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 4. Regulation of Public Utilities [701 - 922]

  ( Chapter 4 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

ARTICLE 2. Rates [727 - 758]
  ( Article 2 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

727.
  

It is the policy of the state that the use of all waterways, ports, and harbors of this state shall be encouraged, and to that end the commission is directed in the establishment of rates for water carriers applying to business moving between points within this state to fix those rates at such a differential under the rates of competing land carriers that the water carriers shall be able fairly to compete for such business. In fixing the rates there shall be taken into consideration quality and regularity of service and class and speed of vessels.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1042, Sec. 18. Effective September 29, 1996.)

727.5.
  

(a) In establishing rates for water service, the commission shall consider, and may establish, separate charges for costs associated with customer service, facilities, variable operating costs, including fixed and variable costs associated with supplying the water, or other components of the water service provided to water users.

(b) The commission shall consider, and may authorize, a water corporation to assess a fee for future water service, or a reservation charge for future water service, for persons or entities occupying or owning property within the service territory of the water corporation.

(c) The commission shall consider, and may authorize, a water corporation to establish a balancing account, rate stabilization fund, or other contingency fund, the purpose of which shall be the long-term stabilization of water rates.

(d) The commission shall consider, and may authorize, a water corporation to establish programs, including rate designs, for achieving conservation of water and recovering the cost of these programs through the rates.

(e) In establishing rates for recovery of the costs of used and useful water plant, the commission may utilize a capital structure and payback methodology that shall maintain the reliability of water service, shall minimize the long-term cost to ratepayers, shall provide equity between present and future ratepayers, and shall afford the utility an opportunity to earn a reasonable return on its used and useful investment, to attract capital for investment on reasonable terms and to ensure the financial integrity of the utility.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 549, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)

728.
  

Whenever the commission, after a hearing, finds that the rates or classifications, demanded, observed, charged, or collected by any public utility for or in connection with any service, product, or commodity, or the rules, practices, or contracts affecting such rates or classifications are insufficient, unlawful, unjust, unreasonable, discriminatory, or preferential, the commission shall determine and fix, by order, the just, reasonable, or sufficient rates, classifications, rules, practices, or contracts to be thereafter observed and in force.

In determining and fixing rates for a telephone corporation pursuant to this section or pursuant to Section 455, or in determining whether or not a proposed rate increase is justified pursuant to Section 454, the commission shall, among other things, take into consideration any evidence offered concerning the quality of the particular telephone corporation’s services as compared with that of telephone corporations in adjacent territory, and the permissible rates for comparable service charged by telephone corporations in adjacent territory.

(Amended by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1948.)

728.1.
  

(a) For purposes of this section, “plant held for future use account” means account number 105 of the Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Public Utilities and Licensees, as adopted by the commission.

(b) The commission shall review the status of all property owned by a gas or electrical corporation and held within the plant held for future use account at least once every three years or during a proceeding conducted pursuant to Section 728, for the purpose of determining and fixing the rates of that gas or electrical corporation, as determined by the commission.

(c) If a gas or electrical corporation sells property which was carried within the plant held for future use account and which was included in determining the rates of the corporation, the commission shall determine what portion of any gains from the sale shall be allocated to the customers of the corporation in a manner consistent with the procedures specified in account number 105 of the Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Public Utilities and Licensees. The portion of the gains allocated to customers shall not be less than the amount the corporation has recovered through rates for the carrying costs and other expenses of the property during the period it was carried in the plant held for future use, and shall not exceed the gain on the sale, net of any tax, resulting from the sale.

(Amended by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1204, Sec. 1.)

728.2.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the commission shall have no jurisdiction or control over classified telephone directories or commercial advertising included as part of the corporation’s alphabetical telephone directories, including the charges for and the form and content of such advertising, except that the commission shall investigate and consider revenues and expenses with regard to the acceptance and publication of such advertising for purposes of establishing rates for other services offered by telephone corporations.

(b) If the commission determines, after a hearing, that any federal action would impair its ability to investigate and consider revenues and expenses with regard to the acceptance and publication of telephone directory advertising for the purpose of establishing rates for other services offered by any telephone corporation, the commission shall have the jurisdiction to regulate commercial advertising in alphabetical and classified directories of telephone corporations, except as provided in this subdivision.

(1) The commission’s jurisdiction to regulate commercial advertising in alphabetical and classified directories of telephone corporations under this subdivision shall be limited to the rates and charges for commercial directory advertising, except that the commission shall investigate and consider revenues and expenses of telephone corporations related to that advertising for purposes of establishing rates for other services offered by telephone corporations.

(2) The commission shall also have no jurisdiction over the following:

(i) The form and content of the advertising in alphabetical and classified directories of telephone corporations.

(ii) The form and content of the directories in which that advertising appears.

(iii) Directory advertising practices.

(iv) The determination of the geographic areas served by those directories.

(v) Complaints by any corporation or person regarding directory advertising.

(3) The commission, by its own motion or on petition of any telephone corporation, may, after a hearing, issue an order relinquishing the jurisdiction assumed under this subdivision, except its jurisdiction to investigate and consider the revenues and expenses specified in paragraph (1) if the commission determines that relinquishing the jurisdiction will not affect its ability to investigate and consider those revenues and expenses. As used in this subdivision, “federal action” means the introduction of a bill in Congress, an order of the Federal Communications Commission, or an order or decision of any federal court which would prohibit state regulatory agencies which have no jurisdiction over directory advertising from considering revenues from this source for ratemaking purposes.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1175, Sec. 1. Effective September 20, 1982.)

728.3.
  

(a) No telephone corporation operating within a service area shall remove any public telephone unless it has posted on the public telephone for not less than 30 days a notice, in a manner and form approved by the commission, indicating that the public telephone is to be removed and containing the appropriate telephone number of the commission which a customer may call for further information.

