San Joaquin Disadvantaged Communities

Background

Assembly Bill 2672, passed in September 2014, requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to identify disadvantaged communities (“DACs”) in the San Joaquin Valley that suffer hardships because they lack access to natural gas lines. Moreover, the CPUC must consider and implement methods of increasing access to affordable energy in these DACs. Alternatives may include the extension of natural gas lines, increased subsidies for residential customers, and the deployment of distributed generation resources to serve these DACs.

ORA Policy Position

ORA advocates that the CPUC develop solutions for the hardships experienced by the DACs, that are also cost effective. ORA raised the need for a data gathering framework during this phase of the proceeding, so that the CPUC may rely on as much information as possible in developing the various alternatives for the San Joaquin DACs.

ORA also recommended that adapting DACs to all-electric service be explored by the proposed pilot projects.

Proceeding Status

The CPUC opened a rulemaking and resolved the first phase of its work, adopting a methodology to identify the DACs in a decision issued in May 2017.

The CPUC will now move on to the next phase of its work. The CPUC will consider proposals for pilot projects that will provide clean and affordable energy to selected DACs. The CPUC will also consider plans for gathering data about the DACs and the effectiveness of the various alternatives to increase access to affordable energy.

Other Resources

ORA Case Management Statement for the second phase of the proceeding.

ORA proposed Data Gathering Framework

Data Working Group Report in the first phase of the proceeding