Energy Management

Applications for California Direct Access Program to be Accepted June 8-12

3 min read

In our recent webinar, we provided an overview of the Direct Access (DA) expansion that began with the 2018 passage of Senate Bill 237 in California. That law allowed the DA program to increase by 4,000 GWh throughout the territories of the three major investor-owned utilities (IOUs) – Southern California Edison (SCE), Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). This law allows more commercial and industrial customers to choose the retail supplier that best suits their energy needs.

Expansion Status

The implementation of the DA expansion is overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Their rules called for the IOUs to offer space to customers on their DA waiting lists. This table shows the results of that process to date:

California Direct Access Update

Source: CPUC and IOUs

Key Considerations and Open Issues

  1. The customer load that is admitted to DA to fill the remaining space under the expansion cap will not be allowed to start service until January 1, 2022. This is to ensure that resource adequacy obligations for 2022, which will occur in 2021, are assigned to the entity that will be serving that load.
  2. It remains unclear whether SCE and PG&E intend to offer the remaining space under the expansion cap to customers on the existing 2020 waiting list, or whether they will only offer the space to customers on the waiting list that will be created in the upcoming June 2020 lottery (2021 waiting list). We are working with SCE and PG&E and regulators to resolve this issue.
  3. We expect that customers offered space under the remaining expansion cap (whether from the 2020 waiting list or the 2021 waiting list) will have 15 days to accept or decline the offered space.
  4. If customers accept the offered space, we expect that they will then have 45 days to complete the Direct Access Service Request (DASR) paperwork to initiate service in January of 2022. If a customer does not complete the DASR in that time frame, the customer will be deemed a “returning customer” subject to utility service at market-based rates for up to six months, and the customer would be precluded from leaving utility service for 18 more months. However, it is also under discussion with SCE and PG&E if the 45-day timeline for DASR completion applies in this manner.

It Remains Important to Sign Up for the Lottery

Signing up to participate in the lottery between June 8 – 12, 2020, carries no risk whatsoever for customers because any customer who signs up for the lottery and is offered space under the cap may decline the space and remain on its existing service without any penalty or cost.  Therefore, even with the uncertainties associated with how the lottery will be used to allow customers into DA, it is in the customers’ best interest to sign up for the lottery to ensure that they have the maximum chance to consider DA service.

Constellation is here to help with your lottery submission. We feel it is important for us to submit on your behalf so that we can track the waitlist progress for you as well as notify you of any developments that may occur to a further market reopening.

We can submit on your behalf at no obligation.  If you are accepted into Direct Access, you will have 15 days to accept or decline.  If you decline, everything remains status quo with your current electricity supply service. If you accept, you are not obligated to take electricity service from Constellation (although we would love to have you as a customer). To get your questions answered, you can:

  • Contact your Constellation Business Development Manager or
  • Visit our customer resource page which provides the utility forms required for lottery submission.

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