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AB-2831 Small business customers: demand-side energy management programs.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/03/2018 09:00 PM
AB2831:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 03, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 22, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2831


Introduced by Assembly Member Limón

February 16, 2018


An act to add Section 25711.9 to the Public Resources Code, relating to renewable energy. amend Section 323.5 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to energy.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2831, as amended, Limón. Renewable energy: small and micro businesses. Small business customers: demand-side energy management programs.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations and gas corporations. Pursuant to existing law, the commission supervises various energy efficiency and other demand-side energy management programs administered by electrical corporations, gas corporations, and 3rd party administrators, the expenses for which are collected by electrical corporations and gas corporations from their ratepayers. Existing law requires the 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.
This bill would require that the Internet Web site for the Energy Upgrade California program be maintained to include information related to demand-side management programs for small business customers.
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 requires the office to include a link to the Energy Upgrade California Internet Web site on the homepage of its Internet Web site.
Existing decisions of the commission approve of steps to be undertaken with respect to statewide marketing, education, and outreach with respect to energy efficiency and other demand-side energy management programs supervised by the commission.
This bill would require the commission, in consultation with the office, to ensure that adequate marketing, education, and outreach are undertaken that is directed at small business customers to enable small business customers to fully participate in ratepayer-funded demand-side energy management programs, including specified programs that provide financial incentives, rebates, technical assistance, and support.

The California Constitution establishes the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), with jurisdiction over all public utilities, as defined. Existing decisions of the PUC institute an Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) to fund renewable energy and research, development, and demonstration programs.

Existing law creates in the State Treasury the Electric Program Investment Charge Fund to be administered by the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Energy Commission) and requires the PUC to forward to the Energy Commission at least quarterly moneys for those EPIC programs the PUC has determined should be administered by the Energy Commission for deposit in the fund.

Existing law requires the Energy Commission, in administering moneys in the fund for research, development, and demonstration programs, to develop and implement the EPIC program for the purpose of awarding funds to projects that lead to technological advancement and breakthroughs to overcome barriers that prevent the achievement of the state’s statutory energy goals and that result in a portfolio of projects that are strategically focused and sufficiently narrow to make advancement on the most significant technological challenges.

Existing law requires the Energy Commission, until July 1, 2023, to allocate at least 25% of the moneys in the fund for technology demonstration and deployment at sites located in, and benefiting, disadvantaged communities, as defined. Existing law also requires the Energy Commission to allocate at least an additional 10% of the moneys in the fund for technology demonstration and deployment at sites located in, and benefiting, low-income communities, as defined.

This bill would require the Energy Commission to work with green business certification organizations to assess how the benefits of the EPIC program may better serve small and micro business, as defined, while accommodating existing requirements for technology demonstration and deployment funding, and for funding preference for clean energy projects that benefit low-income or disadvantaged communities. The bill would also require the commission to more actively allocate benefits of the EPIC program to small and micro businesses.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 323.5 of the Public Utilities Code is amended 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 maintained to include information related to demand-side energy management programs for small business customers.
(c) The commission, in consultation with the Office of Small Business Advocate within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, shall ensure that adequate marketing, education, and outreach are undertaken that is directed at small business customers to enable small business customers to fully participate in ratepayer-funded demand-side energy management programs, including programs that provide financial incentives, rebates, technical assistance, and support pursuant to Section 381.2.

SECTION 1.Section 25711.9 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:
25711.9.

(a)The commission shall work with green business certification organizations to assess how the benefits of the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program may better serve small and micro businesses, consistent with Section 25711.6.

(b)Subject to subdivision (a), the commission shall more actively allocate benefits of the EPIC program to small and micro businesses.

(c)For purposes of this section, “small business” means a business that has less than 100 employees and “micro business” is a business that has less than 25 employees.