• Market Structure and Design, Costs, and Natural Gas

     

  • The Market Structure, Costs and Natural Gas Branch has the primary responsibility for leading the CPUC’s role in electric and gas general rate case (GRC) Phase I proceedings and fuel and purchased power proceedings where bulk of the costs the utilities are authorized to collect are reviewed and determined. The Electric Resource Recovery Account (ERRA) proceedings that the Branch handles likewise involve billions of ratepayer dollars.

    The Branch includes the Natural Gas section which handles all issues related to utility’s natural gas system and gas purchases for the Energy Division of CPUC. In recent years the section was overwhelmed by work related to the San Bruno gas line rupture which led to many investigations by the CPUC and pipeline safety enhancement and transmission integrity related work with huge price tags. The Gas section also deals with gas storage issues.

    The Branch also has a section, the Market Structure and Design Section, dedicated to work related to Direct Access, Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs and implementation of Affiliate Transaction Rules which require periodic audits to verify compliance with the rules. A major charge of this section is to represent the CPUC in an advocacy role in transmission rate cases which came under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) after restructuring of the California energy markets effective January 1, 1998. This section also tracks and engages in major market reform initiatives at the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and generally monitors CAISO market performance.