Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC

DIVISION 1. REGULATION OF PUBLIC UTILITIES [201 - 3297]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

PART 1. PUBLIC UTILITIES ACT [201 - 2120]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

CHAPTER 2.3. Electrical Restructuring [330 - 400.3]

  ( Chapter 2.3 added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 854, Sec. 10. )

ARTICLE 11. Information Practices [391 - 392.1]
  ( Article 11 added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 854, Sec. 10. )

391.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) Electricity is essential to the health, safety, and economic well-being of all California consumers.

(b) The restructuring of the electricity industry will create a new electricity market with new marketers and sellers offering new goods and services, many of which may not be readily evaluated by the average consumer.

(c) It is important that these customers be protected from unfair marketing practices and that market participants demonstrate their creditworthiness and technical expertise in order to engage in power sales to these members of the public.

(d) Larger commercial and industrial customers are sophisticated energy consumers that have adequate civil remedies and are adequately protected by existing commercial law, as demonstrated by the absence of significant amounts of contract litigation between commercial and industrial natural gas users and natural gas marketers in California.

(e) It is important to create a market structure that will not unduly burden new entrants into the competitive electric market, or California may not receive the full benefits of reduced electricity costs through competition.

(f) It is appropriate to create a system of registration and consumer protection for the electric industry, designed to ensure sufficient protection for residential and small commercial consumers while simplifying entry into the market for responsible entities serving larger, more sophisticated customers.

(g) It is the intent of the Legislature that:

(1) Electricity consumers be provided with sufficient and reliable information to be able to compare and select among products and services provided in the electricity market.

(2) Consumers be provided with mechanisms to protect themselves from marketing practices that are unfair or abusive.

(3) Pursuant to the authority granted to the commission in this part as to registration and consumer protection matters, the commission shall balance the need to maximize competition by reducing barriers to entry into the small retail electricity procurement market with the need to protect small consumers against deceptive, unfair, or abusive business practices, or insolvency of the entity offering retail electric service.

(h) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to further the policies of AB 1890 (Chapter 854, Statutes of 1996) relating to electric industry restructuring.

(Added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 275, Sec. 8. Effective August 15, 1997.)

392.
  

(a) (1) Electrical corporations shall disclose each component of the electrical bill as follows:

(A) The total charges associated with transmission and distribution, including that portion comprising the research, environmental, and low-income funds.

(B) The total charges associated with generation, including the competition transition charge.

(2) Electrical corporations shall provide conspicuous notice that if the customer elects to purchase electricity from another provider that customer will continue to be liable for payment of the competition transition charge. This paragraph does not prohibit the commission from requiring additional information.

(b) Prior to the implementation of the competition transition charge, electric corporations, in conjunction with the commission, shall devise and implement a customer education program informing customers of the changes to the electric industry. The program shall provide customers with information necessary to help them make appropriate choices as to their electric service. The education program shall be subject to approval by the commission.

(c) The standard bill format developed by the commission pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 394.4 shall also apply to electrical corporations.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 275, Sec. 10. Effective August 15, 1997.)

392.1.
  

(a) The commission shall compile and regularly update the names and contact numbers of registered providers.

(b) (1) The commission shall also compile and regularly update information to assist consumers in making service choices and the number of customer complaints against specific providers in relation to the number of customers served by those providers and the disposition of those complaints. To facilitate this function, registered entities shall file with the commission information describing the terms and conditions of any standard service plan made available to residential and small commercial customers. The commission shall adopt a standard format for this filing. The commission shall maintain and make generally available a list of entities offering electrical services operating in California. This list shall include all registered providers and those providers not required to be registered who request the commission to be included in the list. The commission shall, upon request, make this information available at no charge. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, public agencies that are registered entities shall be required to disclose their terms and conditions of service contracts only to the same extent that other registered entities would be required to disclose the same or similar service contracts.

(2) The commission shall issue public alerts about companies attempting to provide electric service in the state in an unauthorized or fraudulent manner as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 394.25.

(3) (A) This subdivision is inoperative except for time periods in which providers are authorized to offer service to residential customers and the combined enrollments in competitive retail electric service in the service territories of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, and San Diego Gas and Electric Company increase at a rate of more than 5 percent per month.

(B) The commission shall notify, in writing, the Secretary of State at the beginning and end of any time period described in subparagraph (A).

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 604, Sec. 1. (SB 656) Effective January 1, 2014.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC