Last week, Southern California Edison announced it was on track to reduce residential customer bills by two percent in January 2016.
The announcement is the agency’s first step in a three-part bill reduction strategy initially reported by The Voice in early November. The November report also revealed the agency’s intent to actually reduce residential bills by a total of six percent by the end of March, 2016. The January reduction comes on the heels of an earlier two percent reduction for residential customers that also occurred in November.
SCE’s official announcement of the January rate reduction comes subsequent to a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) decision that approved Southern California Edison’s (SCE) 2016 costs for energy sources the utility needs to supply electricity—the main factor in January’s rate decrease.
Costs associated with this reduction are the same costs approved by the Commission each year. SCE only generates about 20 percent of its own energy and reportedly buys the rest of its energy through contracts and short-term markets.
In November, SCE spokesperson Lauren Bartlett explained the proposed total six-percent-reduction in increments of two percent were the result of several actions by the CPUC. Those actions included the agency’s recent vote related to funding Southern California Edison’s day to day operations. Those costs include the inspection, repair and replacement of infrastructures that will allegedly make it easier to restore power after an emergency outage in the future. It also pays the salary and wages of SCE employees.
Also, according to SCE, part of the January reduction is attributed to the implementation of a settlement with Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited for the San Onofre outages caused by the failures of replacement steam generators. The consumer portion of the settlement was nearly $313 million dollars.
SCE also announced next year, residential customers will also see an increase in benefits from climate credits. Climate credits appear on residential customer bills twice each year, in April and October. This year residential customers will see those credits increased from $29 twice per year to $38 dollars twice a year.
All of the changes detailed above are partly the result of SCE’s general rate case that must be completed every three years.