Draft 2021 and 2022 Affordability Ratio Calculators

CPUC staff are making available the draft affordability ratio calculators that will be used to prepare this year’s Affordability Report. These tools are being made available to parties so they can provide feedback on any identified data errors or methodological issues while staff prepares this year’s affordability report. As described in the final section of the 2020 Annual Affordability Report, parties are being asked to provide this feedback within 30 days (by March 15th). Feedback can be sent by e-mail directly to ankit.jain@cpuc.ca.gov with the subject line “Draft ARC Feedback”.

 The draft AR calculators can be found at the links below. These tools should not yet be considered final and should not be used for preparation of any affordability analysis testimony. These tools are only being made available at this time to give parties an opportunity to provide feedback before final versions of the tool are released alongside this year’s affordability report.

This year, staff has prepared an updated AR calculator for historical analysis of 2021 using the same methodology that was used in the prior year’s affordability analysis (affordability analysis based on historical essential usage bills for 2021 and the 1-year 2021 sample of American Community Survey, or ACS, microdata). In a change from prior years, staff has also prepared a second draft AR calculator for historical analysis of the year 2022. This second draft calculator uses the same methodology that was used in prior years, but features more up-to-date historical essential usage bills for electricity, natural gas, and Class A water utilities. All other water essential usage bills, as well as communications essential usage bills, are based on 2021 values and adjusted for inflation. Income and housing cost data for 2022 in this version of the calculator is based on 2021 ACS microdata and adjusted for inflation.

 The goal of providing this more up-to-date version of the AR calculator is to reduce the lag between historical years and the Commission’s affordability analysis. Going forward, CPUC staff plans on using the methodology and data vintages used in the 2022 ARC to refresh the affordability analysis in future years. Parties are welcome to provide feedback on this new approach to the annual affordability refresh when providing comments on this year’s draft ARCs.