(b) This section shall not apply when a public telephone is removed for public safety or public nuisance purposes or at the request of the owner or lessee of the property on which the public telephone is located.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1172, Sec. 2.)

728.4.
  

A telephone corporation shall list a telephone number as the number for a facsimile machine in its alphabetical or classified directory only if requested to do so by the subscriber.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 973, Sec. 2.)

728.5.
  

(a) The commission may establish rates or charges for the transportation of passengers and freight by railroads and other transportation companies, except motor carriers of property, and no railroad or other transportation company under its jurisdiction, except motor carriers of property, shall charge or demand or collect or receive a greater or less or different compensation for that transportation of passengers or freight, or for any service in connection therewith, between the points named in any tariff of rates established by the commission than the rates, fares and charges which are specified in that tariff. The commission may examine books, records and papers of all railroad and other transportation companies, except motor carriers of property; may hear and determine complaints against railroad and other transportation companies; and may issue subpoenas and all necessary process and send for persons and papers. The commission and each of the commissioners may administer oaths, take testimony and punish for contempt in the same manner and to the same extent as courts of record. The commission may prescribe a uniform system of accounts to be kept by all railroad and other transportation companies, except motor carriers of property.

(b) Subdivision (a) is not applicable to network railroad transportation.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 1005, Sec. 35. Effective January 1, 2000.)

728.7.
  

(a) Prior to authorizing any change in the amount of the payment required of a telephone corporation which provides service between service areas to a telephone corporation which provides service within a service area for the use of its telephone lines, and prior to assigning to subscribers of a telephone corporation operating within a service area any charge, surcharge, or rate increase that is a result of a decrease in the amount of that payment, the commission shall do all of the following:

(1) Require the telephone corporation requesting authorization to increase subscriber rates or to impose a charge or surcharge on subscribers as a result of a change in the payments, to notify its subscribers, whenever the commission commences a proceeding on its own motion or in response to a petition to authorize a change in the amount of those payments or to impose that charge, surcharge, or rate increase as a result of a change in the amount of those payments.

(2) Require the telephone corporation to provide its subscribers with an exact description of, and explanation for, the change in the amount of the payment or the imposition of a charge, surcharge, or rate increase, within 90 days of the authorized change in the amount of payment or charge, surcharge, or rate increase. The description and explanation shall include a reasonably accurate quantitative assessment of the results of, and the reasons for, the change in the amount of payment or imposition of a charge, surcharge, or rate increase for each class of subscriber.

(b) The commission shall provide the Legislature with the information required of a telephone corporation pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), for any change in payments, or imposition of a charge, surcharge, or rate increase as a result of a change in payment, made prior to January 1, 1987, within 60 days after that date.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1047, Sec. 2.)

729.
  

The commission may, upon a hearing, investigate a single rate, classification, rule, contract, or practice, or any number thereof, or the entire schedule or schedules of rates, classifications, rules, contracts, and practices, or any thereof, of any public utility, and may establish new rates, classifications, rules, contracts, or practices or schedule or schedules in lieu thereof.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

729.5.
  

A public utility, other than one-way radio paging services, shall not change a group of customers from one rate schedule to another rate schedule, if the change would result in an increase of more than 10 percent in the rate charged to the affected customers, without first notifying customers of the change. Upon the request of an affected customer, the commission may hold a hearing on the change.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 739, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1994.)

730.
  

(a) The commission shall, upon a hearing, determine the kind and character of facilities and the extent of the operation thereof, necessary reasonably and adequately to meet public requirements for service furnished by common carriers between any two or more points, and shall fix and determine the just, reasonable, and sufficient rates for such service. Whenever two or more common carriers are furnishing service in competition with each other, the commission may, after hearing, when necessary for the preservation of adequate service and when public interest demands, prescribe uniform rates, classifications, rules, and practices to be charged, collected, and observed by all such common carriers.

(b) Subdivision (a) is not applicable to network railroad transportation.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 1005, Sec. 36. Effective January 1, 2000.)

730.3.
  

The commission shall notify every state and local public agency and corporation operating a passenger transit system making a written request for such notification before approving any rate increase for the passenger transportation services of any railroad or passenger state corporation within the territory served by such public transit system.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1031, Sec. 3.)

730.7.
  

In determining reimbursement to railroad corporations for the operation of rail passenger service, the commission shall not exceed that compensation which would be payable if calculated pursuant to the standards of the Rail Services Planning Office of the Interstate Commerce Commission contained in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1127.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 732, Sec. 5. Effective September 8, 1982.)

730.8.
  

Whenever a state agency files with the commission an application for an increase in rates or fares or for any change in the level of service for passenger transportation by a railroad corporation and the state agency has prior to the application held a public hearing on the matter which the commission finds to be complete and adequate, the commission may determine not to hold any further hearing on the matter and in this event shall approve, modify and approve as so modified, or disapprove the application within 90 days of the date of filing with the commission.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 732, Sec. 6. Effective September 8, 1982.)

732.
  

(a) Whenever the commission, after a hearing finds that the rates, fares, or charges in force over two or more common carriers, between any two points in this state, are unjust, unreasonable, or excessive, or that no satisfactory through route or joint rate, fare, or charge exists between such points, and that the public convenience and necessity demand the establishment of such a through route and joint rate, fare, or charge, the commission may order such common carriers to establish such through route and may establish and fix a joint rate, fare, or charge which will be fair, just, reasonable, and sufficient, to be charged and collected in the future, and the terms and conditions under which such through route shall be operated. The commission may order that freight moving between such points shall be carried by the common carriers participating in such through route and joint rate, without being transferred from the originating cars.

(b) Subdivision (a) is not applicable to network railroad transportation.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 1005, Sec. 38. Effective January 1, 2000.)

733.
  

