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AB-1915 Electrical corporations: deenergization events.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/09/2020 09:00 PM
AB1915:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1915


Introduced by Assembly Member Chu

January 09, 2020


An act to amend Section 8385 of, and to add Section 8386.7 to, the Public Utilities Code, relating to electricity.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1915, as introduced, Chu. Electrical corporations: deenergization events.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations. Existing law authorizes the commission to establish rules for all public utilities, subject to control by the Legislature. Existing law requires each electrical corporation to annually prepare and submit a wildfire mitigation plan to the commission for review and approval, as specified. Following approval, the commission is required to oversee compliance with the plans. Existing law requires a wildfire mitigation plan of an electrical corporation to include, among other things, protocols for deenergizing portions of the electrical distribution system that consider the associated impacts on public safety, as well as protocols related to mitigating the public safety impacts of those protocols, including impacts on critical first responders and on health and communications infrastructure. Existing law requires a wildfire mitigation plan of an electrical corporation to also include appropriate and feasible procedures for notifying a customer who may be impacted by the deenergizing of electrical lines and requires these procedures to consider the need to notify, as a priority, critical first responders, health care facilities, and operators of telecommunications infrastructure with premises within the footprint of a potential deenergization event.
If the commission approves a wildfire mitigation plan that authorizes an electrical corporation to deenergize portions of the electrical grid, this bill would require the commission to adopt rules setting forth the circumstances under which a deenergization event may be undertaken and continued in effect and the appropriate geographic range of a deenergization event. Following a deenergization event, the bill would require the commission to determine whether the electrical corporation complied with the rules and also determine if the entire duration and geographic range of the deenergization event was reasonable, as specified. If the commission determines that the electrical corporation complied with the rules, but that either the duration or geographic range of the deenergization event exceeded that which was reasonable, the commission would be required to consider whether to modify its rules to appropriately limit the circumstances under which a deenergization event shall be undertaken and the geographic range of further deenergization events. If the commission determines that the electrical corporation failed to comply with the rules and the failure resulted in customers of the electrical corporation incurring losses, the bill would require the commission to order the electrical corporation to open an account from which to pay customers for those losses.
Under existing law, a violation of any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime.
Because this bill requires action by the commission to implement its requirements, and because a violation of an order or decision of the commission implementing its requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program by creating a new crime.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 8385 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

8385.
 (a) For purposes of this chapter, the following shall apply:
(1) “Compliance period” means a period of approximately one year.
(2) “Deenergization event” means the proactive interruption of electrical service for the purpose of mitigating or avoiding the risk of causing a wildfire.

(2)

(3) “Electrical cooperative” has the same meaning as defined in Section 2776.
(b) The commission shall supervise an electrical corporation’s compliance with the requirements of this chapter pursuant to the Public Utilities Act (Part 1 (commencing with Section 201) of Division 1). Nothing in this chapter affects the commission’s authority or jurisdiction over an electrical cooperative or local publicly owned electrical corporation. electric utility.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8386.7 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

8386.7.
 (a) If the commission approves a wildfire mitigation plan for an electrical corporation that authorizes deenergization events, the commission shall adopt rules setting forth the circumstances under which a deenergization event may be undertaken and continued in effect and the appropriate geographic range of a deenergization event.
(b) Following a deenergization event, the commission shall determine whether the electrical corporation complied with the rules established by the commission pursuant to subdivision (a). The commission shall also determine if the entire duration and geographic range of the deenergization event was reasonable, with particular consideration given to the number of customers affected and whether that geographic range was appropriate to prevent the risk of wildfires. If the commission determines that the electrical corporation complied with the rules established by the commission for a deenergization event, but that either the duration or geographic range of the deenergization event exceeded that which was reasonable, the commission shall consider whether to modify its rules to appropriately limit the circumstances under which a deenergization event shall be undertaken and the geographic range of further deenergization events.
(c) If the commission determines that the electrical corporation failed to comply with the rules established by the commission pursuant to this section and the failure resulted in customers of the electrical corporation incurring losses, the commission shall order the electrical corporation to open an account from which to pay claims by customers for those losses. The commission may establish rules and procedures for the handling and payment of these claims.
(d) Expenses paid from the account shall not be recoverable as an expense from ratepayers. However, whether the electrical corporation may claim the expense as a business expense for income tax purposes shall be determined pursuant to other applicable law.

SEC. 3.

 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.