How will PG&E’s Bankruptcy Affect Solar or Storage Projects?
This week, PG&E announced that it would file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, due to liabilities from lawsuits, wrongful death cases and other expenses related to its role in the recent California wildfires. Many CalCom customers are wondering how this may affect their electricity service and solar programs like net metering and demand response.
PG&E is California’s largest utility and has been in business since 1905. As the company said in a statement: “PG&E is not going out of business.” Chapter 11 is a restructuring tool that companies use when their debts exceed the company’s valuation. The loss of life in the wildfires was truly catastrophic, and if fault is found with PG&E, the company could be repaying the debts for years to come.
While the state’s largest utility filing bankruptcy is not an insignificant event, at CalCom we are taking the view that this as an opportunity to restructure PG&E in a more customer-focused way.
As noted by Dylan Dupre, CalCom CEO: “CalCom has a strong relationship with PG&E and takes its role as our customers’ utility advocate very seriously. We will continue to represent our customers’ best interests and stand up for the hard-won programs in solar and storage as PG&E restructures.”
We do not anticipate the need for any changes to solar and storage projects due to the bankruptcy. Since the programs that affect solar and storage projects operate
under state law, CPUC decisions should remain in force regardless of PG&E’s bankruptcy status. The California Solar and Storage Association, of which CalCom is an active member, is monitoring the situation and had this to say about the potential effects on net energy metering (NEM) and net energy surplus (NSC) payments:
PG&E has an obligation under state law and CPUC decisions to continue calculating customers’ credits under the approved NEM and NSC formulas. Similarly, PG&E is required to continue offering the NEM successor tariff and to make NSC payments to solar customers. PG&E’s bankruptcy status will not affect PG&E’s NEM and NSC commitments under state law.
As storage incentive funds are reserved under the SGIP program by state law, we do not anticipate any changes to this program either.
We will keep you apprised of any new developments as the bankruptcy proceeds. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.
San Jose Mercury News Q&A