Rate Design issues are considered in the second phase of a General Rate Case. Generally, a General Rate Case occurs for each Investor-Owned Utility every three years. In the first phase of the General Rate Case, the CPUC determines the amount of revenue that the utility requires to cover all of its costs. The second phase, the Rate Design, involves determining the rate each customer class will pay. Small rate design changes can be implemented between General Rate Cases in proceedings called Rate Design Window. In 2008, the PG&E General Rate Case additionally had a third phase to discuss Dynamic, or Time-variant, Pricing.
In June 2012, the CPUC opened a proceeding to examine whether the current residential electric rate design is meeting the state’s objectives or whether an alternative rate design should be implemented. In October 2013, Governor Brown signed into law AB 327 (Perea), which allows the CPUC greater flexibility in setting residential rates.
Edison requested interim adjustments to its Rate Design to establish a new optional Time-of-Use schedule tailored for electric vehicle owners, but open to all customers.
In June 2011, Edison filed an Application requesting CPUC approval to update generation and distribution marginal costs which in turn are used to set revenues for the respective customer classes.
A CPUC decision in pending on a Settlement that would allow Edison to offer an Economic Development Rate that would discount electricity rates for commercial and industrial customers with at least 200 kW of consumption in economically distressed counties and cities within the Edison service territory.
In April 2013 PG&E filed an Application requesting the CPUC adopt its proposals to revise electric marginal costs, revenue allocation, and rate design that would impact customer bills starting in 2014.
A discounted energy utility rate for commercial and industrial customers with at least 200 kW of load, designed to attract or retain "at risk" businesses that might otherwise cease to do business in California.
The PTR program provides monetary incentives to encourage customers to reduce their peak period energy usage on hot summer days.
In November 2011, the CPUC approved a decision imposing mandatory time-variant pricing programs on small business customers of PG&E in two stages, beginning in November 2012.
On April 13, 2015, SDG&E filed its GRC Phase II Application, requesting CPUC approval to update policies related to Rate Design.
In March 2012, SDG&E filed an Application with the CPUC requesting approval to changes its rates for 2013 – 2014 for certain customer classes and to implement a prepay energy program for residential customers.
In December 2012, the CPUC approved a decision imposing mandatory time-variant pricing programs on small business customers of SDG&E starting in November 2014, with an optional program commencing in November 2013.
See ORA's Presentation on Rate Design Basics.