CA Regulators Postpone Direct Access Vote

While indicating a majority will back suspension of the state's retail direct access, California regulators last Wednesday indicated they will delay taking action on the controversial measure until July 3 at the request of the state Assembly speaker, who is looking at some legislative options that involve the retail customer choice issue. That is the latest the decision can be held off without beginning to impede the current schedule for the state's upcoming long-term electricity bond issue, according to Loretta Lynch, president of the California Public Utilities Commission.

It is well known that state lawmakers currently are looking at alternative solutions to the governor's deal with Southern California Edison Co., and those alternatives include variations of direct access that would limit it to the largest, so-called "non-core" customers who would be required to pay "exit fees" that would pay off past unpaid wholesale power costs before they could make their own power supply deals outside of the state's and the utilities' supplies.

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