The electricity picture in California is a complex interaction of many entities. This page attempts to pull together resources to help you understand and navigate the California electric market.
The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency, charged with ensuring a reliable and affordable energy supply. The Commission has five major responsibilities: Forecasting future energy needs and keeping historical energy data; Siting and licensing power plants; Promoting energy efficiency through appliance and building standards; Developing energy technologies and supporting renewable energy; Planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.
The California Public Utilities Commission regulates privately owned telecommunications, electric, natural gas, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies. The CPUC is responsible for assuring California utility customers have safe, reliable utility service at reasonable rates, protecting utility customers from fraud, and promoting the health of California’s economy.
The California Air Resources Board mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare and ecological resources through the effective and efficient reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering the effects on the economy of the state.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is an independent regulatory agency within the Department of Energy that: regulates the transmission and sale for resale of natural gas in interstate commerce; regulates the transmission of oil by pipeline in interstate commerce; regulates the transmission and wholesale sales of electricity in interstate commerce; licenses and inspects private, municipal and state hydroelectric projects; oversees related environmental matters; and administers accounting and financial reporting regulations and conducts of jurisdictional companies.
"The Department of Energy's mission is to foster a secure and reliable energy system that is environmentally and economically sustainable. . . " FERC, which regulates the California ISO, is part of the DOE.
The Electricity Advisory Committee mission is to provide advice to the U.S. Department of Energy in implementing the Energy Policy Act of 2005, executing the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and modernizing the nation's electricity delivery infrastructure.
Trade groups and agencies
Since its formation, the North American Electric Reliability Council has operated as a voluntary organization - one dependent on reciprocity and mutual self-interest of all those involved. With the continued growth of competition and the structural changes taking place in the industry, incentives and responsibilities are changing, making it necessary for NERC to transform from a voluntary system of reliability management to one that is mandatory, with the backing and support of U.S. and Canadian governments. The mission of the new NAERO (North American Electric Reliability Organization), NERC's successor organization, will be to develop, promote, and enforce standards for a reliable North American bulk electric system.
The Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) was formed in 1967 by 40 electric power systems engaged in bulk power generation and/or transmission serving all or part of the 14 Western States and British Columbia, Canada. In addition to promoting a reliable electric power system in the Western Interconnection, WECC supports efficient competitive power markets, assures open and non-discriminatory transmission access among members, provides a forum for resolving transmission access disputes, and provides an environment for coordinating the operating and planning activities of its members.