(a) If the common carriers do not agree upon the division between them of the joint rates, fares, or charges established by the commission over through routes, the commission shall, after hearing, by supplemental order, establish that division. Where any railroad, or passenger stage corporation that is made a party to a through route has itself over its own line an equally satisfactory through route between the termini of the through route established, that railroad, or passenger stage corporation may require as its division of the joint rate, fare, or charge its local rate, fare, or charge over the portion of its line comprised in the through route, and the commission may, in its discretion, allow to that railroad or passenger stage corporation, more than its local rate, fare, or charge if the commission determines that it will be equitable so to do. The commission may establish and fix through routes and joint rates, fares, or charges over common carriers and stage or auto stage lines which may not be otherwise subject to the provisions of this part, and may fix the division of those joint rates, fares, or charges.

(b) Subdivision (a) is not applicable to network railroad transportation.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 1005, Sec. 39. Effective January 1, 2000.)

734.
  

When complaint has been made to the commission concerning a rate for a product or commodity furnished or service performed by a public utility, and the commission has found, after investigation, that the public utility has charged an unreasonable, excessive, or discriminatory amount therefor in violation of any of the provisions of this part, the commission may order that the public utility make due reparation to the complainant therefor, with interest from the date of collection if no discrimination will result from that reparation. No order for the payment of reparation upon the ground of unreasonableness shall be made by the commission when the rate in question has, by formal finding, been declared by the commission to be reasonable, and no assignment of a reparation claim shall be recognized by the commission except assignments by operation of law as in cases of death, lack of legal capacity to make decisions, bankruptcy, receivership, or order of court.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 144, Sec. 51. (AB 1847) Effective January 1, 2015.)

735.
  

If the public utility does not comply with the order for the payment of reparation within the time specified in the order, suit may be instituted in any court of competent jurisdiction to recover the payment within one year from the date of the order, and not after. All complaints for damages resulting from a violation of any of the provisions of this part, except Sections 494 and 532, shall either be filed with the commission, or where concurrent jurisdiction of the cause of action is vested by the Constitution and laws of this State in the courts, in any court of competent jurisdiction, within two years from the time the cause of action accrues, and not after.

(Amended by Stats. 1953, Ch. 702.)

736.
  

All complaints for damages resulting from the violation of any of the provisions of Sections 494 or 532 shall either be filed with the commission, or, where concurrent jurisdiction of the cause of action is vested in the courts of this state, in any court of competent jurisdiction within three years from the time the cause of action accrues, and not after. If claim for the asserted damages has been presented in writing to the public utility concerned within the period of three years, the period shall be extended to include six months from the date notice in writing is given by the public utility to the claimant of the disallowance of the claim, or of any part or parts thereof specified in the notice.

Whenever the commission institutes an investigation of unauthorized undercharge by any public utility, the institution of the investigation by the commission shall toll the three-year period specified in this section until the commission has rendered its initial decision on the matter. The commission shall render its final decision within two years of the date of the order instituting the investigation.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1004, Sec. 1.)

737.
  

All complaints for the collection of the lawful tariff charges or any part thereof, of public utilities may be filed in any court of competent jurisdiction within three years from the time the cause of action accrues, and not after, but if a public utility presents its claim or demand in writing to the person from whom the tariff charges, or any part thereof, are alleged to be due within such period of three years, that period shall be extended to include six months from the date notice in writing is given to the public utility, by such person, or refusal to pay the demand, or any part or parts thereof specified in the notice of refusal.

If suit for the collection of the lawful tariff charges or any portion thereof of a public utility is filed in any court in accordance with the terms of this section, or if such collection is made by the public utility without filing suit, the person against whom such suit is filed or from whom such collection is made may, within 90 days from the date of service of summons in the suit, or the date of the collection, file with the commission, or with any court of competent jurisdiction, a complaint for damages resulting from the violation of any of the provisions of this part with respect to the transaction to which the suit of the public utility relates, or for which such collection has been made.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

737.3.
  

(a) (1) A highway carrier, as defined by subdivision (c), a freight forwarder, a party representing a carrier or freight forwarder, or an assignee of a carrier or freight forwarder shall not, based on a filed tariff or a filed contract, collect or attempt to collect any additional charge in excess of the charge originally billed by the carrier or freight forwarder for transportation service previously provided subject to the jurisdiction of the commission, except where there are mistakes in billing that are acknowledged by both parties or that are the result of intentional misrepresentation by the shipper.

(2) Similarly, the person or entity against whom a claim has been made under the circumstances described in paragraph (1) shall not be liable for additional amounts based on a filed tariff or a filed contract, except where there are mistakes in billing acknowledged by both parties or that are the result of intentional misrepresentation by the shipper.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the term “claimant” shall mean the carrier or freight forwarder, or its assignee or representative making a claim for the collection of rates and charges in addition to those originally billed and collected for the transportation.

(c) “Highway carrier” or “carrier” means every corporation or person, their lessees, trustees, receivers or trustees appointed by any court whatsoever, engaged in transportation of property for compensation or hire as a business over any public highway in this state by means of a motor vehicle, except that “highway carrier” does not include:

(1) Any farmer resident of this state who occasionally transports from the place of production to a warehouse, regular market, place of storage, or place of shipment the farm products of neighboring farmers in exchange for like services or for a cash consideration or farm products for compensation.

(2) Persons or corporations hauling their own property.

(3) Any farmer operating a motor vehicle used exclusively in the transportation of his or her livestock and agricultural commodities or in the transportation of supplies to his or her farm.

(4) Any nonprofit agricultural cooperative association organized and acting within the scope of its powers under Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 54001) of Division 20 of the Agricultural Code to the extent only that it is engaged in transporting its own property or the property of its members.

(5) Any person exclusively transporting United States mail pursuant to a contract with the United States government.

(6) Any integrated intermodal small package carrier which is registered subject to Chapter 2.7 (commencing with Section 4120).

(7) Any household goods carrier, as defined in Section 5109.

