Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about suspension of direct access

Direct access began with the implementation of Assembly Bill 1890 in spring 1998.

Pursuant to California Public Utilities Commission Decision D.01-09-060, the right of retail end-users (customers) to acquire direct access electric service from Energy Service Providers (ESPs) was suspended effective September 20, 2001.

According to the CPUC: "The Legislature has directed this Commission to suspend the right of retail end-use customers to acquire direct access service until DWR [Department of Water Resources] no longer procures power for the retail end-users."

"Currently, the State of California through the DWR is purchasing electric energy on behalf of the utilities' existing ratepayers (except those purchasing electric energy from ESPs) with funds from the State's General Fund and an interim loan. To repay the General Fund and continue the power purchase program, state agencies are preparing to issue DWR Power Supply Revenue Bonds."

"Suspending the right to acquire direct access service will assist in issuing these bonds at investment grade, by providing DWR with a stable customer base from which to recover its costs. Furthermore, we note that the suspension of the ability to acquire direct access service will provide DWR with a stable customer base from which to recover the cost of the power it has purchased and continues to purchase."

All utilities required to offer direct access service, including Southern California Edison Company, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company are affected by the suspension.

Customers should contact their Energy Service Provider.

No. D.01-09-060 pertains only to electric direct access accounts.