Back in January we wrote about the pending switch over to Clean Power Alliance (CPA) in portions of SCE's service territory (Clean Power Alliance is Coming - is that a Good Thing?), noting that given the slightly lower rates, the switch was probably a good deal for most SCE customers. Alas, it turns out that it wasn't such a good deal for SCE's solar customers! Here's our take and recommendation…
PLEASE NOTE: THIS APPLIES ONLY TO SCE CUSTOMERS!
SOLAR CUSTOMERS IN PWP, LADWP AND OTHER MUNICIPAL UTILITIES CAN IGNORE THIS COMPLETELY!
In March, our trade association, CALSSA, sent out this urgent notice under the headline: ALERT: CPA NEM snafu:
ACTION: For existing residential customers, we suggest you advise them to OPT OUT of the Clean Power Alliance (LA area CCA) by March 31st!
To opt out, they should call Clean Power Alliance at 888-585-3788 immediately.
What is going on here? It seems that in their zeal to initiate the switchover from SCE, CPA fouled up how they are handling the "true-up" accounting. As a result, solar customers who switched to CPA—and mind you, if you are in one of the affected cities, the default is for you to be switched to CPA—you will actually receive two true-up bills this year - one from SCE and the other from CPA. CALSSA is sufficiently concerned that this could have an adverse financial impact that presumably exceeds whatever saving you might realize from the switch to CPA's lower rates.
According to CPA, customers who OPT OUT by March 31, will only have one true-up bill this year "as if nothing had ever happened."
For solar system owners who are part of the Solar Rights Alliance, they have already received notice directly regarding this situation. (Not yet a member of the SRA? Sign-up here.)
Here's a list of cities participating in the CPA switch:
Unincorporated area of Los Angeles (e.g., Altadena) and Ventura Counties and the following cities: Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Arcadia, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Carson, Claremont, Culver City, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Paramount, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills Estates, Santa Monica, Sierra Madre, Simi Valley, South Pasadena, Temple City, Thousand Oaks, Ventura, West Hollywood and Whittier.
Once things get sorted out, if you want to switch to CPA, you will be able to do so, and we will write about it once we know more. But for now, the prudent choice appears to be to make that call and opt-out. If you have any issues in doing so, please let us know.