How can I be notified when utility consideration of investments subject to the Emission Performance Standard (EPS) takes place or the Energy Commission is considering the compliance of an investment proposed by a local, publicly owned electric utility?
The Energy Commission maintains a list server, whose members are notified by e-mail when information regarding public consideration by a utility of proposed investments is updated.
To be added to this list, simply fill in your e-mail address in the space in the left hand column and click the submit button.
Can I see the materials provided to the Energy Commission by the utilities in support of their applications for a compliance determination?
Compliance filings, public meeting notices, and requests for exemption are available to the public on each year's EPS docket. For example, calendar year 2020 EPS filings are available on the 20-EPS-01 docket. The filings are ruled upon at Energy Commission business meetings.
When can I inquire about or comment upon an investment under consideration by my utility?
The public is encouraged to inform themselves about decisions being considered by their local utility; various statutes require that deliberation on major investments by utilities be undertaken in a public setting. Persons interested in learning more about public notification requirements should contact their local utility.
Energy Commission staff are also available to answer questions regarding the EPS and investment compliance. If you have questions that remain unanswered after discussion with representatives of your local utility, you may contact the Energy Commission at the address at the bottom of this page.
Finally, Energy Commission Business Meetings, at which Commissioners rule on compliance filings and requests for exemptions, are open to the public.
Who must comply with the Emission Performance Standards (EPS)?
Any public utility, irrigation district, or other public entity identified in Public Utilities Code, Section 9604 must comply with the EPS.
What are the timelines for determining whether or not an investment is compliant with or exempt from the EPS?
Whether or not an investment complies with the EPS can fall under two different categories of utility filings with the Energy Commission.
The first category is a compliance filing, which a publicly owned utility (POU) is required to file within 10 business days after it enters into a covered procurement. In this type of filing, the Energy Commission staff will notify the filing utility within 14 days if the information provided in support of the compliance filing is not sufficient. The Energy Commission has 30 days from receipt of a complete filing to rule on the compliance of the investment with the EPS. This would be done at an Energy Commission Business Meeting.
The second category is a compliance investigation, which is an investigation by the Energy Commission in the event there is reason to believe that a POU may not have complied with these regulations. The investigations fall under Chapter 2, Article 4 of the California Code of Regulations, which establish the steps the Energy Commission must take in assessing the need for and undertaking a compliance investigation and the timelines for each. Within 30 days after the receipt of the request for investigation, the committee or chairman shall either dismiss the matter upon a determination of insufficiency or lack of merit or serve the request for investigation upon the utility. The utility must serve an answer within 21 days after service of the complaint. A hearing must be scheduled to commence no sooner than 21 days after the receipt of the answer and no later than 90 days after the receipt of the request for investigation. The Energy Commission shall provide written notice no fewer than 14 days before the first hearing on the matter.
The timeline for determining whether an investment is exempt from EPS is specified by regulations covering Request for Reliability of Financial Exemptions and Requests for Pre-Existing Multi-Party Commitments Exemptions. In these types of filings, the Energy Commission staff will notify the filing utility within 14 days if the information provided in support of the compliance filing is not sufficient. The Energy Commission has 30 days from receipt of a complete filing to rule on the compliance of the investment with the EPS. This would be done at an Energy Commission Business Meeting.
What data sources are acceptable in establishing the pounds CO2/MWh performance of a generation resource?
For existing resources, data from filings with state and federal agencies can be used. For example, the Energy Information Administration's Form EIA-906 contains data on electricity generation and fuel use, which can be combined to estimate a unit's CO2 emission rate.
For new resources, testing data generated in the course of acquiring an air quality permit can be used to support estimates of the CO2 emission rate. Manufacturer's estimates of fuel consumption per unit of output should only be used if no other information is available and must be adjusted to account for the actual conditions under which the unit(s) will be operating (elevation, temperature).
If a Commission Evaluation of a Prospective Procurement concludes that an investment is compliant with the EPS, is a Compliance Filing still necessary?
Yes. If the investment undertaken is materially unchanged from the time the Evaluation is performed, the utility's Compliance Filing may refer to the information submitted in support of the request for evaluation. Nevertheless, a Compliance Filing containing an attestation is required.
Is a compliance filing necessary for a contract with a renewable generator?
If the contracts is (a) for five years or more and (b) with a facility 10 megawatts (MW) or larger that provides baseload generation, a Public Notice and Compliance Filing is required. They are required even if the utility is contracting for less than 10 MW of of the facility's output or for other than baseload energy (for example, delivery on a 5 x 8 basis).