(d) For purposes of this section, “mistakes in billing” include, but are not limited to, matters such as clerical errors, billing for transportation of a different commodity than the commodity actually shipped, and billing for transportation of a smaller amount of the commodity than the amount actually shipped.

(e) This section shall apply to all claims arising from transportation performed (in whole or in part) before January 1, 1995, including all lawsuits or claims pending on the effective date of this section.

(f) If any claim that qualifies under this section was settled by mutual agreement of the parties to the claim, or resolved by a final adjudication of a federal or state court, before the effective date of this section, the settlement or adjudication shall be treated as binding, enforceable, and not contrary to law, unless the settlement was agreed to as a result of fraud or coercion.

(g) If the claimant has filed, on or before the effective date of this section, a suit for the collection of additional freight charges, the claimant shall notify the person, or entity, from whom additional freight charges are sought of the provisions of this section within 30 days of the effective date of this section.

(h) If, on or before the effective date of this section, the claimant has demanded the payment of additional freight charges and has not filed a suit for the collection of additional freight charges, the claimant shall notify the person, or entity, from whom additional freight charges are sought of the provisions of this section within 30 days of the effective date of this section.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 72, Sec. 3. Effective June 21, 1996.)

738.
  

For the purpose of Sections 734 to 737, inclusive, the cause of action shall accrue upon the delivery or tender of delivery of the shipment or the performance of the service or the furnishing of the commodity or product with respect to which complaint is filed or claim made. The remedies in those sections shall be cumulative and in addition to any other remedy or remedies in this part provided in case of failure of a public utility to obey an order or decision of the commission.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

738.6.
  

In establishing rates for a public utility operating any portion of its line, plant, or system within a federally designated nonattainment area, the commission shall determine which expenses related to compliance with state and local air pollution control requirements for using clean-burning fuels in that area are reasonable and necessary and shall approve those expenses.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1546, Sec. 6.)

739.
  

(a) As used in this section:

(1) “Baseline quantity” means a quantity of electricity or gas allocated by the commission for residential customers based on from 50 to 60 percent of average residential consumption of these commodities, except that, for residential gas customers and for all-electric residential customers, the baseline quantity shall be established at from 60 to 70 percent of average residential consumption during the winter heating season. In establishing the baseline quantities, the commission shall take into account climatic and seasonal variations in consumption and the availability of gas service. The commission shall review and revise baseline quantities as average consumption patterns change in order to maintain these ratios and may do so during the rate case or other ratesetting proceeding of a gas corporation or electrical corporation. The commission shall make efforts to minimize bill volatility for residential customers, including all-electric residential customers. Those efforts may include modifying the length of the baseline seasons or defining additional baseline seasons.

(2) “Residential customer” means those customers receiving electrical or gas service pursuant to a domestic rate schedule and excludes industrial, commercial, and every other category of customer.

(b) The commission shall designate a baseline quantity of gas and electricity which is necessary to supply a significant portion of the reasonable energy needs of the average residential customer. In estimating those quantities, the commission shall take into account differentials in energy needs between customers whose residential energy needs are currently supplied by electricity alone or by both electricity and gas. The commission shall develop a separate baseline quantity for all-electric residential customers. For these purposes, “all-electric residential customers” are residential customers having electrical service only or whose space heating is provided by electricity, or both. The commission shall also take into account differentials in energy use by climatic zone and season.

(c) (1) The commission shall establish a standard limited allowance which shall be in addition to the baseline quantity of gas and electricity for residential customers dependent on life-support equipment, including, but not limited to, emphysema and pulmonary patients. A residential customer dependent on life-support equipment shall be allocated a higher energy allocation than the average residential customer.

(2) “Life-support equipment” means that equipment which utilizes mechanical or artificial means to sustain, restore, or supplant a vital function, or mechanical equipment which is relied upon for mobility both within and outside of buildings. “Life-support equipment,” as used in this subdivision, includes all of the following: all types of respirators, iron lungs, hemodialysis machines, suction machines, electric nerve stimulators, pressure pads and pumps, aerosol tents, electrostatic and ultrasonic nebulizers, compressors, IPPB machines, and motorized wheelchairs.

(3) The limited allowance specified in this subdivision shall also be made available to paraplegic and quadriplegic persons in consideration of the increased heating and cooling needs of those persons.

(4) The limited allowance specified in this subdivision shall also be made available to multiple sclerosis patients in consideration of the increased heating and cooling needs of those persons.

(5) The limited allowance specified in this subdivision shall also be made available to scleroderma patients in consideration of the increased heating needs of those persons.

(6) The limited allowance specified in this subdivision shall also be made available to persons who are being treated for a life-threatening illness or have a compromised immune system, if a licensed physician and surgeon, a physician assistant practicing within his or her scope of practice in compliance with the Physician Assistant Practice Act (Chapter 7.7 (commencing with Section 3500) of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code), or a person licensed pursuant to the Osteopathic Initiative Act certifies in writing to the utility that the additional energy, heating, or cooling allowance, or both, is medically necessary to sustain the life of the person or prevent deterioration of the person’s medical condition.

(d) (1) The commission shall require that every electrical and gas corporation file a schedule of rates and charges providing baseline rates. The baseline rates shall apply to the first or lowest block of an increasing block rate structure which shall be the baseline quantity. In establishing these rates, the commission shall avoid excessive rate increases for residential customers, and shall establish an appropriate gradual differential between the rates for the respective blocks of usage.

(2) In establishing residential electric and gas rates, including baseline rates, the commission shall ensure that the rates are sufficient to enable the electrical corporation or gas corporation to recover a just and reasonable amount of revenue from residential customers as a class, while observing the principle that electricity and gas services are necessities, for which a low affordable rate is desirable and while observing the principle that conservation is desirable in order to maintain an affordable bill.

