California’s Dilemma: How To Control Skyrocketing Electric Rates While Building The Grid of The Future

April 2021

Utility Dive

Severin Borenstein, Faculty Director at the Energy Institute at Haas, discusses with the Utility Dive the dilemma facing California offering a simple alternative. This new alternative has its own setback but as Borenstein  discussed further, ‘There is no easy solution’.

“The fixed charge innovation is a more complicated rate design because it requires income information, and customers’ privacy would require protections, Borenstein acknowledged…There is a simpler approach, Borenstein said. California could add electricity to the programs it offers, through the state budget, to help LMI citizens with food and healthcare, but that would be ‘politically difficult’ because it would have tax impacts. ‘There is no easy solution,’ he said. An income-based fixed charge ‘is the best alternative.'”