Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 6. DISTRICTS [58000 - 62262]

  ( Title 6 added by Stats. 1951, Ch. 331. )

DIVISION 1. GENERAL [58000 - 60375.5]

  ( Heading of Division 1 renumbered from Division 2 by Stats. 1987, Ch. 56, Sec. 88. )

CHAPTER 9.6. District Utility Services [60370 - 60375.5]
  ( Chapter 9.6 added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 422, Sec. 1. )

60370.
  

As used in this chapter, “district” means any agency of the state, formed pursuant to general law or special act, for the local performance of governmental or proprietary functions within limited boundaries. “District” shall not include the state, any city, city and county, county, or school district.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 422, Sec. 1.)

60371.
  

(a) If a district furnishes residential light, heat, water, or power through a master meter, or furnishes individually metered service in a single-family dwelling, multiunit residential structure, mobilehome park, or farm labor camp and the owner, manager, or farm labor employer is the customer of record, the district shall make every good faith effort to inform the actual users of the services, by means of written notice, when the account is in arrears, that service will be terminated in 10 days. The written notice shall further inform the actual users that they have the right to become customers of the district without being required to pay the amount due on the delinquent account. The notice shall be in English and in the languages listed in Section 1632 of the Civil Code.

(b) The district is not required to make service available to the actual users unless each actual user agrees to the terms and conditions of service, and meets the requirements of the district’s rules and tariffs. However, if one or more actual users are willing and able to assume responsibility for the subsequent charges to the account to the satisfaction of the district, or if there is a physical means, legally available to the district, of selectively terminating service to those actual users who have not met the requirements of the district’s rules and tariffs, the district shall make service available to the actual users who have met those requirements.

(c)  If prior service for a period of time is a condition for establishing credit with the district, residence and proof of prompt payment of rent for that period of time is a satisfactory equivalent.

(d) Any actual user who becomes a customer of the district pursuant to this section whose periodic payments, such as rental payments, include charges for residential light, heat, water, or power, where these charges are not separately stated, may deduct from the periodic payment each payment period all reasonable charges paid to the district for those services during the preceding payment period.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 913, Sec. 21. (AB 2747) Effective January 1, 2015.)

60372.
  

(a) No district furnishing its inhabitants with light, water, power, or heat may terminate residential service for nonpayment of a delinquent account unless the district first gives notice of the delinquency and impending termination, as provided in Section 60371.

(b) No district shall terminate residential service for nonpayment in any of the following situations:

(1) During the pendency of an investigation by the district of a customer dispute or complaint.

(2) When a customer has been granted an extension of the period for payment of a bill.

(3) On the certification of a licensed physician and surgeon that to do so will be life threatening to the customer and the customer is financially unable to pay for service within the normal payment period and is willing to enter into an amortization agreement with the district pursuant to subdivision (e) with respect to all charges that the customer is unable to pay prior to delinquency.

(c) Any residential customer who has initiated a complaint or requested an investigation within five days of receiving the disputed bill, or who has, within 13 days of mailing of the notice required by subdivision (a), made a request for extension of the payment period of a bill asserted to be beyond the means of the customer to pay in full during the normal period for payment, shall be given an opportunity for review of the complaint, investigation, or request by a review manager of the district. The review shall include consideration of whether the customer shall be permitted to amortize the unpaid balance of the account over a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 12 months. No termination of service shall be effected for any customer complying with an amortization agreement, if the customer also keeps the account current as charges accrue in each subsequent billing period.

(d) Any customer whose complaint or request for an investigation pursuant to subdivision (c) has resulted in an adverse determination by the district may appeal the determination to the board. Any subsequent appeal of the dispute or complaint to the board is not subject to this section.

(e) Any customer meeting the requirements of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) shall, upon request, be permitted to amortize, over a period not to exceed 12 months, the unpaid balance of any bill asserted to be beyond the means of the customer to pay within the normal period for payment.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 422, Sec. 1.)

60373.
  

(a) No district furnishing light, heat, water, or power may terminate residential service on account of nonpayment of a delinquent account unless the district first gives notice of the delinquency and impending termination, at least 10 days prior to the proposed termination, by means of a notice mailed, postage prepaid, to the customer to whom the service is billed not earlier than 19 days from the date of mailing the district’s bill for services, and the 10-day period shall not commence until five days after the mailing of the notice.

(b) Every district shall make a reasonable, good faith effort to contact an adult person residing at the premises of the customer by telephone or in person at least 48 hours prior to any termination of service except that whenever telephone or personal contact cannot be accomplished, the district shall give, by mail or by posting in a conspicuous location at the premises, a notice of termination of service, at least 48 hours prior to termination.

(c) Every notice of termination of service pursuant to subdivision (a) shall include all of the following information:

(1) The name and address of the customer whose account is delinquent.

(2) The amount of the delinquency.

(3) The date by which payment or arrangements for payment is required in order to avoid termination.

(4) The procedure by which the customer may initiate a complaint or request an investigation concerning service or charges, except that if the bill for service contains a description of that procedure, the notice pursuant to subdivision (a) is not required to contain that information.

(5) The procedure by which the customer may request amortization of the unpaid charges.

(6) The procedure for the customer to obtain information on the availability of financial assistance, including private, local, state, or federal sources, if applicable.

(7) The telephone number of a representative of the district who can provide additional information or institute arrangements for payment.

Every notice of termination of service pursuant to subdivision (b) shall include the items of information in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (6), and (7).

All written notices shall be in a clear and legible format.

(d) If a residential customer fails to comply with an amortization agreement, the district shall not terminate service without giving notice to the customer at least 48 hours prior to termination of the conditions the customer is required to meet to avoid termination, but the notice does not entitle the customer to further investigation by the district.

(e) No termination of service may be effected without compliance with this section, and any service wrongfully terminated shall be restored without charge for the restoration of service.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 529, Sec. 10. Effective October 4, 1995.)

60374.
  

No district shall, by reason of delinquency in payment for any electric, gas, heat, or water services, cause cessation of the services on any Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or at any time during which the business offices of the district are not open to the public.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 422, Sec. 1.)

60375.5.
  

The decision of a district to require a new residential applicant to deposit a sum of money with the district prior to establishing an account and furnishing service shall be based solely upon the credit worthiness of the applicant as determined by the district.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1066, Sec. 2.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV