Massachusetts Regulator Launches Investigation Into Consumer Protection Following Complaints

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities issued an order on Jan. 23 opening an investigation into initiatives that would promote and protect electricity consumers in the state. The study will discuss measures including increasing customer awareness, improving the department’s ability to investigate dubious practices by suppliers and other means that would improve the operational efficiency of the market.…

Cal Fire Clears PG&E of 2017 Tubbs Fire Amid Bankruptcy Crisis

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection determined that a private electrical system caused the Tubbs Fire in 2017 in Northern California’s Sonoma County, and not Pacific Gas & Electric Company, which had been under scrutiny for the possible involvement of its equipment in sparking the fires, according to a Jan. 24 news release.…

Minnesota Regulator Adopts Process to Implement Performance-Based Rates

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Jan. 8 established a procedure to determine goals and metrics for Xcel Energy Inc.’s performance-based rates. The commission adopted the Office of Attorney General’s recommendation which outlines a “goals-outcomes-metrics process” as an effective method to gather stakeholder input and develop performance metrics. The possible outcomes identified include affordability, reliability,…

PG&E to Seek Bankruptcy Protection Amid Wildfire Liability

PG&E Corporation announced it intends to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code as it faces billions of dollars in potential liability resulting from the 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires, according to a Jan. 14 press release. The move comes a day after Geisha Williams stepped down as CEO. The company said…...

California Begins Process to Determine Wildfire Cost Recovery Amid PG&E’s Troubles

The California Public Utilities Commission on Jan. 10 opened a docket to implement the provisions of Senate Bill 901 enacted last year, allowing utilities to pass some of their costs to ratepayers. The commission said it will adopt a methodology for wildfire cost recovery, but will not adopt any specific financial outcome for future applications…....

Dominion Energy Seeks $114 Million Rate Hike to Fund Environmental Projects

The Virginia Electric and Power Company filed a rate adjustment clause proposing a revenue requirement of $113.6 million to recover the costs of complying with state and federal environmental regulations for the 2019 rate year starting Nov. 1 and ending Oct. 31, 2020, according to a Jan. 10 press release from the Virginia State Corporation…

Michigan Regulator Approves $99 Million Rate Hike for Consumers Energy

The Michigan Public Service Commission on Jan. 9 approved Consumers Energy Company’s settlement that provides for an annual revenue decrease of $24 million and terminates the “Credit A” federal tax cut reduction of $123 million, resulting in a net revenue increase of $99 million. The tax adjustment, the first of a three-step process to address…

Washington to Revise Electric Utilities’ Competitive Procurement Rules to Reflect Industry Trend

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission on Dec. 31 issued a notice seeking comments on a draft rule for competitive resource acquisition by utilities. The proposal is a result of stakeholder workshops and public comment processes since the commission unveiled a proposal in 2016 to examine whether rules governing the integrated resource plan and utility…

Consumers Energy, DTE Electric to Return $162 Million in Federal Tax Cut Savings to Michigan Customers

The Michigan Public Service Commission approved the second round of federal tax cut adjustments, called Credit B, requiring Consumers Energy Company and DTE Electric Company to return about $69.7 million and 92.8 million, respectively, to their electric customers beginning this month. With this ruling, the commission has ordered $228 million in Credit B refunds, in…

Connecticut Regulator Finds No Evidence of Gas Market Manipulation

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, in a Dec. 12 decision, found that the state’s local distribution companies took a prudent approach to managing their gas supply portfolio during the 2013 to 2016 winter seasons and properly met their “supplier-of-last-resort” or SOLR obligations. The agency analyzed data for the peak demand days from the three…

Michigan Regulator Grants $90 Million Increase in DTE Electric’s Depreciation Rates

The Michigan Public Service Commission approved a settlement raising the annual depreciation expenses of DTE Electric Co. by about $90 million – lower than the utility’s $156 million request – for coal, wind, and solar power generation plants. The agreement does not apply to the utility’s coal plants that are scheduled to retire in the…

Duke Energy Progress to Return $104 Million in Federal Tax Cut Savings to North Carolina Customers

The North Carolina Utilities Commission on Nov. 26 approved Duke Energy Progress LLC’s proposed decrement rate to reflect about $103.88 million in annual revenue impact from the federal tax law that slashed income tax rates to 21 percent from 35 percent effective Jan. 1. The change will offset a rate hike slated to go into…