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Weekly Energy Brief: December 16, 2023
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California Revamps Default Service Auctions to Shield Consumers from Price Gouging

In a decisive move aimed at curbing excessive electricity costs, the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has mandated revisions to its default service auctions. The newly implemented "capacity proxy" pricing mechanism will ensure competitive rates for customers who remain with their assigned retail electricity provider (REP) after the conclusion of the Standard Offer Program.

This intervention responds to a concerning trend: nearly a third of California residents remained with their REPs even after the program ended, unknowingly paying significantly higher rates than the prevailing market price. The PUC's action is expected to inject greater fairness and transparency into the state's electricity market, protecting consumers from predatory pricing practices.

ERCOT Proposes Expanded Role for Distributed Energy Resources in Texas Power Grid Resilience

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is proposing a transformative initiative to bolster the Lone Star State's power grid by enlisting the active participation of distributed energy resources (DERs). Under the proposed framework, Aggregate DERs (ADERs), encompassing distributed solar panels, wind turbines, and energy storage systems, would be eligible to provide Contingency Reserve Service (ECRS). This means that during peak demand or unexpected outages, ADERs could be called upon to inject additional power into the grid, enhancing its overall stability and resilience.

This visionary proposal holds the potential to unlock the vast potential of DERs and accelerate the integration of clean energy sources into the Texas power system, ultimately benefitting both consumers and the environment.

New York PSC Sends Clear Message: Performance Matters in Clean Energy Transition

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) has taken a decisive stand against underperforming clean energy providers by revoking the eligibility of two Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) for failing to meet established performance standards. This action signals a commitment to upholding stringent quality and service benchmarks within the state's clean energy sector.

The revoked ESCOs fell short in their renewable energy procurement and customer service obligations. By holding providers accountable, the PSC sends a clear message that excellence and reliability are paramount in the ongoing transition towards a sustainable energy future for New York.

Constellation Energy Doubles Down on Growth with Increased Share Repurchase Program

Constellation Energy's Board of Directors has expressed unwavering confidence in the company's future by authorizing a significant expansion of its share repurchase program. This bold move greenlights the purchase of up to $2 billion worth of the company's stock, reflecting a deep-seated belief in Constellation's long-term growth potential.

The increased share repurchases will likely attract further investor interest, potentially boosting the company's stock price and further solidifying its position within the competitive energy landscape.

Lubbock Lights the Way for Retail Electric Choice in Texas

A new chapter unfolds in the Texas energy market as Lubbock City Council paves the way for implementing retail electric choice. This transformative initiative grants residents the power to select their electricity provider, fostering a more competitive environment with the potential for lower prices and enhanced consumer control.

Lubbock's embrace of retail choice marks a significant shift in the state's energy policy and positions it as a frontrunner in empowering consumers with greater autonomy over their electricity needs.