New Municipal Departing Load

New Municipal Departing Load (NMDL) refers to consumers who locate in PG&E's service area as it existed on December 20, 1995, but take electric service from a Publicly Owned Utility (POU) rather than PG&E. A POU is any public entity that qualifies as a local publicly owned electric utility under Public Utilities Code section 9604, such as a municipal utility district or an irrigation district.

Details regarding NMDL can be found in Electric Rate Schedule E-NMDL (PDF, 173 KB).

Why Do Consumers Owe These Charges?

Since the California legislature enacted Assembly Bill 1890 in 1996, NMDL consumers have been obligated, with certain exceptions, to pay various departing load charges related to the costs of California's electric industry restructuring.

  • In a series of decisions by the CPUC mandated that NMDL consumers also owe departing load charges related to the costs of power purchases by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) during the energy crisis of 2001, as well as costs established by the PG&E bankruptcy decision, unless they meet certain requirements for exemptions.
  • PG&E has an obligation to serve all consumers who locate in its service area and the company has incurred certain costs in anticipation of serving these consumers.
  • The legislature's actions and the CPUC's decisions are designed to ensure that such stranded costs, as well as other costs associated with electric restructuring and the energy crisis, are shared by all Californians on whose behalf those costs were incurred.
  • The CPUC has determined that these charges are generally non-bypassable, meaning all consumers locating within PG&E's service area share the obligation, even if they take service from another provider. However, the CPUC has granted exemptions from some departing load charges to NMDL consumers meeting certain requirements.

Recent Updates

As part of California's energy industry restructuring in the late 1990s and energy crisis of 2000-2001, PG&E was authorized to collect fees, known as departing load charges, from NMDL consumers in its service territory. In 2008, PG&E began billing these charges to NMDL customers served by varrious POU's and Irrigation Distircts.

In response to public concerns about the departing load charges as they applied to NMDL customers, PG&E, Merced Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District negotiated a proposed agreement in which the irrigation districts agreed to pay the departing load charges on behalf of their NMDL customers. The parties filed an application with the CPUC for approval of the proposed agreement, and on November 19, 2010, the CPUC approved the agreement with modifications.

As a result of the agreement, NMDL customers of Modesto and Merced Irrigation Districts will no longer be responsible for these charges.

For questions or additional information, please contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-743-5000.