By Karen Villasenor.
As Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs emerge throughout California, the number of cities inspired to consider CCA has rapidly increased. Previously, such cities could prolong their consideration of CCA without a substantial setback, but with the adoption of Resolution E-4907 at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), cities currently considering CCA must move forward promptly to meet new deadlines and ensure their CCA implementation is not delayed.
Resolution E-4907, unanimously approved by the CPUC on February 8, 2018, establishes a new CCA registration timeline with defined deadlines and procedures. With the new timeline, prospective CCAs are required to submit their implementation plan to the CPUC on or before January 1 of the year before they intend to serve customers. To launch a CCA program in 2020, for example, a city must submit their implementation plan to the CPUC on or before January 1, 2019; if a city misses this deadline, they will not be eligible to launch until 2021.
“It is really important for cities to be aware of the CPUC’s new timeline to ensure they are taking the proper steps to complete each procedure on time while also allowing their city councils enough time for approval. If they miss a step, their CCA process can end up being delayed an entire year,” said Barbara Boswell, President of the Bayshore Consulting Group, a consultant to California Choice Energy Authority (CCEA).
For cities currently considering CCA, time is of the essence if they intend to submit their implementation plan by the upcoming January 1, 2019 deadline. To develop an implementation plan, cities must first complete a feasibility study to determine whether a CCA program is appropriate for their community. This study includes requesting and analyzing electrical usage data from the local investor-owned utility, a process which may take up to six months to complete.
“Cities need to engage a qualified professional to complete their feasibility study and prepare their implementation plan. If they want these items thoroughly completely by January 1, 2019, they should be ready to bring in a professional no later than June 2018,” added Boswell.
The CPUC’s new timeline does not apply to prospective CCAs who submitted implementations prior to December 8, 2017. There are 10 new and expanding CCAs that remain on the previous timeline and are eligible to begin service in 2018. CCEA Associate Member Rancho Mirage Energy Authority (RMEA) is scheduled to launch May 2018.
CCEA is a pioneering Community Choice Aggregation solution for cities in California. The hybrid joint powers authority provides an innovative model that retains local control of utility services for cities who partner with CCEA while alleviating operational risk and administrative overhead associated with the implementation of CCA. For more information, please visit https://californiachoiceenergyauthority.com/.
New Timeline for CCA Registration Process
- Day 1, on or before January 1, Year 1: CCA submits Implementation Plan to CPUC.
- Day 10: CPUC notifies the Utility that an implementation plan has been filed.
- Day 60: CCA provides draft customer notice to CPUC Public Advisor. Within 15 days of CCA providing draft notice, public advisor will finalize CCA notice.
- Day 90:
- CPUC certifies it has received the implementation plan and provides CCA with findings regarding cost recovery that must be paid by customers of the CCA in order to prevent cost shifting.
- CCA submits its registration packet (bond and service agreement).
- Day 120: CPUC confirms registration of a CCA, issues the CCA registration number, and publishes the Implementation Plan and Registration number on the CCA page of the website.
- April, Year 1: CCA files its annual load forecasts.
- August, Year 1: CCA files its revised annual load forecasts.
- January, Year 2: CCA begins serving load.