California Regulator Seeks PG&E Bankruptcy Plan Changes, Proposes $2 Billion Wildfire Fine

The California Public Utilities Commission on April 20 proposed to approve Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s bankruptcy reorganization plan with conditions, including changes to the company’s governance structure, enhanced oversight, and creation of local operating regions. The commission also proposed $1.937 billion in penalties for the utility’s role in causing the catastrophic wildfires in its…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – State Commissions Examine Costs to Utilities Amid Uncertainty From Economic Effects of COVID-19

Amid the economic downturn ensuing from the pandemic, state utility regulators are faced with the challenging task of protecting customers from power shutoffs while also considering costs incurred by utilities. A growing number of state commissions are directing utilities to establish a regulatory asset account to capture and track COVID-19-related incremental costs.

Wisconsin Regulators Provide Guidance for Utilities to Track Costs Related to COVID-19 Crisis

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission provided direction on utilities’ accounting mechanism for costs incurred during the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency seeks to ensure operational and financial stability for regulated utilities while providing for future decisions on cost recovery and protecting consumers from unreasonable rate increases, according to an April 16 press…...

Appalachian Power Requests $65 Million Rate Hike for Electric Service in Virginia

Appalachian Power Company filed an application for a triennial review of its electric service rates, seeking an increase of $65 million in its annual revenue requirement, according to an April 13 notice from the Virginia State Corporation Commission. The change represents a five percent hike in overall revenues, and would raise residential rates by about…...

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – How Utility Commissions Are Responding to Unprecedented Challenges Caused by COVID-19

The volatile situation created by the COVID-19 spread has prompted state utility commissions to respond with new directives and guidance on a number of proceedings. Regulators have responded with various measures, including suspending service disconnections, transitioning to virtual meetings, and delaying rate cases.

Virginia Law Requires Scrutiny of Utility Requests to Recover Natural Gas Capacity Costs

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam on April 6 signed legislation that requires utilities seeking to recover the cost of a natural gas capacity contract to prove that they need the fuel capacity to maintain reliable service and that it is the lowest-cost available option. The law requires utilities to first demonstrate that they cannot maintain reliable…...

Puget Sound Energy, Avista Implement COVID-19 Bill Assistance Programs for Washington Customers

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission on April 10 approved a proposal by Puget Sound Energy to use $11 million of the previous years’ unspent funds from the company’s Home Energy Lifeline Program to aid customers in need without affecting current programs or increasing rates. The agency also approved temporary changes to Avista Corporation’s Low-Income…

Illinois Rejects Process for Third Party Access to Customer Energy Usage Data, Citing Cost, Privacy Concerns

The Illinois Commerce Commission ended a three-year investigation into the possible adoption of a process that would allow non-retail electric suppliers to access the energy usage data of customers, according to an April 2 news release. While acknowledging the potential benefits of data sharing via grid modernization, the commission pointed to concerns that the proposal…

FERC Conditionally Approves $4.3 Billion Sale of El Paso Electric Company

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on March 30 authorized the acquisition of El Paso Electric Company by an investment vehicle advised by J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc., subject to approval of mitigation measures to address potential adverse effects on competition. This is the final regulatory approval required to consummate the transaction. The proposed sale has…...

Connecticut Regulators Examine Energy Affordability for Commercial, Industrial Customers

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority on March 31 issued a draft solicitation inviting proposals for public forums to consider energy affordability and equity for the state’s commercial and industrial customers. Last October, the agency opened an investigation into the topic of energy affordability for all customer classes following the approval of a framework for…...

Missouri Regulators Approve $32 Million Decrease in Ameren’s Electric Revenues

The Missouri Public Service Commission approved an agreement reducing Ameren Missouri’s revenues for electric service by $32 million, starting April 1, according to a March 23 news release. The change will lower residential electric rates by about 1.15 percent. Ameren’s previous rate decrease in 2018 resulted in a six percent rate cut as part of…

Washington Utilities Denied Recovery of $15 Million Related to Colstrip’s 2018 Outage

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission on March 20 rejected a request by Avista Corp., PacifiCorp, and Puget Sound Energy to recover $15.4 million in replacement power costs associated with the 2018 outage of the Colstrip coal-fired power plant in Montana. The commission found that the companies failed to prove that the costs for obtaining…...