Direct access may open on April 11, 2010

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Feb. 12, 2010

The ability to purchase electricity from non-utility providers may soon expand as rules are written to lift the suspension put in place during the energy crisis of 2001.

Since 2001, only customers then being served by direct access (DA) were allowed to stay on DA and the option was closed to new applicants.  In 2009 SB 695 (Christine Kehoe, D-Sacramento) was passed which allows DA for new customers. Proposed rules were issued by the California Public Utilities Commission this week.

The market would open starting April 11, 2010. Each utility has a certain amount of load available to move to DA over a four-year period (including a first partial year from April to December 2010). Annual limits on new enrollments would provide a smooth pace for new entrants and ease administrative and logistical issues.  Amounts of load unsubscribed in early years would roll over to future years.

Customers who have pre-2001 rights to have DA were concerned that expansion of DA for new customers might impact their ability to come and go from utility service under rules established in 2001.  For example, a DA customer who had moved back to utility service must wait three years before moving back to DA.  Now such a “wait” could undermine their ability to return to DA under the new load caps. Under the proposed rules, conflicts with current coming and going rules would be solved through a one-time waiver of the three year commitment and a one- time waiver of a six month notice required when moving from utility to DA.  The waivers will apply only in the first partial year enrollment period.

Other elements of the proposal include:

  • Utilities to provide updated information to eligible customers about the opportunities to subscribe to DA and indicate whether there is room for new applications,
  • New DA allowed only for non-residential customers,
  • Enrollment to be based on first-come, first-served principles,
  • Interested customers to submit a Notice of Intent to subscribe to DA,
  • Interval meter requirement to be waived for customers between 50kW and 199kW, and
  • A resource adequacy charge to be calculated and imposed during the initial year.

We invite you to join World Energy ( for a complimentary webinar featuring Dorothy Rothrock, CMTA’s VP Government Relations. Dorothy will discuss how the new market may develop and how your company can benefit from a competitive energy market. We will also share strategies that many companies are acting on now to best position themselves for enrollment before the load caps are reached.

If you’re responsible for managing your company’s energy procurement practices, or if you make recommendations to your management team on mitigating energy risk, then you won’t want to miss this webinar.

Webinar Details

    Who:   World Energy and CMTA
    What:    SB 695: Competition in the California Energy Market“  
    When:   Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 11:00am PT/2:00pm ET
    Why:   To learn about California SB 695 and how your company can take advantage of energy competition

We hope you’ll join us.

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