California PUC expands shipping choice for intrastate gas customers

The California Public Utilities Commission adopted a new tariff August 2 that would allow Southern California Gas Co. (SoCal) customers more flexibility in choosing gas transportation suppliers. A new so-called "peaking" rate applies only to customers who use a different interstate pipeline for base load service and then use SoCal to provide peak gas needs.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Aug. 3 -- The California Public Utilities Commission adopted a new tariff August 2 that would allow Southern California Gas Co. (SoCal) customers more flexibility in choosing gas transportation suppliers.

A new so-called "peaking" rate applies only to customers who use a different interstate pipeline for base load service and then use SoCal to provide peak gas needs. The commission's decision expands choice for gas customers.

The new tariffs will be a cost-based peaking rate firm service as well as an interruptible rate option for customers who do not require firm peaking service. The firm peaking tariff would require customers to identify a maximum daily quantity that they expect to use and pay a monthly reservation fee to reserve that amount of capacity. That firm rate would also impose an overrun charge for all volumes shipped that are above that maximum daily quantity. The overcharge would provide an incentive for partial bypass customers to select the maximum daily quantity that meets their needs.

The interruptible rate would allow customers to pay a rate of 150% of the default tariff rate based only on the capacity that they use. This rate would not be firm and could be interrupted by the utility at any time.

In a hearing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in May complaints about the high gas transportation prices in southern California showed problems were not restricted to the interstate pipelines. Shippers pointed out constraints and inflexibility of the tariff structure on the SoCal intrastate pipeline system.

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