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Decision 11-12-035 December 15, 2011
BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Order Instituting Rulemaking on the Commission's own motion to determine the impact on public benefits associated with the expiration of ratepayer charges pursuant to Public Utilities Code Section 399.8.
(Filed October 6, 2011)
Table of Contents
PHASE 1 DECISION ESTABLISHING INTERIM RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND DEMONSTRATION, AND RENEWABLES PROGRAMS FUNDING LEVELS 1
1. Summary 2
2. System Benefits Charge (or Public Goods Charge) Purpose
and History 2
3. Parties' Comments 6
4. Discussion 10
4.1. Legal Authority 11
4.2. Renewables Programs 24
4.3. Research, Development, and Demonstration 27
4.4. The Electric Program Investment Charge 32
5. Next Steps 34
6. Comments on Proposed Decision 35
7. Assignment of Proceeding 36
Findings of Fact 36
Conclusions of Law 39
PHASE 1 DECISION ESTABLISHING INTERIM RESEARCH,
DEVELOPMENT AND DEMONSTRATION,
AND RENEWABLES PROGRAMS FUNDING LEVELS
Funding authorized in Public Utilities Code Section 399.8, which currently governs the system benefits charge (also known as the public goods charge), expires as of January 1, 2012. Public benefits provided by the expiring funding are in the areas of energy efficiency, renewables, and research, development, and demonstration (RD&D).
This rulemaking addresses funding and program issues related to the renewables and RD&D portions of the expiring system benefits charge funding. Issues related to the expiration of energy efficiency funding will be handled in the Commission's ongoing proceedings related to energy efficiency, currently Rulemaking 09-11-014.
This decision institutes a new surcharge, known as the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC), to fund renewables and RD&D programs. The levels and allocations for the EPIC will be at the same levels as for the current public goods charge, after subtracting the energy efficiency component. The EPIC is instituted on an interim basis, subject to refund, until policy, programmatic, governance and allocation issues are decided in Phase 2 of this Rulemaking.