California regulators order community choice aggregation customers to pay more to leave utility service

California PUC ramps up exit fees for community choice aggregation programs. In a move that advocates of community choice aggregation in California warned would curb electricity competition in the state, the California Public Utilities Commission adopted a new formula it said would ensure that customers remaining with their utility suppliers don’t absorb an unfair amount of system costs. The PUC had two competing options before it for assessing exit fees on customers of community choice aggregation programs, and adopted the one that had the support of utilities rather than CCA advocates. “This is not about utility profit versus customer choice,” said Commissioner Carla Peterman, who had advocated the approach ultimately adopted by the regulatory body. “Nothing changes to the utility’s profit based on our decision here. What changes is which customers are paying for what.” For San Francisco’s CleanPowerSF aggregation program, the PUC’s move will increase customer costs by 8 percent, for a total of $40 million annually. 

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