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SB-378 Electrical corporations: deenergization events: procedures: allocation of costs: reports.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/21/2020 09:00 PM
SB378:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  January 21, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  January 06, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  September 06, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  March 25, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 378


Introduced by Senator Wiener
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Kalra)
(Coauthor: Senator Wilk)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Chiu, Cunningham, Eggman, Lackey, Levine, and Mark Stone)

February 20, 2019


An act to add Sections 592, 707.3, 707.5, 748, 776.7, 911.3, and 2111.5 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to electricity.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 378, as amended, Wiener. Electrical corporations: deenergization events: procedures: allocation of costs: reports.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations. Existing law requires every public utility to furnish any reports required by the commission. Existing law requires the commission to establish the Wildfire Safety Division within the commission to undertake specified tasks. Existing law, effective July 1, 2021, transfers all functions of the Wildfire Safety Division to the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety.
This bill would require each electrical corporation with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California to annually submit a report to the commission, the Office of Emergency Services, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Independent System Operator, and county governments within its service territory Wildfire Safety Division and, after June 30, 2021, to the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety, that includes the age, useful life, and condition of the electrical corporation’s equipment, inspection dates, and maintenance records for its equipment, investments to maintain and improve the operation of its transmission and distribution facilities, and an assessment of the current and future fire and safety risk posed by the equipment.

Existing law requires the commission to institute a rulemaking proceeding by March 1, 2012, for the purpose of considering and adopting a code of conduct, associated rules, and enforcement procedures, as specified, to govern the conduct of an electrical corporation relative to the consideration, formation, and implementation of community choice aggregation programs and to implement the code of conduct, associated rules, and enforcement procedures by January 1, 2013.

This bill would prohibit the commission from allowing an electrical corporation to recover in rates costs associated with the electrical corporation’s opposition to the consideration, formation, implementation, or expansion of a local publicly owned electric utility, electrical cooperative, or microgrid, self-generation, or distributed resource program or policy or to other efforts to expand the electrical service options available to consumers. The bill would require the commission to ensure that an electrical corporation does not market against those efforts, except through an affiliate that is funded exclusively by the electrical corporation’s shareholders, and would impose other related requirements on the commission.

Existing law requires each electrical corporation to annually prepare and submit a wildfire mitigation plan to the commission for review and approval, as specified. 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 establishes an independent Public Advocate’s Office within the commission with the goal to obtain the lowest possible rate for service consistent with reliable and safe service levels.
This bill would require the commission, in consultation with the Department of Consumer Affairs, Public Advocate’s Office, on or before June 1, 2021, to establish a procedure for customers, local governments, and others affected by a deenergization event to recover costs accrued during the deenergization event from an electrical corporation with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California. corporation, within specified time periods. The bill would require an electrical corporation with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California, corporation, on or before June 1, 2021, to create a fund, of an amount to be determined by the commission, for the recovery of costs accrued by establish a memorandum account to track expenses paid to customers, local governments, and others during for claims resulting from a deenergization event. The bill would require that money be paid into the fund exclusively by the electrical corporation’s shareholders, would prohibit expenses paid by the fund from being recovered either directly or indirectly in rates, and would require that those expenses be borne exclusively by the shareholders of the electrical corporation. The bill would require the commission to establish rules to determine whether the expenses paid can be recovered from ratepayers. The bill would prohibit an electrical corporation with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California from billing customers for any nonfixed costs during a deenergization event or from charging customers increased amounts after a deenergization event in order to offset losses accrued during a deenergization event. The bill would require, on or before June 1, 2021, that any profit accrued by an electrical corporation with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California corporation, due to a deenergization event event that is determined by the commission to have been undertaken in an unreasonable or imprudent manner, be remitted or credited to its ratepayers, while and that any loss be borne by the electrical corporation’s shareholders.
This bill would require an electrical corporation with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California to provide notification of a pending deenergization event as early as possible to the cities and counties within its service territory and to other local governmental entities upon their request, and to share information relating to a deenergization event with local governmental entities, as specified.
This bill would require the commission to biennially produce a report on the economic, environmental, public health, and public safety impacts of deenergization events, using information provided by electrical corporations with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California and independent analysis.
Existing law provides for the imposition of fines and civil penalties for the violation of the California Constitution, statutes, or an order, decision, or requirement of the commission by a public utility.

