California’s chief utility regulator is warning that the state could find itself in the throes of another energy crisis if it doesn’t address the droves of customers defecting from utilities.
The state is going to find it increasingly difficult to ensure it has enough electricity to keep the lights on as more Californians leave utilities to buy their power directly from resources like rooftop solar panels and so-called community choice aggregators that contract directly with generators, California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker said. As much as a quarter of the state’s energy demand may be sourced outside of utilities by the end of this year, he said.
“We have a hodgepodge of different providers,” Picker said in a telephone interview. “If we aren’t careful, we could slide back to the kind of crisis we faced in 2000 and 2001.”