California energy regulators delve into threats and opportunities of ‘Customer Choice’

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“The CPUC explores potential pitfalls and solutions to utilities losing customers to distributed energy providers, community choice aggregators.

As a regulator with the mission to keep energy affordable, reliable and decarbonized, the CPUC’s main concern was how these trends are taking market share and power away from the state’s investor-owned utilities, which it regulates, and putting it into the hands of third parties over which it may or may not have control.

Distributed net-metered solar, community-choice aggregators (CCAs) and “Direct Access” customers are expected to account for as much as 25 percent of retail electric load as of this year, according to CPUC data. That share could grow to as much as 85 percent by the mid-2020s, based on projections of the rapid growth of behind-the-meter DERs, as well as the rapidly expanding roster of cities and counties seeking CCA status. ”

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