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AB-2137 Energy efficiency programs: information available for small businesses.(2013-2014)

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Assembly Bill No. 2137
CHAPTER 290

An act to add Section 12098.9 to the Government Code, and to add Section 323.5 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to energy efficiency.

[ Approved by Governor  August 25, 2014. Filed with Secretary of State  August 25, 2014. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2137, Quirk. Energy efficiency programs: information available for small businesses.
Existing law creates the Office of Small Business Advocate within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Existing law establishes the duties and functions of the advocate, which include advisory participation in the consideration of all legislation and administrative regulations that affect small businesses. Existing law also requires the office to post specified information on its Internet Web site, including information about emergency preparedness, responses, and recovery strategies for small businesses and information regarding programs administered through the statewide network of small business financial development corporations.
This bill would require the office to include a link to the Energy Upgrade California Internet Web site on the homepage of its Internet Web site.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations and gas corporations, as defined. The Public Utilities Act requires the Public Utilities Commission to review and accept, modify, or reject a procurement plan for each electrical corporation in accordance with specified elements, incentive mechanisms, and objectives. The act requires that an electrical corporation’s proposed procurement plan include certain elements, including a showing that the electrical corporation will first meet its unmet needs through all available energy efficiency and demand reduction resources that are cost effective, reliable, and feasible. Existing law requires the Public Utilities Commission, in consultation with the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, to identify all potentially achievable cost-effective electricity efficiency savings and to establish efficiency targets for electrical corporations to achieve pursuant to their procurement plan. The Public Utilities Act additionally requires the Public Utilities Commission, in consultation with the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, to identify all potentially achievable cost-effective natural gas efficiency savings and to establish efficiency targets for gas corporations to achieve and requires that a gas corporation first meet its unmet resource needs through all available gas efficiency and demand reduction resources that are cost effective, reliable, and feasible. Under their existing authorities, the Public Utilities Commission and the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, in collaborating with various entities, have developed the Energy Upgrade California program to promote and finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for homes and businesses, reduce energy use, and help train contractors and building professionals.
This bill would require the Public Utilities Commission to ensure that the Internet Web site for the Energy Upgrade California program be revised to include information related to demand-side management programs for small business customers.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all the following:
(a) Helping small businesses better manage their energy use can help California reduce energy consumption and thereby help in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases throughout the state.
(b) Small businesses are the backbone of California’s economic prosperity.
(c) Maximizing the demandside energy management programs the state, electrical corporations, gas corporations, and local publicly owned electric and gas utilities offer can help small businesses become more productive and assist in reducing electrical demand during peak demand periods.
(d) To better serve the public, and to benefit the state, the state shall promote and facilitate the fullest possible participation of small businesses to benefit from demandside energy management programs run by the state, as well as any programs of an electrical corporation, gas corporation, or local publicly owned electric or gas utility.

SEC. 2.

 Section 12098.9 is added to the Government Code, to read:

12098.9.
 In order to educate small business owners of the availability of various programs promoting the efficient use of energy, the office shall include a link to the Energy Upgrade California Internet Web site on the homepage of its Internet Web site.

SEC. 3.

 Section 323.5 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

323.5.
 (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Demand-side energy management programs” mean all energy efficiency, demand-side response, clean distributed generation, energy conservation, energy savings, or weatherization programs of the state or a local government, electrical corporations, gas corporations, or a local publicly owned electric or gas utility.
(2) “Small business” has the same meaning as defined in Section 14837 of the Government Code.
(b) The commission shall ensure that the Internet Web site for the Energy Upgrade California program be revised to include information related to demand-side energy management programs for small business customers.