Code Section

Public Utilities Code - PUC

DIVISION 3. PUBLIC UTILITY FRANCHISES BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS [6001 - 6467]

  ( Division 3 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )
  

CHAPTER 2.5. Municipal Public Lands Use Surcharge [6350 - 6354.1]

  ( Chapter 2.5 added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 233, Sec. 2. )
  

ARTICLE 4. Rights, Restrictions, and Compensation [6354 - 6354.1]
  ( Article 4 added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 233, Sec. 2. )

  
6354.  

(a) Surcharges calculated pursuant to Section 6353 shall be recovered from the transportation customer through the energy transporter’s normal billing process.

(b) Surcharges collected from the transportation customer shall be remitted to the municipality granting a franchise pursuant to this division in the manner and at the time prescribed for payment of franchise fees in the energy transporter’s franchise agreement. In recognition of costs to be incurred by energy transporters in administering the surcharge established by this chapter, the energy transporter may retain interest earned on cash balances resulting from the timing difference between the monthly collection of the surcharge and the remittance thereof, as required by individual franchise agreements.

(c) In the event that payment on a transportation customer closed account becomes more than 90 days delinquent, or a transportation customer notifies the utility that they refuse to pay the surcharge, the energy transporter shall, within 30 days, notify the municipality of the delinquency and provide information on the name and address of the delinquent transportation customer and the surcharge amount owed. The energy transporter shall not be liable for these delinquent surcharges.

(d) The municipality, including its authorized officials, employees and agents shall use the delinquent transportation customer information only for the purpose of enforcing the surcharge and shall not disclose the information to any officials, employees, agents, or any third parties who are not responsible for and involved in the enforcement of the municipality’s franchise agreements. Nothing herein precludes the municipality, through appropriate officials, employees or agents, from contacting the transportation customers in order to collect any surcharges due from the transportation customer.

(e) By March 31 of each year, every person, firm, or corporation that transports gas or electricity to any other person, firm, or corporation within a municipality, upon request of the municipality, shall provide the names and addresses of each of its transportation customers and such other information for the preceding calendar year as may be necessary for the municipality to enforce its taxes and fees. The municipality, including its authorized employees and agents, shall use the transportation customer information and any other customer specific information only for the purpose of enforcing its taxes and fees and shall not disclose the information to any officials, employees, agents, or any third parties not responsible for, and involved in, the enforcement of the taxes and fees. Nothing in this subdivision shall prohibit the municipality, through appropriate officials, employees, or agents, from contacting the customers in order to collect any taxes and fees due from the customer.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any transportation customer information provided by an energy transporter to a municipality pursuant to this chapter or pursuant to a utility user tax ordinance is not a public record within the definitions contained in the Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).

(g) In acknowledgment of the potential for systems startup costs to be incurred by the energy transporters in implementing this chapter, authorization is hereby granted for each energy transporter to retain 10 percent of the added fees collected pursuant to this chapter on transported gas or electricity for systems startup costs not to exceed seven hundred fifty thousand dollars ($750,000), provided that the portion of collections withheld by the energy transporter shall be apportioned to all municipalities based upon each municipality’s share of total franchise fees allocated by the transporter in the prior calendar year.

(h) Surcharges collected pursuant to this chapter shall be separately identified on the transportation customer’s normal bill. At the request of the energy transporter, the municipality shall publish notice in a newspaper of general circulation announcing the change in method of collecting franchise fees brought about by deregulation. Energy transporters may send out notice to transportation customers announcing the change in method of collecting franchise fees through the surcharge. The mailing costs incurred by the energy transporter shall be considered to be part of the implementation costs referenced in subdivision (g).

(i) In the case of partial payment by a transportation customer, the transportation customer payment shall first be applied to the energy transporter charges. Only after all energy transporter charges have been satisfied, shall remaining payment amounts be used to satisfy the municipality’s surcharge requirement.

(j) Energy transporter collection of the surcharge shall begin on or before April 1, 1994. During the interim period between expiration of the targeted sales program and implementation of the energy transporters surcharge collection program, upon request of the municipality, the energy transporter shall provide the municipality with a monthly list of the names and addresses of the transportation customers within the municipality’s jurisdiction, the volume of transported gas in therms, the applicable tariffed core subscription weighted average cost of gas (WACOG) exclusive of any California sourced franchise factor, and the franchise fee factor authorized by the commission to enable the municipality to collect the surcharge directly from the transportation customers. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, except as provided in Section 6352, a municipality is hereby authorized to collect an interim surcharge computed in accordance with Section 6353 until the energy transporter commences billing of the surcharge pursuant to this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 579, Sec. 17. Effective October 4, 1995. Operative January 1, 1996, by Sec. 22 of Ch. 579.)