(3) At least until December 31, 2003, the commission shall require that all charges for residential electric customers are volumetric, and shall prohibit any electrical corporation from imposing any charges on residential consumption that are independent of consumption, unless those charges are in place prior to April 12, 2001.

(e) (1) Each electrical corporation and each gas corporation shall, in a timeframe consistent with each electrical and gas corporation’s next general rate case, disclose on the billing statement of a residential customer all of the following:

(A) Cost per kilowatthour or gas therm per tier.

(B) Allocation of kilowatthour or gas therm per tier.

(C) Visual representation of usage and cost per tier.

(D) Usage comparison with prior periods.

(E) Itemized cost components in the bill to identify state and local taxes.

(F) Identification of delivery, generation, public purpose, and other charges.

(G) Contact information for the commission’s Consumer Affairs Branch.

(2) An electrical corporation and a gas corporation shall make available online to residential customers both of the following:

(A) Examples of how conservation measures, including changing thermostat settings and turning off unused lights, could reduce energy usage and costs.

(B) Examples of how energy-saving devices and weatherization measures could reduce energy usage and costs.

(3) The commission may modify, adjust, or add to the requirements of this subdivision as the individual circumstances of each electrical corporation or gas corporation merits, or for master-meter customers, as individual circumstances merit.

(4) The commission shall, as part of the general rate case of an electrical corporation or gas corporation, assess opportunities to improve the quality of information contained in the utility’s periodic billings.

(f) Wholesale electrical or gas purchases, and the rates charged therefor, are exempt from this section.

(g) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit experimentation with alternative gas or electrical rate schedules for the purpose of achieving energy conservation.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 518, Sec. 1. (SB 1338) Effective January 1, 2019.)

739.1.
  

(a) The commission shall continue a program of assistance to low-income electric and gas customers with annual household incomes that are no greater than 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline levels, the cost of which shall not be borne solely by any single class of customer. For one-person households, program eligibility shall be based on two-person household guideline levels. The program shall be referred to as the California Alternate Rates for Energy or CARE program. The commission shall ensure that the level of discount for low-income electric and gas customers correctly reflects the level of need.

(b) The commission shall establish rates for CARE program participants, subject to both of the following:

(1) That the commission ensure that low-income ratepayers are not jeopardized or overburdened by monthly energy expenditures, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 382.

(2) That the level of the discount for low-income electricity and gas ratepayers correctly reflects the level of need as determined by the needs assessment conducted pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 382.

(c) In establishing CARE discounts for an electrical corporation with 100,000 or more customer accounts in California, the commission shall ensure all of the following:

(1) The average effective CARE discount shall not be less than 30 percent or more than 35 percent of the revenues that would have been produced for the same billed usage by non-CARE customers. The average effective discount determined by the commission shall reflect any charges not paid by CARE customers, including payments for the California Solar Initiative, payments for the self-generation incentive program made pursuant to Section 379.6, payment of the separate rate component to fund the CARE program made pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 381, payments made to the Department of Water Resources pursuant to Division 27 (commencing with Section 80000) of the Water Code, and any discount in a fixed charge. The average effective CARE discount shall be calculated as a weighted average of the CARE discounts provided to individual customers.

(2) If an electrical corporation provides an average effective CARE discount in excess of the maximum percentage specified in paragraph (1), the electrical corporation shall not reduce, on an annual basis, the average effective CARE discount by more than a reasonable percentage decrease below the discount in effect on January 1, 2013, or that the electrical corporation had been authorized to place in effect by that date.

(3) The entire discount shall be provided in the form of a reduction in the overall bill for the eligible CARE customer.

(d) The commission shall work with electrical and gas corporations to establish penetration goals. The commission shall authorize recovery of all administrative costs associated with the implementation of the CARE program that the commission determines to be reasonable, through a balancing account mechanism. Administrative costs shall include, but are not limited to, outreach, marketing, regulatory compliance, certification and verification, billing, measurement and evaluation, and capital improvements and upgrades to communications and processing equipment.

(e) The commission shall examine methods to improve CARE enrollment and participation. This examination shall include, but need not be limited to, comparing information from CARE and the Universal Lifeline Telephone Service (ULTS) to determine the most effective means of utilizing that information to increase CARE enrollment, automatic enrollment of ULTS customers who are eligible for the CARE program, customer privacy issues, and alternative mechanisms for outreach to potential enrollees. The commission shall ensure that a customer consents prior to enrollment. The commission shall consult with interested parties, including ULTS providers, to develop the best methods of informing ULTS customers about other available low-income programs, as well as the best mechanism for telephone providers to recover reasonable costs incurred pursuant to this section.

(f) (1) The commission shall improve the CARE application process by cooperating with other entities and representatives of California government, including the California Health and Human Services Agency and the Secretary of California Health and Human Services, to ensure that all gas and electric customers eligible for public assistance programs in California that reside within the service territory of an electrical corporation or gas corporation, are enrolled in the CARE program. The commission may determine that gas and electric customers are categorically eligible for CARE assistance if they are enrolled in other public assistance programs with substantially the same income eligibility requirements as the CARE program. To the extent practicable, the commission shall develop a CARE application process using the existing ULTS application process as a model. The commission shall work with electrical and gas corporations and the Low-Income Oversight Board established in Section 382.1 to meet the low-income objectives in this section.

(2) The commission shall ensure that an electrical corporation or gas corporation with a commission-approved program to provide discounts based upon economic need in addition to the CARE program, including a Family Electric Rate Assistance program, utilize a single application form, to enable an applicant to alternatively apply for any assistance program for which the applicant may be eligible. It is the intent of the Legislature to allow applicants under one program, that may not be eligible under that program, but that may be eligible under an alternative assistance program based upon economic need, to complete a single application for any commission-approved assistance program offered by the public utility.

(g) It is the intent of the Legislature that the commission ensure CARE program participants receive affordable electric and gas service that does not impose an unfair economic burden on those participants.

