Down with Exit Fees!
Send an email to the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) to oppose a dramatic increase in exit fees for Community Choice Programs. See details below.
The Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) is an exit fee that PG&E charges customers who switch to a Community Choice energy program. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) allows PG&E to collect this fee from its former customers, including low-income CARE customers, in perpetuity.
Community Choice customers currently pay PG&E a monthly exit fee but get nothing in return. Now, PG&E wants to double the exit fee, forcing Community Choice customers to pay twice as much for the same amount of nothing.
PG&E claims that it entered long term electricity contracts on behalf of Community Choice customers and shouldn’t have to take a loss on these purchases. But PG&E has continued to procure electricity for customers even when it was clear they would be departing for their local Community Choice program. In what other business can management use inaccurate, self-serving forecasts to get a guaranteed rate of return when customers depart for a superior service offering? And in what other business can lost customers be charged in perpetuity for such a departure?
If it has its way, PG&E will fleece current Community Choice customers out of $119 million in exit fees next year, further fattening its $1.4 billion profit margin. These unwarranted charges will also make it much more difficult for new Community Choice energy programs to compete with PG&E, thereby attempting to stifle the statewide motion toward establishing new Community Choice programs.
The CPUC has already issued a tentative decision approving the PCIA increase. This decision will become final on December 17 unless the CPUC feels enough heat to reconsider its monopoly-serving stance.
Send an email to the CPUC. You can copy and paste the text below and email it to the following:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to cc: email@example.com and cc: your legislators. If you don’t know who your legislators are, click here to find out.
Note: If you are a Community Choice customer, feel free to personalize this email by mentioning how much you pay in PCIA charges over a year and how you might otherwise spend this money.
I’m writing in opposition to the proposed increase in the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) imposed on Community Choice energy customers. Imposition of the PCIA makes it extremely difficult for Community Choice programs to compete with PG&E while staying true to their mission of providing superior electricity service (including cleaner energy) to their customers.
There are dozens of Community Choice programs in the pipeline in California, and their success will be a significant factor in the State’s ability to achieve its ambitious renewable energy goals. If the CPUC approves the 95% PCIA increase, PG&E will collect $119 million from Community Choice customers next year. As more Community Choice programs come on line, this figure will balloon into the billions. This money is literally being stolen out from under Community Choice programs, and for an unlimited period of time, impeding their ability to develop local renewable energy and provide energy efficiency products and services to their customers.
Furthermore, it is particularly egregious for the CPUC to allow PG&E to collect the PCIA from low-income CARE customers. Surely, a corporation with $1.4 billion a year in profits is better able to absorb the loss than families struggling to keep the lights on.
PG&E has been highly aware of the impending departure of customers to Community Choice programs, but has chosen to procure electricity on their behalf anyway, counting on the CPUC to enforce an unlimited, ex-customer-subsidized bailout. It’s time for the monopoly utility to pay for its own inaccurate, self-serving projections.