Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces $750 Million Settlement Stemming from California Energy Crisis
SAN FRANCISCO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced a $750 million settlement with Powerex over claims arising from the 2000-2001 California energy crisis. The vast majority of the settlement money will go to ratepayers of California’s largest utilities.
According to testimony submitted by the Attorney General, Powerex engaged in market gaming by purchasing and exporting to Canada huge quantities of electricity California needed, and selling it back to California at exorbitant prices.
“Californians suffered through huge rate hikes and blackouts during the energy crisis,” Attorney General Harris said. “This settlement brings long-awaited compensation to California ratepayers for Powerex’s conduct.”
The settlement includes the Department of Water Resources’ California Energy Resources Scheduling (CERS) Division, the Public Utilities Commission and the state’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs), PG&E, Southern California Edison and SDG&E.
During the energy crisis, CERS purchased energy on behalf of California’s IOUs to help keep the lights on for customers. The Public Utilities Commission will determine how settlement funds will flow to the ratepayers of the investor-owned utilities.