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SB-756 Home weatherization services for low-income customers.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 09/24/2021 02:00 PM
SB756:v95#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 756
CHAPTER 248

An act to amend, repeal, and add Section 2790 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to energy.

[ Approved by Governor  September 23, 2021. Filed with Secretary of State  September 23, 2021. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 756, Hueso. Home weatherization services for low-income customers.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations and gas corporations. Existing law requires each electrical or gas corporation to perform home weatherization services for low-income customers, as determined by the commission, if the commission determines that a significant need for those services exists in the corporation’s service territory, as specified. These services are generally known as the Energy Savings Assistance Program and are administered by each electrical or gas corporation.
From January 1, 2022, to June 30, 2022, inclusive, this bill would define “low-income customers” for purposes of the program as customers with annual household incomes that are no greater than 200% of the federal poverty guideline levels. On and after July 1, 2022, the bill would define “low-income customers” for those purposes as persons and families whose household income is at or below 250% of the federal poverty level, and would prohibit the commission from increasing the authorized budgets for the program based on that expansion of income eligibility.
Under existing law, a violation of any commission order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement is a crime.
Because a violation of any commission action implementing this bill’s requirements would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
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 2790 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

2790.
 (a) The commission shall require an electrical or gas corporation to perform home weatherization services for low-income customers, as determined by the commission under subdivision (a) of Section 739.1, if the commission determines that a significant need for those services exists in the corporation’s service territory, taking into consideration both the cost-effectiveness of the services and the policy of reducing the hardships facing low-income households.
(b) (1) For purposes of this section, “weatherization” may include, where feasible, any of the following measures for any dwelling unit:
(A) Attic insulation.
(B) Caulking.
(C) Weatherstripping.
(D) Low-flow showerhead.
(E) Waterheater blanket.
(F) Door and building envelope repairs that reduce air infiltration.
(2) The commission shall direct an electrical or gas corporation to provide as many of these measures as are feasible for each eligible low-income dwelling unit.
(c) “Weatherization” may also include other building conservation measures, energy management technology, energy-efficient appliances, and energy education programs determined by the commission to be feasible, taking into consideration for all measures both the cost-effectiveness of the measures as a whole and the policy of reducing energy-related hardships facing low-income households.
(d) Weatherization programs shall use the needs assessment pursuant to Section 382.1 to maximize efficiency of delivery.
(e) For purposes of this section, “energy management technology” may include a product, service, or software that allows a customer to better understand and manage electricity or gas use in the customer’s home.
(f) This section shall become inoperative on July 1, 2022, and, as of January 1, 2023, is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 2790 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

2790.
 (a) The commission shall require an electrical or gas corporation to perform home weatherization services for low-income customers if the commission determines that a significant need for those services exists in the corporation’s service territory, taking into consideration both the cost-effectiveness of the services and the policy of reducing the hardships facing low-income households.
(b) (1) For purposes of this section, “weatherization” may include, where feasible, any of the following measures for any dwelling unit:
(A) Attic insulation.
(B) Caulking.
(C) Weatherstripping.
(D) Low-flow showerhead.
(E) Waterheater blanket.
(F) Door and building envelope repairs that reduce air infiltration.
(2) The commission shall direct an electrical or gas corporation to provide as many of these measures as are feasible for each eligible low-income dwelling unit.
(c) For purposes of this section, “weatherization” may also include other building conservation measures, energy management technology, energy-efficient appliances, and energy education programs determined by the commission to be feasible, taking into consideration for all measures both the cost-effectiveness of the measures as a whole and the policy of reducing energy-related hardships facing low-income households.
(d) Weatherization programs shall use the needs assessment pursuant to Section 382.1 to maximize efficiency of delivery.
(e) For purposes of this section, “energy management technology” may include a product, service, or software that allows a customer to better understand and manage electricity or gas use in the customer’s home.
(f) (1) For purposes of this section, “low-income customers” means persons and families whose household income is at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level.
(2) The commission shall not increase the authorized budgets for the Energy Savings Assistance Program based on the expansion of income eligibility made under paragraph (1).
(g) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2022.

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.