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District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

Legislative activities

In 2008, the California State Legislature began considering legislation directed specifically for the smart grid. They wanted to add to the Public Utilities Code, Chapter 4 Section 8360-8369. By 2009 they had crafted approved legislation, seeking to modernize the grid to maintain safe, reliable, efficient, and secure electrical service, with infrastructure that can meet future growth in demand and characterize smart grid development in a number of areas. Part of this law tasked the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC), in consultation with key stakeholders to determine a smart grid deployment plan. It also required the California electrical corporations to develop and submit their own their own deployment plans to the PUC for approval by July 1, 2011. [7]

Prior to 2000 California had already developed and revised solar access laws and easements in the state’s Civil, Government, Health and Safety, and Public Resources Codes. California’s Civil Code (801.5) ensures that neighbors may voluntarily sign solar easements to ensure that proper sunlight is available to those who operate solar energy systems. California’s Government Code (65850.5) provides that subdivisions may include solar easements applicable to all plots within the subdivision in their plans. California’s Public Resources Code (25980) contains the Solar Shade Control Act, which encourages the use of trees and other natural shading except in cases where the shading may interfere with the use of active and passive solar systems on adjacent properties. Several counties have also developed solar access ordinances. [5]

In 2009 Assembly Bill 45 authorized counties to adopt ordinances to provide for the installation of small wind systems.

By 1995, the California State Legislature had passed legislation focusing on net-metering of distributed solar and wind energy systems but expanded the legislation to several types of renewable distributed energy systems during the 2000s. [7]

Regulatory activities

The California Public Utilities Commission has been very active within the state as it relates to smart grid development and deployment. It was one of the early adopters for net metering requirements prior to 2002.

In 2007, the California Public Utilities Commission looked at protocols, methodologies, and potential policies of demand response. Part of this work has been exploring integration within the California ISO. Time of use pricing had been utilized in California since 1978; since that time, electric vehicle charging time of use has gone into effect in 1999, residential and commercial time of use has gone into effect for residential and commercial, and in 2006 distributed generation (primarily solar) in combination with time of use pricing. In 2008, the California Public Utilities Commission made a very consequential decision to allow time of use rates to be the default rate for mid- to large-size customers of one of its major utilities. This, in combination with critical peak pricing and the demand bidding program, is being used to complement the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) deployment plan of many of the California utilities. [1, 2, 3, 4]

“California is a leader in exploring and expanding demand response. For instance, the California Energy Commission issued regulations instituting mandatory time-of-use pricing for large commercial and industrial customers in 1978… Later, during the western energy crisis of 2000–2001, California developed an Energy Action Plan that specified a loading order of resources: first, energy efficiency; second, demand response; third, renewable energy sources; and finally, conventional generation options. The Energy Action Plan also set a target reduction in peak demand of 5 percent for 2007. When California’s three investor-owned electric utilities only achieved 40 percent of that target in 2007, they were asked to revamp their efforts. Simultaneously, the California Public Utilities Commission approved business cases for the deployment of advanced metering initiatives (AMI) by all three utilities, and then issued a landmark ruling making dynamic pricing the default tariff for all non-residential customers who were part of AMI…

California also carried out the nation’s first comprehensive test with dynamic pricing, known as the Statewide Pricing Pilot, which involved approximately 2,500 residential and small commercial and industrial customers. The results of the Statewide Pricing Pilot provided information about the likely amount that customers would lower their peak demand at different price levels, both with and without enabling technologies. In addition, a large number of participants elected to continue on the experimental rates despite a new metering charge, indicating that participants were satisfied with the experimental rates. Overall, the experiment showed that if customers are fully informed, they are more likely to participate in dynamic pricing programs.”[6]

In 2008 the Commission also opened an “informational and rulemaking proceeding” with the intent of adopting load management and demand response standards.

Distributed Generators include qualifying cogeneration and small power production facilities.

Time-of-use rates break the cost for electricity into periods on a seasonal basis and sections within on-peak and off-peak for pricing.

Critical peak pricing allows customers to reduce or shift some of their load during critical peak demand periods; this is often used with direct load control and AMI.

The demand bidding program allows for voluntary reduction of power during a Demand Bidding Program even; this is often used with direct load control and AMI.

Utilities and Rate Schedules

Imperial Irrigation District
- Imperial Irrigation District Rates

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
- Pacific Gas and Electric Company Rates

Pacific Power
- Pacific Power Rates

San Diego Gas and Electric
- San Diego Gas and Electric Rates

Sierra Pacific
- Sierra Pacific Rates

Southern California Edison
- Southern California Edison Residential Rates
- Southern California Edison Business Rates

See the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) for information on consumer-owned Cooperatives: http://www.nreca.org/members/MemberDirectory/Pages/default.aspx

State-Level Incentives

California has several tax incentives on renewable energy generation including loan programs, rebates, production incentives and small scale solar property tax incentives.

More information can be found in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE): http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/index.cfm?re=1&ee=1&spv=0&st=0&srp=1&state=CA

Additional Resources

State Energy Office:
- The California Energy Commission

State Authority Dealing with Energy Regulation:
- California Public Utilities Commission
- Docket Search: http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/published/proceedings/docket_flash.htm

California Law

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE): http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/index.cfm?re=1&ee=1&spv=0&st=0&srp=1&state=CA


[1] San Diego Gas and Electric, Electric Tariff Book – Commercial/Industrial Rates. URL. http://www.sdge.com/electric-tariff-book-commercialindustrial-rates
[2] San Diego Gas and Electric, Electric Tariff Book – Residential Rates. URL. http://www.sdge.com/regulatory/elec_residential.shtml
[3] Imperial Irrigation District, IID Energy Rates. URL. http://www.iid.com/index.aspx?page=309
[4] Southern California Edison, Business Rates Medium Business. URL. http://www.sce.com/business/rates/medium-business.htm
[5] Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, California Solar Easement and the Solar Shade Control Act, 07/17/2009. URL: http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=CA03R&re=1&ee=1
[6] Draft for Comment of the National Action Plan on Demand Response The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Staff Docket No. AD09-10, Prepared with the support of The Brattle Group, GMMB, Customer Performance Group, David Lineweber. URL: http://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/03-12-10-demand-response.pdf
[7] Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, California – Net Metering, 02/26/2010. URL: http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=CA02R&re=1&ee=1