(h) The commission’s program of assistance to low-income electric and gas customers shall, as soon as practicable, include nonprofit group living facilities specified by the commission, if the commission finds that the residents in these facilities substantially meet the commission’s low-income eligibility requirements and there is a feasible process for certifying that the assistance shall be used for the direct benefit, such as improved quality of care or improved food service, of the low-income residents in the facilities. The commission shall authorize utilities to offer discounts to eligible facilities licensed or permitted by appropriate state or local agencies, and to facilities, including women’s shelters, hospices, and homeless shelters, that may not have a license or permit but provide other proof satisfactory to the utility that they are eligible to participate in the program.

(i) (1) In addition to existing assessments of eligibility, an electrical corporation may require proof of income eligibility for those CARE program participants whose electricity usage, in any monthly or other billing period, exceeds 400 percent of baseline usage. The authority of an electrical corporation to require proof of income eligibility is not limited by the means by which the CARE program participant enrolled in the program, including if the participant was automatically enrolled in the CARE program because of participation in a governmental assistance program. If a CARE program participant’s electricity usage exceeds 400 percent of baseline usage, the electrical corporation may require the CARE program participant to participate in the Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP), which includes a residential energy assessment, in order to provide the CARE program participant with information and assistance in reducing his or her energy usage. Continued participation in the CARE program may be conditioned upon the CARE program participant agreeing to participate in ESAP within 45 days of notice being given by the electrical corporation pursuant to this paragraph. The electrical corporation may require the CARE program participant to notify the utility of whether the residence is rented, and if so, a means by which to contact the landlord, and the electrical corporation may share any evaluation and recommendation relative to the residential structure that is made as part of an energy assessment, with the landlord of the CARE program participant. Requirements imposed pursuant to this paragraph shall be consistent with procedures adopted by the commission.

(2) If a CARE program participant’s electricity usage exceeds 600 percent of baseline usage, the electrical corporation shall require the CARE program participant to participate in ESAP, which includes a residential energy assessment, in order to provide the CARE program participant with information and assistance in reducing his or her energy usage. Continued participation in the CARE program shall be conditioned upon the CARE program participant agreeing to participate in ESAP within 45 days of a notice made by the electrical corporation pursuant to this paragraph. The electrical corporation may require the CARE program participant to notify the utility of whether the residence is rented, and if so, a means by which to contact the landlord, and the electrical corporation may share any evaluation and recommendation relative to the residential structure that is made as part of an energy assessment, with the landlord of the CARE program participant. Following the completion of the energy assessment, if the CARE program participant’s electricity usage continues to exceed 600 percent of baseline usage, the electrical corporation may remove the CARE program participant from the program if the removal is consistent with procedures adopted by the commission. Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent a CARE program participant with electricity usage exceeding 600 percent of baseline usage from participating in an appeals process with the electrical corporation to determine whether the participant’s usage levels are legitimate.

(3) A CARE program participant in a rental residence shall not be removed from the program in situations where the landlord is nonresponsive when contacted by the electrical corporation or does not provide for ESAP participation.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 611, Sec. 3. (AB 327) Effective January 1, 2014.)

739.2.
  

(a) The commission’s program of assistance to low-income electric and gas customers shall also include the following facilities, provided the commission finds that the occupants of the facilities substantially meet the commission’s low-income eligibility requirements and there is a feasible process for certifying that the assistance shall be used for the direct benefit of the occupants of the facilities:

(1) Migrant farmworker housing centers provided pursuant to Section 50710 of the Health and Safety Code.

(2) Employee housing, as defined in Section 17008 of the Health and Safety Code, that is licensed and inspected by state or local agencies pursuant to Part 1 (commencing with Section 17000) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code.

(3) Housing for agricultural employees, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1140.4 of the Labor Code, that has received an exemption from local property taxes pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(b) The assistance provided pursuant to subdivision (a) shall only apply to gas and electricity, or both, used for the housing occupied by the workers and employees specified in subdivision (a).

(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 946, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1995.)

739.3.
  

(a) Subject to direction and supervision by the commission, each electrical corporation and gas corporation shall develop and implement a program of rate assistance to eligible food banks at a fixed percentage to be determined by the commission. The commission may adjust the fixed percentage as appropriate. The funding source for the rate assistance program is subject to the approval of the commission.

(b) The Legislature encourages the governing board of each local publicly owned electric utility to develop and implement a program of rate assistance to eligible food banks at a fixed percentage, to be determined by the governing board, but consistent with that fixed by the commission for electrical corporations.

(c) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) “Eligible food bank” means a qualified eligible recipient agency that has executed an agreement with the State Department of Social Services in order to participate in The Emergency Food Assistance Program administered by the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.

(2) “Eligible recipient agency” has the same meaning as defined in Section 251.3(d) of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(3) “Agreement” means an agreement executed in compliance with Section 251.2 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 581, Sec. 1. (AB 2218) Effective January 1, 2015.)

739.4.
  

(a) Any natural gas customer who enrolls in the CARE program after the effective date of this section, but before October 1, 2001, shall receive the same one-time bill credit based on the amount of each gas corporation’s average CARE customer discount applied for each month in October 2000 to March 2001, inclusive. The credit does not apply to a customer who initiates service with a gas corporation after the effective date of this section, and who has no prior history of service with the gas corporation. CARE program funds shall be used for the purpose of providing these credits. The commission shall adjust CARE program income requirements annually to reflect the increased cost-of-living due to inflation.

(b) The commission shall require all electrical and gas utilities through which CARE program rates are available to do all of the following, in multilingual formats to the extent printed and recorded information is provided, to facilitate better penetration rates for the CARE program and to protect low-income and senior households from unwarranted disconnection of necessary electric and gas services:

(1) Provide an outgoing message on all calls, where the customer is seeking to establish service or is put on hold, to customer service lines that briefly describes the CARE program in standard language approved by the commission, and that provides a toll-free phone number for customers to call to subscribe to the program or for further information.

