Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1239 Electricity: demand response resources and programs.(2021-2022)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 380.4 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

380.4.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Demand response solutions achieved significant energy savings during the August 2020 electrical supply crisis, however those savings were diminished and discounted after the application of outmoded regulatory policies.
(2) The flexible capacity these demand response resources bring to utility grid integration and blackout avoidance have been artificially limited by regulatory approaches and policies that apply counterproductive counting methods and impossible requirements of parity to supply side resources, leading to significant limitations on their adoption.
(3) These policies have minimized demand response market potential and its potential to help during critical times of need, to address grid needs, and to contribute to the state’s goals for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.
(b) By January 31, 2022, the commission shall open an investigation into the root causes of demand response market failures and why demand response has not reached its potential, and make recommendations for policy changes aimed at ensuring those market failures are not repeated. The investigation shall do all the following:
(1) Include public participation.
(2) Assess the market failures that have led to the underutilization of demand response resources during the five-year period beginning January 1, 2016.
(3) Include detailed and specific recommendations to the commission for suggested revisions to existing commission policies governing the use of demand response resources.
(4) Be completed by no later than September 30, 2022.
(c) The commission, the Energy Commission, and the Independent System Operator shall identify and develop initiatives to achieve all cost-effective demand response by 2030. The expansion of demand response programs shall do all the following:
(1) Improve reliability of the electrical grid.
(2) Avoid increasing emissions of greenhouse gases.
(3) Include optional participation by residential customers, including customers participating in the California Alternate Rates for Energy program or other low-income ratepayer support programs, who could choose to lower their electrical service bills by participating in demand response programs.
(d) The commission, the Energy Commission, and the Independent System Operator shall identify barriers that limit the Independent System Operator’s ability to plan for and utilize demand response.