California regulators to hold public forms in March, April on SCE’s proposed rate requests

The commission noted that SCE in August 2019 submitted an application requesting commission approval to increase the company’s electric distribution and electric generation revenues by about $7.6bn — or 20.5% — in 2021 over current revenues

The California Public Utilities Commission on Feb. 19 said that it will hold public forums in March and April for customers to give their perspective and input about Southern California Edison’s (SCE) rate requests.

The commission noted that SCE in August 2019 submitted an application requesting commission approval to increase the company’s electric distribution and electric generation revenues by about $7.6bn — or 20.5% — in 2021 over current revenues.

The hearings will take place on March 17 in Santa Ana, Calif.; March 18 in Torrance, Calif.; April 1 in Lancaster, Calif.; April 2 in Oxnard, Calif.; April 9 in Visalia, Calif.; April 20 in Palm Desert, Calif.; April 21 in San Bernardino, Calif.; and April 22 in Pomona, Calif.

The commission added that if it approves SCE’s rate request, then the average residential monthly bill would increase by about $14 in 2021; $4 in 2022; and $6 in 2023. The impacts would be less for lower-income residential customers enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program — $9.50 in 2021; $3 in 2022; and $4 in 2023, the commission said.

Written comments may be submitted to the commission by mail to CPUC Public Advisor, 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102, or by email to public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov (proceeding number A.19-08-013).

As noted in SCE’s application, the bulk of the company’s revenue requirement request in the general rate case (GRC) relates to the foundational work that SCE has always performed to maintain and improve the grid and the support functions necessary to provide its services, while continuing the investments necessary to implement California’s primary policy objective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

SCE said that in this GRC, it proposes the continuation of comprehensive programs, activities, and actions aimed at significantly mitigating and minimizing the risk of wildfire associated with its equipment in light of more extreme environmental conditions and other factors. SCE said that its wildfire safety measures in this GRC include a focus on expanded inspections and vegetation management programs. SCE noted that it has implemented expanded infrastructure inspection programs, including the Enhanced Overhead Inspection (EOI) program, which goes “beyond the commission’s previous overhead inspection regulatory requirements.”

Among other things, SCE said that consistent with the state Legislature’s recent direction in AB 1054, the company is continuing to purchase wildfire insurance to protect customers from third-party wildfire claims, as well as to ensure that SCE has the funds necessary to operate the system and serve customers should further utility related wildfire events occur notwithstanding SCE’s best efforts to prevent them.