one approach, and concluded the topic would benefit from an in-depth workshop discussion. The Decision directed that a workshop should be held to discuss bill protection approaches, and directed that the proposal presentations should explain the data, modeling and assumptions used to develop proposals and emphasize how the approach minimizes administrative barriers and undue burden for pilot participants while providing reliable protection against energy cost increases.

Materials

 Workshop on San Joaquin Reliability Report

  •  Tuesday, May 7, 2019 | 5:30pm-7:30pm | Energy Education Center - Tulare, 4175 S. Laspina Street, Tulare, CA  93274

Purpose

The purpose of this workshop is to provide stakeholders and community members with the opportunity to provide feedback on a proposed reliability report that covers San Joaquin Valley pilot communities.

Background

The Decision Approving San Joaquin Valley Disadvantaged Communities Pilot Projects (D.18-12-015) directed SCE and PG&E to provide a report analyzing root causes of the outages in the participating San Joaquin Valley communities and timelines for corrective action.  SCE, in coordination with PG&E, is hosting a workshop to discuss the proposed format of the report and elements and analysis to be included in the report.  The report will be submitted via a Tier 1 Pilot Community Reliability Advice Letter to the CPUC by June 17, 2019.

Materials

 Track B - Data Gathering

This track will address data gathering needs for evaluation of economically feasible energy options and will finalize a Data Gathering Plan.  The information provided by parties in Track B will assist the Commission in determining the information needed and a methodology for conducting an overall economic feasibility study in Phase III.

Utilities proposed data gathering plans in the first quarter of 2018 and parties provided comments.  The Commission will determine if workshops are necessary, and Commission staff will propose a final Data Gathering Plan.

Phase III - Economic Feasibility Study

Phase III of this proceeding will be opened at a later date to a) evaluate progress with implementation of the authorized Pilot Projects and b) review the data collected pursuant to an approved Data Gathering Plan created in Phase II.  Phase III will also utilize data collected in accordance with the approved Data Gathering Plan and evaluation of pilot projects to conduct the economic feasibility study required by AB 2672.  A separate scoping memorandum will be issued for Phase III.

 


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