Today's Law As Amended


PDF |Add To My Favorites | print page

AB-2141 Energy assistance: corner stores.(2015-2016)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 748 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

748.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Corner store” means a small-scale store or grocery store, either an independent store or a chain store, that sells a limited selection of foods and other products, in rural, urban, and suburban settings. “Corner store” includes stores that are not located on a corner and stores commonly referred to as convenience stores or neighborhood stores.
(2) “Diet-related diseases” includes, but is not limited to, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases.
(3) “Food desert” means an area or community that lacks or is devoid of grocery stores or supermarkets that sell fresh produce and healthy food options.
(4) “Low-income or lower income” means households with annual incomes that are no greater than 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
(b) (1) Subject to the direction and approval of the commission, each electrical corporation and gas corporation shall develop and implement a program to provide incentives and assistance to owners, operators, or lessees of corner stores to reduce their electricity and gas bills through conservation and energy efficiency improvements, including, but not limited to, the placement of, or replacement of less efficient equipment with, free or low-cost energy-efficient refrigeration in order to improve a community’s access to healthy and fresh food options.
(2)  The program shall require participating corner stores to agree to sell fresh produce and other healthy foods for a minimum of three years. The commission may impose other conditions to ensure the integrity of the program and to protect ratepayers. The three-year requirement shall not be enforceable if the individual or entity, or its successor, owning, operating, or leasing the corner store ceases all of its retail food sales operations.
(3) The program shall give priority to, but is not limited to, the following:
(A) Low-income or lower income areas and communities.
(B) Areas and communities with limited access to healthy food, including those that are considered to be food deserts.
(C) Communities with higher rates of diet-related diseases.
(4) The program shall encourage and include outreach to corner stores to promote participation.
(c) (1) In designing its program, each electrical corporation and gas corporation shall consult with store owners, product vendors, refrigeration manufacturers, and the Office of Farm to Fork in the Department of Food and Agriculture. Each electrical corporation and gas corporation shall submit its proposal for the program to the commission by January 1, 2018.
(2) Each electrical corporation and gas corporation shall consult with the Office of Farm to Fork to determine which foods should be considered fresh and healthy and how much refrigerated space should be available under this program for healthy food options.
(3) The commission may approve the proposal, modify and approve the proposal, or direct the utility to file a new proposal with elements specified by the commission by a date certain.
(4) The commission shall authorize or deny implementation of the program by July 1, 2018.
(d) The commission shall implement an equitable means to fund the program, which may include, but is not limited to, overcollections pursuant to the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, the Energy Savings Assistance Program established pursuant to Section 382, and other energy efficiency funds or programs subject to the commission’s oversight.
SEC. 2.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.