Today's Law As Amended


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SB-196 Utility rates: mobilehomes and apartment buildings.(2013-2014)



As Amends the Law Today
As Amends the Law on Nov 25, 2013


SECTION 1.

 Section 798.40 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

798.40.
 (a) Where the  management provides both master-meter and submeter service of utilities to a homeowner, for each billing period the cost of the charges for the period shall be separately stated along with the opening and closing readings for the homeowner’s meter. Management  his or her meter. The management  shall post, in a conspicuous place, the specific current residential utility rate schedule as published by the serving utility or the internet website  Internet Web site  address of the specific current residential utility rate schedule. If the  management elects to post the internet website  Internet Web site  address where the schedule may be accessed, the  management shall do both of the following: also: (1) provide a copy of the specific current residential utility rate schedule, upon request, at no cost; and (2) state in the posting that a homeowner may request a copy of the rate schedule from management. 
(1) Provide a copy of the specific current residential utility rate schedule, upon request, at no cost.
(2) State in the posting that a homeowner may request a copy of the rate schedule from management.
(b) If a third-party billing agent or company prepares utility billing for the park, the  management shall disclose on each resident’s billing, the name, address, and telephone number of the billing agent or company.
(c) Whenever management elects to separately bill water service to a homeowner as a utility service pursuant to Section 798.41, and to provide submetered water service to homeowners as a master-meter customer of the water purveyor, as a part of the regular bill for water service, management shall only bill a homeowner for the following water service:
(1) A charge for volumetric usage, which may be calculated in any of the following ways:
(A) The amount shall be calculated by first determining the proportion of the homeowner’s usage, as shown by the submeter, to the total usage as shown by the water purveyor’s billing. The dollar amount billed to the homeowner for usage shall be in that same proportion to the dollar amount for usage shown by the water purveyor’s billing.
(B) If the water purveyor charges for volumetric usage based on a tiered rate schedule, management may calculate the charge for a homeowner’s volumetric usage as described in subparagraph (A) or management may instead divide each tier’s volume evenly among the number of mobilehome spaces, and the rate applicable to each block shall be applied to the consumption recorded for each mobilehome space.
(C) If the water purveyor charges the property rates on a per-mobilehome space basis, the homeowners may be charged at those exact per-mobilehome space rates.
(D) In no event shall the charge for volumetric usage under this paragraph include in its calculation water used by or for any common area facility in the park, or water used by any other person or entity, other than the homeowner being billed.
(2) Any recurring fixed charge, however that charge may be designated, for water service billed to the property by the water purveyors that, at management’s discretion, shall be calculated by either of the following:
(A) The homeowner’s proportion of the total fixed charges charged to management for the park’s water use. The homeowner’s proportion shall be based on the percentage of the homeowner’s volumetric water use in relation to the total volumetric water use of the entire park, as shown on management’s water bill during that period.
(B) Dividing the total fixed charges charged to the park equally among the total number of spaces at the park.
(3) A billing, administrative, or other fee representing the combined total of management’s and the billing agent’s costs, which shall be the lesser of an amount not to exceed four dollars and seventy-five cents ($4.75), as adjusted pursuant to this paragraph, or 25 percent of the amount billed pursuant to paragraph (1). Beginning January 1, 2022, the maximum fee authorized by this paragraph may be adjusted each calendar year by management, no higher than a commensurate increase in the Consumer Price Index based on a California fiscal year average for the previous fiscal year, for all urban consumers, as determined by the Department of Finance.
(d) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Billing agent” means a person or entity that contracts to provide submetering services to management, including billing.
(2) “Submeter” means a device that measures water consumption of an individual mobilehome space within a park, and that is owned and operated by management.
(3) “Water service” includes any charges, whether presented for payment on local water purveyor bills, tax bills, or bills from other entities, related to water treatment, distribution, or usage, including, but not limited to, water, sewer, stormwater, and flood control.
(4) “Water purveyor” means a water purveyor as defined in Section 512 of the Water Code.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent management from recovering its costs to install, maintain, or improve its internal water delivery system, as may otherwise be allowed in any rental agreement or local regulation.

SEC. 2.