(2) Provide information to customers about the CARE program and facilitate subscription to CARE, on all calls in which customers are making payment arrangements, on all collections calls, and on all calls for reconnection of service.

(3) (A) Provide information about the CARE program and other assistance programs, and attempt to qualify customers for CARE, and provide information about individual payment arrangements that allow customers to pay the amounts due over a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 12 months, and attempt to enroll customers in a payment arrangement program, before effecting any disconnection of service for nonpayment or inability to pay energy bills in full.

(B) (i) Offer individual payment arrangements to customers so that the customer is able to pay amounts due over a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 12 months.

(ii) Prohibit the disconnection of customers that have made, and are in compliance with, payment arrangements offered by an electric or gas utility pursuant to this subparagraph.

(C) Prohibit the disconnection of a delinquent residential customer for amounts due in which the electric or gas utility receives a commitment pledge, letter of intent, purchase order, or other notification that a provider of energy assistance is forwarding payment sufficient to prevent disconnection.

(D) (i) Advise residential customers facing disconnection or who contact the utility to make payment arrangements of the levelizing payment program that allows them to pay a monthly average bill based on 12 months usage.

(ii) Advise residential customers about enrollment in the levelizing payment program in conjunction with completion of payment arrangements, payment under terms of subparagraph (B), or at the customer’s request absent those arrangements.

(E) Nothing in this paragraph is intended to reduce the revenues of any utility extending payment arrangements subject to the terms of the paragraph.

(4) Provide information on customer bills, presented in a conspicuous manner on a front facing page, that indicates that a customer may be eligible for the CARE program. This notice shall be provided quarterly on customer bills.

(c) The commission shall conduct targeted outreach about the program using census block data to effectively target low-income and senior households throughout the state.

(d) CARE program funds shall be used for the purposes of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) and outreach pursuant to subdivision (c). The commission’s costs for outreach pursuant to subdivision (c) may not exceed five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) above the amount that the commission currently expends on similar activities related to the CARE program. Energy corporations may recover all reasonable costs from the CARE program funds of implementing this section.

(Added by Stats. 2001, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 11, Sec. 2. Effective May 22, 2001.)

739.5.
  

(a) The commission shall require that, whenever gas or 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 or electrical corporation. The commission shall require 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 corporation would have incurred in providing comparable services directly to the users of the service.

(b) Every master-meter customer of a gas or electrical corporation subject to subdivision (a) who, on or after January 1, 1978, receives any rebate from 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 corporation to the master-meter customer during that period.

(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 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 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 corporation, or the 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 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 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 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 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 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.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 201, Sec. 2. (SB 196) Effective January 1, 2014.)

739.6.
  

The commission shall establish rates using cost allocation principles that fairly and reasonably assign to different customer classes the costs of providing service to those customer classes, consistent with the policies of affordability and conservation. The cost allocation methodology adopted for gas corporations by the commission in Decisions 86-12-009 and 86-12-010, as supplemented by Decisions 87-05-046 and 87-12-039, is consistent with this policy, and shall be retained by the commission at least until December 31, 1990, except that the commission may modify this cost allocation methodology to address customer hardships and inequities if residential customers as a class are not, on balance, adversely affected and the purpose of the modification is not solely protection of gas corporation revenues. If any gas corporation files a cost allocation application seeking to change that methodology after May 1, 1990, the commission may not issue an order on that application until January 1, 1991.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 212, Sec. 3. Effective June 28, 1988.)

739.7.
  

In establishing residential rates, the commission shall retain an appropriate inverted rate structure. If the commission increases baseline rates pursuant to Section 739, revenues resulting from those increases shall be used exclusively to reduce nonbaseline residential rates.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1040, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1993.)

739.8.
  

(a) Access to an adequate supply of healthful water is a basic necessity of human life, and shall be made available to all residents of California at an affordable cost.

(b) The commission shall consider and may implement programs to provide rate relief for low-income ratepayers.

(c) The commission shall consider and may implement programs to assist low-income ratepayers in order to provide appropriate incentives and capabilities to achieve water conservation goals.

(d) In establishing the feasibility of rate relief and conservation incentives for low-income ratepayers, the commission may take into account variations in water needs caused by geography, climate and the ability of communities to support these programs.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 549, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1993.)

739.9.
  

(a) “Fixed charge” means any fixed customer charge, basic service fee, demand differentiated basic service fee, demand charge, or other charge not based upon the volume of electricity consumed.

(b) Increases to electrical rates and charges in rate design proceedings, including any reduction in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) discount, shall be reasonable and subject to a reasonable phase-in schedule relative to the rates and charges in effect prior to January 1, 2014.

(c) Except as provided in subdivision (c) of Section 745, the commission shall require each electrical corporation to offer default rates to residential customers with at least two usage tiers. The first tier shall include electricity usage of no less than the baseline quantity established pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 739.

(d) Consistent with the requirements of Section 739, the commission may modify the seasonal definitions and applicable percentage of average consumption for one or more climatic zones.

(e) The commission may adopt new, or expand existing, fixed charges for the purpose of collecting a reasonable portion of the fixed costs of providing electric service to residential customers. The commission shall ensure that any approved charges do all of the following:

(1) Reasonably reflect an appropriate portion of the different costs of serving small and large customers.

(2) Not unreasonably impair incentives for conservation and energy efficiency.

(3) Not overburden low-income customers.

(f) For the purposes of this section and Section 739.1, the commission may, beginning January 1, 2015, authorize fixed charges that do not exceed ten dollars ($10) per residential customer account per month for customers not enrolled in the CARE program and five dollars ($5) per residential customer account per month for customers enrolled in the CARE program. Beginning January 1, 2016, the maximum allowable fixed charge may be adjusted by no more than the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for the prior calendar year. This subdivision applies to any default rate schedule, at least one optional tiered rate schedule, and at least one optional time variant rate schedule.