This

If the commission determines that the electrical corporation failed to act in a reasonable and prudent manner in its implementation and execution of a deenergization event, this bill would provide that an electrical corporation is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $500,000 $250,000 per 50,000 affected customers for every hour that a deenergization event is in place, and would require that the penalty be borne exclusively by the electrical corporation’s shareholders.
Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act or any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime, when a penalty has not otherwise been provided.
Because the provisions of this bill would be a part of the act and would require action to be taken by the commission to implement its requirements, and because penalties are not provided for certain of the bill’s requirements, 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 592 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

592.
 (a) The commission shall direct each electrical corporation with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California to submit an annual report to the commission, the Office of Emergency Services, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Independent System Operator, and county governments within its service territory Wildfire Safety Division and, after June 30, 2021, to the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety, that includes all of the following:
(1) The age, useful life, and condition of the electrical corporation’s equipment.
(2) For all equipment subject to inspection, the date of the most recent inspections.
(3) The maintenance records for the electrical corporation’s equipment.
(4) A list of the electrical corporation’s investments made in the preceding year to maintain and improve the operation of its transmission and distribution facilities.
(5) An assessment of the current and future fire and safety risk posed by the equipment.
(b) The commission Wildfire Safety Division, or after June 30, 2021, the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety, shall post each submitted report on its internet website.
(c) For purposes of this section, “deenergization event” has the same meaning as defined in Section 748.

SEC. 2.Section 707.3 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:
707.3.

(a)The commission shall not allow an electrical corporation to recover in rates costs associated with the electrical corporation’s opposition either to the consideration, formation, or implementation of a new local publicly owned electric utility or electrical cooperative, or to the expansion of an existing local publicly owned electric utility or electrical cooperative.

(b)The commission shall do all of the following:

(1)Ensure that an electrical corporation does not market against the consideration, formation, implementation, or expansion of a local publicly owned electric utility or electrical cooperative, except through an affiliate that is funded exclusively by the electrical corporation’s shareholders.

(2)Require that an electrical corporation’s marketing against the consideration, formation, implementation, or expansion of a local publicly owned electric utility or electrical cooperative be conducted by an affiliate of the electrical corporation and not by a marketing division of the electrical corporation, subject to affiliate transaction rules to be developed by the commission.

(3)Limit an electrical corporation’s affiliate’s use of support services from the electrical corporation’s ratepayer-funded divisions, and ensure that an electrical corporation’s affiliate is allocated the costs of any permissible support services from the electrical corporation’s ratepayer-funded divisions on a fully allocated embedded cost basis, with the corporation providing detailed public reports of such use.

(4)Ensure that an electrical corporation’s affiliate does not have access to competitively sensitive information.

SEC. 3.Section 707.5 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:
707.5.

(a)The commission shall not allow an electrical corporation to recover in rates costs associated with the electrical corporation’s opposition to the consideration, formation, implementation, or expansion of a microgrid, self-generation, or distributed resource program or policy or to other efforts to expand the electrical service options available to consumers.

(b)The commission shall do all of the following:

(1)Ensure that an electrical corporation does not market against the consideration, formation, implementation, or expansion of a microgrid, self-generation, or distributed resource program or policy or against other efforts to expand the electrical service options available to consumers, except through an affiliate that is funded exclusively by the electrical corporation’s shareholders.

(2)Require that an electrical corporation’s marketing against the consideration, formation, implementation, or expansion of a microgrid, self-generation, or distributed resource program or policy, or against other efforts to expand the electrical service options available to consumers, be conducted by an affiliate of the electrical corporation and not by a marketing division of the electrical corporation, subject to affiliate transaction rules to be developed by the commission.