 Section 739.5 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

739.5.
 (a) The commission shall require that, whenever gas or electrical electric  service, or both, is provided by a master-meter customer to users who are tenants of a mobilehome park, apartment building, or similar residential complex, the master-meter customer shall charge each user of the service at the same rate that would be applicable if the user were receiving gas or electricity, or both, directly from the gas corporation or load-serving entity, as defined in Section 380.  or electrical corporation.  The commission shall require a gas or electrical  the  corporation furnishing service to the master-meter customer to establish uniform rates for master-meter service at a level that will provide a sufficient differential to cover the reasonable average costs to master-meter customers of providing submeter service, except that these costs shall not exceed the average cost that the gas or electrical  corporation would have incurred in providing comparable services directly to the users of the service.
(b) (1)  Every master-meter customer of a gas corporation  or load-serving entity electrical corporation  subject to subdivision (a) who, on or after January 1, 1978, receives any rebate from a load-serving entity or gas  the  corporation shall distribute to, or credit to the account of, each current user served by the master-meter customer that portion of the rebate which the amount of gas or electricity, or both, consumed by the user during the last billing period bears to the total amount furnished by the load-serving entity or gas  corporation to the master-meter customer during that period.
(2) Paragraph (1) includes the credits stemming from the revenues received by the electrical corporation as a result of the direct allocation of greenhouse gas allowances to electric utilities pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 95890 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, that are required to be credited to customers of the electrical corporation pursuant to Section 748.5.
(c) An electrical or gas corporation furnishing service to a master-meter customer shall furnish to each user of the service within a submetered system every public safety customer service which it provides beyond the meter to its other residential customers. The corporation shall furnish a list of those services to the master-meter customer who shall post the list in a conspicuous place accessible to all users. Every corporation shall provide these public safety customer services to each user of electrical or gas service under a submetered system without additional charge unless the corporation has included the average cost of these services in the rate differential provided to the master-meter customer on January 1, 1984, in which case the commission shall deduct the average cost of providing these public safety customer services when approving rate differentials for master-meter customers.
(d) Every master-meter customer is responsible for maintenance and repair of its submeter facilities beyond the master-meter, and nothing in this section requires a load-serving entity  an electrical  or gas corporation to make repairs to or perform maintenance on the submeter system.
(e) Every master-meter customer shall provide an itemized billing of charges for electricity or gas, or both, to each individual user generally in accordance with the form and content of bills of the load-serving entity or gas  corporation to its residential customers, including, but not limited to, the opening and closing readings for the meter, and the identification of all rates and quantities attributable to each block in the applicable rate structure. The master-meter customer shall also post, in a conspicuous place, the applicable specific current residential gas or electrical rate schedule, as published by the load-serving entity or gas  corporation, or the load-serving entity’s or gas corporation’s internet website  corporation’s Internet Web site  address of the specific current residential gas or electrical rate schedule. If the master-meter customer elects to post the internet website  Internet Web site  address where the schedule may be accessed, the master-meter customer shall also: (1) provide a copy of the specific current residential gas or electrical rate schedule, upon request, at no cost; and (2) state in the posting that an individual user may request a copy of the rate schedule from the master-meter customer.
(f) The commission shall require that every load-serving entity  electrical  and gas corporation shall notify each master-meter customer of its responsibilities to its users under this section.
(g) The commission shall accept and respond to complaints concerning the requirements of this section that apply to a gas or electrical corporation  through the consumer affairs branch, in addition to any other staff that the commission deems necessary to assist the complainant. In responding to the complaint, the commission shall consider the role that the office of the county sealer in the complainant’s county of residence may have in helping to resolve the complaint and, where appropriate, coordinate with that office.
(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or decision of the commission, the commission shall not deny eligibility for the California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) program, created pursuant to Section 739.1, for a residential user of gas or electrical electric  service who is a submetered resident or tenant served by a master-meter customer on the basis that some residential units in the master-meter customer’s mobilehome park, apartment building, or similar residential complex do not receive gas or electrical electric  service through a submetered system.
(i) For purposes of this section, “rebate” does not include the award of a monetary incentive under the California Solar Initiative adopted by the Public Utilities Commission in Decision 05-12-044 and Decision 06-01-024, as modified by Article 1 (commencing with Section 2851) of Chapter 9 of Part 2, for a solar energy system that provides electrical generation to a mobilehome park.