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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Docket #: Resolution E-4006
Media Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, firstname.lastname@example.org
PUC REMINDS CERTAIN ELECTRIC CUSTOMERS WHO SIGNED UP FOR SERVICE FROM AN ESP AS OF SEPT. 20, 2001
THAT THEY MAY AGAIN TAKE SERVICE FROM AN ESP
SAN FRANCISCO, October 26, 2006 - The California Public Utilities Commission today reminds certain electric customers who had previously signed up for Direct Access (the ability to change electric providers) that they will soon be eligible to do so again. Eligible customers are those of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) who were:
1. Taking service from a Direct Access provider (also known as an Electric Service Provider, or ESP) on September 20, 2001, or
2. Signed up on or before September 20, 2001 to begin taking service from an ESP, but had not yet switched from utility service to Direct Access service.
In a series of decisions beginning in March 2002, the PUC enacted rules to protect utility customers from potential cost impacts that could result from allowing eligible customers to switch between Direct Access and bundled utility service. The PUC, in Decision 01-09-060, suspended the right of customers to take Direct Access electric service after September 20, 2001, in response to the 2000-01 energy crisis.
As clarified in Resolution E-4006, adopted September 7, 2006, customers that return to utility service from Direct Access service must commit to remain on utility service for a minimum of three years. In addition, Direct Access eligible customers must provide the utility a six-month notice before switching between utility and Direct Access service. The first three-year commitment period began in April 2004 and will end in April 2007.
To allow the utility to plan for changes in electric demand, customers must provide a six-month notice to their current utility before they may return to Direct Access service. Customers who met the conditions listed above became eligible as early as last week to provide their utility with the six-month notice that they intend to return to Direct Access service. The date of a customer's actual eligibility will depend on when the customer returned to utility service. Customers who returned to utility service prior to April 2004 are eligible to provide the six-month notice now.
Before giving the utility the required six-month notice, customers are responsible for exploring their options and selecting an ESP. A list of ESPs registered with the Commission is at www.cpuc.ca.gov/published/ESP_Lists/esp_udc.htm. Customers who provide the six-month notice will not be allowed to take utility service at the bundled service rate, a more stable rate, when the six-month notice period expires.
PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E will provide Direct Access eligible customers with notices eight months prior to the end of their three-year commitment periods. Customers that believe they are Direct Access eligible but receive no such notice should contact their utility. Customers eligible for Direct Access service may select an ESP and return to Direct Access service at any time after the end of their three-year commitment period.
For more information on the PUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.