(3)Limit an electrical corporation’s affiliate’s use of support services from the electrical corporation’s ratepayer-funded divisions, and ensure that an electrical corporation’s affiliate is allocated the costs of any permissible support services from the electrical corporation’s ratepayer-funded divisions on a fully allocated embedded cost basis, with the corporation providing detailed public reports of such use.

(4)Ensure that an electrical corporation’s affiliate does not have access to competitively sensitive information.

SEC. 4.SEC. 2.

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

748.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “deenergization event” means an intentional, temporary termination of electrical service to an area for the purpose of reducing or eliminating the risk of wildfires resulting from the operation of the electrical grid or related facilities.
(b) (1) On or before June 1, 2021, the commission, in consultation with the Department of Consumer Affairs, Public Advocate’s Office, shall establish a procedure to do both of the following:
(A) To enable customers and others affected by a deenergization event to recover costs accrued during the deenergization event from an electrical corporation with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California within two weeks of the end of within the utility bill encompassing the dates of the event.
(B) To enable local governments affected by a deenergization event to recover costs accrued during the deenergization event from an electrical corporation with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California within two weeks of billing the electrical corporation for those costs.
(2) Costs recoverable under this section may include, but are not limited to, assets, revenue, and wages lost as a direct result of a deenergization event, medical bills, travel expenses, lodging costs, and other incidental expenses incurred as a direct result of a deenergization event, and local government planning and response activity costs directly related to a deenergization event.
(c) On or before June 1, 2021, the commission shall require an electrical corporation with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California to create a fund, of an amount to be determined by the commission, to fund recovery of costs accrued by to establish a memorandum account to track expenses paid to customers, local governments, and others during for claims resulting from a deenergization event. Moneys shall be paid into the fund exclusively by the electrical corporation’s shareholders, and expenses paid by the fund shall not be recoverable either directly or indirectly in rates and shall be borne exclusively by the shareholders of the electrical corporation. The commission shall establish rules to determine whether the expenses paid can be recovered from ratepayers.
(d) An electrical corporation with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California shall not bill customers for any nonfixed costs during a deenergization event, including with the intent of subsequently reimbursing the customers, and shall not charge customers increased amounts after a deenergization event in order to offset losses accrued during a deenergization event.
(e) Beginning on or before June 1, 2021, the commission shall require any profit accrued by an electrical corporation with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California due to a deenergization event that the commission determines to have been undertaken in an unreasonable or imprudent manner to be remitted or credited to its ratepayers and any loss to be borne by the electrical corporation’s shareholders.

SEC. 5.SEC. 3.

 Section 776.7 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

776.7.
 (a) An electrical corporation with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California shall provide notification of a pending deenergization event as early as possible to the cities and counties within its service territory and to other local governmental entities upon their request.
(b) An electrical corporation shall share any information relating to a deenergization event, including information relating to the duration, timing, and location of the deenergization event, impacted facilities, and affected customers, with all local governmental entities within its service territory.
(c) An electrical corporation shall share any location-specific information relating to a deenergization event, including information relating to the duration, timing, and location of the deenergization event, impacted facilities, and affected customers, with all local governmental entities with jurisdiction over that location.
(d) For purposes of this section, “deenergization event” has the same meaning as defined in Section 748.

SEC. 6.SEC. 4.

 Section 911.3 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

911.3.
 The commission shall biennially produce a report on the economic, environmental, public health, and public safety impacts of deenergization events, using information provided by electrical corporations with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California and independent analysis. For purposes of this section, “deenergization event” has the same meaning as defined in Section 748.

SEC. 7.SEC. 5.

 Section 2111.5 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

2111.5.
 An electrical corporation with more than 2,500,000 electrical service connections in California is subject to a penalty of not less than five hundred thousand dollars $500,000 two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) for every hour that a deenergization event is in place, multiplied by the sum of the number of full sets of 50,000 customers affected plus one for any remainder. remainder, if the commission determines that the electrical corporation failed to act in a reasonable and prudent manner in its implementation and execution of the deenergization event. Penalties remitted pursuant to this section shall be borne exclusively by the electrical corporation’s shareholders. For purposes of this section, “deenergization event” has the same meaning as defined in Section 748.

SEC. 8.SEC. 6.

 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.