The League supports development of a state energy policy that will ensure reliability of energy resources and protection of the environment and public health and safety, at reasonable customer rates, giving primary consideration to conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable resources. State government should provide an efficient, coordinated energy administrative structure with open transparent procedures.
- The state regulatory and planning agencies, as well as the energy providers, should give primary consideration to conservation and energy efficiency. State regulation and planning should also address the critical need for demand-side management of peak power requirements including real-time pricing.
- In acquiring new electric resources, major additional factors to consider include the:
a. reduction of greenhouse gas emissions;
b. development and deployment of renewable resources;
c. contribution to the diversity of the resource mix;
d. availability at times of peak power demand;
e. level of support for base load power requirements;
f. protection of public health and safety
Integrated Energy Planning
- The state should implement an integrated energy planning process that:
- forecasts needs for transmission line and other energy infrastructure, including additional generation, storage, and investments in energy efficiency and demand-side management;
- establishes consistent statewide procedures for the set-aside of land that will be needed for future transmission corridors and other associated energy infrastructure, in compliance with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements;
- streamlines procedures so that siting and permitting can be accomplished in a timely way.
- Statewide standards should be set for renewable resource development, demand-side management procurements and reserve requirements.
- These standards should be applied to all load serving entities, including:
- municipal utilities;
- electric service providers;
- rural electric cooperative, with accommodation made for any problems that might arise for small and/or rural providers.
- The energy planning and regulatory process should be based on coordination of functions, as well as collaboration among the existing agencies. The regulatory responsibilities (i.e., rate-setting and rulemaking) should be separated from planning and permitting functions.
Roles of the State
- The state should regulate and oversee in-state energy facilities, including Liquified Natural Gas terminals, through permitting, licensing, and enforcement of regulations for in-state and out-of-state providers.
- The state should:
- conduct forecasts to assure resource adequacy and system reliability;
- use economic/market and other incentives to foster renewable energy, conservation, demand-side management, and greenhouse gas reductions;
- administer a public-interest research and development program.
- Decisions about implementation of the energy planning process should be made on a region-wide basis through a mechanism that incorporates participation by local governments.
Roles of Local Government
Local governments should have responsibility to inform their citizens about developments in regional energy planning and to communicate local concerns to the regional planners.
- Local governments should promote energy conservation, especially in relation to building codes, transportation, resource recovery, and public information.
Transparency in Decision-making
- Greater transparency in energy policy decision-making should be promoted by:
- effective noticing;
- use of open meetings and workshops, community outreach, including funding for meetings;
- extensive use of communications technologies.
- Given the importance of public participation, agencies should be required to use plain language in all communications, proceedings, and publications.
- Any direct-access (choice of a provider) policy should not result in additional costs to the remaining core customers.
- Customers who leave the regulated system for a direct-access account should be required to pay a fair share of the costs their utility has incurred to serve them.
- Customers who have left a regulated utility for a direct-access account and later wish to return, should be required to compensate for any negative effects their return will have on the regulated system.
Interrelationship of Energy and Water
- Energy agencies and utilities should develop programs that will help the water sector reduce its very large consumption of electric power and fossil fuels.
- Information about the impacts of water conveyance, treatment, and end use, including irrigation pumping, should be disseminated to the public.
- Energy policy should recognize the important interrelationship between water use and energy use. Practices such as universal metering and economic incentives to shift load to off-peak hours should be considered.
- Recognizing that a substantial portion of California's economy is based on agriculture, measures to reduce water-intensive crops and landscape plantings should be considered.
Adopted 1978; Updated 1980, 2006; Amended 2007.