Identifying Disadvantaged Communities in the San Joaquin Valley and Evaluating Options to Increase Access to Affordable Energy


The CPUC is exploring the economic feasibility of various options to bring affordable energy options to residents of disadvantaged communities in the San Joaquin Valley, many of whom lack access to natural gas and are reliant on propane and wood for cooking and heating, Assembly Bill (AB) 2672 (Perea) added 783.5 to the Public Utilities Code and CPUC initiated proceeding R.15-03-010 to identify eligible communities and identify affordable energy options.  Formal proceeding documents can be obtained from the CPUC Docket Card.

Phase I - Outreach and Identification of Communities

The Phase I Decision identified 170 disadvantaged communities that met the criteria established in the statute, related to households income levels, population size, and distance from a natural gas pipeline.  The Decision also identified energy options that may be explored further in Phase II.

Click here for  an interactive map of the 170 communities identified in Phase I

Phase II - Pilot Projects and Data Gathering

The CPUC is currently evaluating the scope, feasibility, and cost effectiveness of pilot projects that would explore ways to offer cleaner, more affordable energy options to San Joaquin Valley communities, as well as designing a data gathering strategy.  These pilot projects and data gathering endeavors will directly inform Commission decisions on the best ways to provide assistance to a broader array of communities.

The Phase II Scoping Memo was released on December 6, 2017 and sets expectations for pilot projects and data gathering activities.

Track A - Pilot Projects

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, and SoCalGas Company ("the utilities") submitted pilot project proposals for 12 communities on January 31, 2018.  Alternative pilot proposals were submitted by non-utility parties in comments on the pilot proposals on March 2, 2018.

An Assigned Commissioner Ruling was released on October 3, 2018 and there will be 2 Public Participation Hearings where the public is encouraged to comment on the proposals put forth for the 12 pilot communities in the Assigned Commissioner Ruling. There will also be an All-Party Meeting prior to the November 1 Public Participation Hearing that the public may observe. Upcoming events:

Dec. 13, 2018: CPUC Approves Pilot Projects to Improve Affordable Access to Energy in San Joaquin Valley

Track B - Data Gathering

This track will address data gathering needs for evaluation of economically feasible energy options and will finalize a Data Gathering Plan.  The information provided by parties in Track B will assist the Commission in determining the information needed and a methodology for conducting an overall economic feasibility study in Phase III.

Utilities proposed data gathering plans in the first quarter of 2018 and parties provided comments.  The Commission will determine if workshops are necessary, and Commission staff will propose a final Data Gathering Plan.

Phase III - Economic Feasibility Study

Phase III of this proceeding will be opened at a later date to a) evaluate progress with implementation of the authorized Pilot Projects and b) review the data collected pursuant to an approved Data Gathering Plan created in Phase II.  Phase III will also utilize data collected in accordance with the approved Data Gathering Plan and evaluation of pilot projects to conduct the economic feasibility study required by AB 2672.  A separate scoping memorandum will be issued for Phase III.


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