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California Utilities

As the meter runs on California's electricity crisis, shock over this summer's price spikes is giving way to a new concern: uncertainty over whether and how the state's three investor-owned utilities can collect the staggering amounts in power costs they haven't been allowed to pass through to consumers. The unanswered question is how high the bill--now $4 billion and counting--will go, and whether consumers will foot all or part of it.
August 25, 2000 | JAMES FLANIGAN
Let's be clear, the fact that the state botched the job of deregulation to begin with is one reason California's electricity market is such a mess. But failure to build a single new power plant in the state even as California's economy expanded its use of electricity is the basic cause of today's shortages and soaring prices in San Diego, Orange County and other areas. Still, some simple steps can be taken by regulators, legislators and Gov. Gray Davis to provide immediate relief.
November 21, 2000 | Associated Press
California's power system manager declared a Stage 2 emergency Monday, the fourth time in eight days it has warned that the state's power reserves have dipped below 5%. A Stage 2 warning means the independent system operator may cut off electricity to users who have volunteered to go off line during power crunches. Also Monday, the power manager issued its fifth Stage 1 emergency in eight days, urging households and businesses to conserve energy.
January 2, 1994 | MICHAEL PARRISH, This report was compiled by Times staff writer Donna K.H. Walters
UTILITIES: Investor-owned gas and electric utilities face the same old gruel of thin returns on equity. In California, consumers will benefit from lower prices. Natural gas will increase its market share at the expense of coal and other energy sources.
Air conditioners worked overtime Friday, sapping California's electricity reserves and pushing power officials to declare a moderate Stage 2 emergency. California's energy diet could become even stricter next week. The mounting heat wave is expected to continue through Wednesday and the ability to import electricity may be hampered by damage to transmission lines by wildfires in the West.
California electricity authorities declared a moderate Stage 2 emergency Wednesday as the state power grid successfully sweated through near-record electricity use during the sixth day of a stubborn heat wave. Meanwhile, the board of the California Power Exchange, which runs the state's primary market for wholesale power, on Wednesday asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to cap electricity prices at $350 per megawatt hour in the day-of and day-ahead markets.
January 20, 2001 | Walter Hamilton
"Short" selling of New York Stock Exchange stocks fell slightly in the last month, a sign that investors may be hesitant to ramp up their bearish bets at a time when some sectors of the market are rebounding. As of Jan. 12, 4.728 billion NYSE shares had been sold short and not yet bought back, the exchange said Friday. That was down 3% from the total as of Dec. 15. The drop snapped a four-month string of record highs in NYSE short selling.
May 14, 1997
Regarding the article "PUC Opens State to Competition for Energy Customers," and James Flanigan's column of May 7: I am a former utilities engineer with 37 years' experience. The main emphasis in California has been that we have electric rates 50% higher than the rest of the nation, but there is never a discussion as to why. The PUC has mandated, in years past, that alternate power suppliers such as windmill and geothermal be allowed to sell power to the utilities at a much higher rate than the user pays.
December 30, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
After coping with the June shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant near San Clemente, the fallout from a fatal 2010 explosion of a natural gas pipeline in the Bay Area and a batch of consumer protection issues, the state's Public Utilities Commission faces more challenges in the year ahead. And on the spot will be PUC President Michael R. Peevey, 75, who has served as California's chief utility regulator under three governors. He will have been the longest-serving head of the agency by the time his term expires at the end of next year.
July 10, 2010 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
California boasts some of the toughest standards in the nation for boosting the use of renewable power. Getting utilities to meet those mandates is proving to be even tougher. State law requires the Golden State's three large investor-owned utilities to procure 20% of their retail electricity sales from clean sources by the end of 2010. But with less than six months left to meet that requirement, even government watchdogs don't expect the power companies to make it. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. are likely to end this year with a combined 18% of their retail sales coming from clean sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.
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