The California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) will consider in a new proceeding whether and how to continue funding to produce the public benefits in the area of renewables and RD&D through the sometimes controversial “Public Goods Charge” that is currently set to expire on Jan. 1, 2012.

This proceeding is a direct result of a formal and public letter request made by Governor Brown in late September asking that the Commission take action to continue the Public Goods Charge.  President Peevey has already committed to ensuring that the programs funded by the Public Goods Charge continue without pause, and it is likely that the other Commissioners will follow suit.

The proceeding will have two phases.  Phase 1 will be focused on ensuring continuity in funding and collections, if warranted, or a smooth transition to a new funding level, to be determined in Phase 1.

The second phase of the proceeding will address more detailed program design, oversight, and administrative questions related to how the funding will be allocated and by whom.

Since the inception of the sometimes controversial charges, funds have been collected on a volumetric basis from all customers and an additional surcharge determined by customer class.

The Commission issued a press release on the new proceeding