(g) This section does not require the commission to approve any new or expanded fixed charge.

(h) The commission may consider whether minimum bills are appropriate as a substitute for any fixed charges.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2013, Ch. 611, Sec. 5. (AB 327) Effective January 1, 2014.)

739.10.
  

The commission shall ensure that errors in estimates of demand elasticity or sales do not result in material over or undercollections of the electrical corporations.

(Added by Stats. 2001, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 8, Sec. 10. Effective April 12, 2001.)

739.11.
  

(a) For bills issued to customers of gas corporations and electrical corporations in which usage is estimated, it is the intent of the Legislature that, to the extent practicable, the methodology for estimation be simple, transparent, and cost effective to the customer, and produce reasonably accurate results.

(b) For each gas corporation and electrical corporation that, for some portion of residential customers, employs every-other-month meter reading and estimates bills for months when the customer’s meter is not read, the commission shall direct the gas corporation or electrical corporation to include in its tariffs the methodology it employs to estimate bills for those months during which the meter is not read.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 467, Sec. 2. (SB 711) Effective January 1, 2018.)

739.12.
  

(a) The commission shall continue a program of assistance to residential customers of the state’s three largest electrical corporations consisting of households of three or more persons with total household annual gross income levels between 200 percent and 250 percent of the federal poverty guideline level. The program shall continue to be referred to as the Family Electric Rate Assistance or FERA program.

(b) The FERA program discount shall be an 18 percent line-item discount applied to an eligible customer’s bill calculated at the applicable rate for the billing period.

(c) The commission shall authorize the state’s three largest electrical corporations to increase or expand marketing and outreach efforts beyond those in effect as of December 31, 2018, to increase eligible customer participation in the FERA program.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 413, Sec. 2. (SB 1135) Effective January 1, 2019.)

740.
  

For purposes of setting the rates to be charged by every electrical corporation, gas corporation, heat corporation or telephone corporation for the services or commodities furnished by it, the commission may allow the inclusion of expenses for research and development.

(Added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 1118.)

740.1.
  

The commission shall consider the following guidelines in evaluating the research, development, and demonstration programs proposed by electrical and gas corporations:

(a) Projects should offer a reasonable probability of providing benefits to ratepayers.

(b) Expenditures on projects which have a low probability for success should be minimized.

(c) Projects should be consistent with the corporation’s resource plan.

(d) Projects should not unnecessarily duplicate research currently, previously, or imminently undertaken by other electrical or gas corporations or research organizations.

(e) Each project should also support one or more of the following objectives:

(1) Environmental improvement.

(2) Public and employee safety.

(3) Conservation by efficient resource use or by reducing or shifting system load.

(4) Development of new resources and processes, particularly renewable resources and processes which further supply technologies.

(5) Improve operating efficiency and reliability or otherwise reduce operating costs.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1713, Sec. 2.)

740.2.
  

The commission, in consultation with the Energy Commission, State Air Resources Board, electrical corporations, and the motor vehicle industry, shall evaluate policies to develop infrastructure sufficient to overcome any barriers to the widespread deployment and use of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. By July 1, 2011, the commission shall adopt rules to address all of the following:

(a) The impacts upon electrical infrastructure, including infrastructure upgrades necessary for widespread use of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles and the role and development of public charging infrastructure.

(b) The impact of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on grid stability and the integration of renewable energy resources.

(c) The technological advances that are needed to ensure the widespread use of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles and what role the state should take to support the development of this technology.

(d) The existing code and permit requirements that will impact the widespread use of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles and any recommended changes to existing legal impediments to the widespread use of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.

(e) The role the state should take to ensure that technologies employed in plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles work in a harmonious manner and across service territories.

(f) The impact of widespread use of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on achieving the state’s goals pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 and renewables portfolio standard program and what steps should be taken to address possibly shifting emissions reductions responsibilities from the transportation sector to the electrical industry.

(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 355, Sec. 1. (SB 626) Effective January 1, 2010.)

740.3.
  

(a) The commission, in cooperation with the State Energy Conservation and Development Commission, the State Air Resources Board, air quality management districts and air pollution control districts, regulated electrical and gas corporations, and the motor vehicle industry, shall evaluate and implement policies to promote the development of equipment and infrastructure needed to facilitate the use of electric power and natural gas to fuel low-emission vehicles. Policies to be considered shall include both of the following:

(1) The sale-for-resale and the rate-basing of low-emission vehicles and supporting equipment such as batteries for electric vehicles and compressor stations for natural gas fueled vehicles.

(2) The development of statewide standards for electric vehicle charger connections and compressed natural gas vehicle fueling connections, including installation procedures and technical assistance to installers.

(b) The commission shall hold public hearings as part of its effort to evaluate and implement the new policies considered in subdivision (a).

(c) The commission’s policies authorizing utilities to develop equipment or infrastructure needed for electric-powered and natural gas-fueled low-emission vehicles shall ensure that the costs and expenses of those programs are not passed through to electric or gas ratepayers unless the commission finds and determines that those programs are in the ratepayers’ interest. The commission’s policies shall also ensure that utilities do not unfairly compete with nonutility enterprises.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 612, Sec. 17. (SB 697) Effective January 1, 2016.)

740.4.
  

(a) The commission shall authorize public utilities to engage in programs to encourage economic development.

(b) Reasonable expenses for economic development programs, as specified in this section, shall be allowed, to the extent of ratepayer benefit, when setting rates to be charged by public utilities electing to initiate these programs.

(c) Economic development activities may include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Community marketing and development.

(2) Technical assistance to support technology transfer.

(3) Market research.

(4) Site inventories.

(5) Industrial and commercial expansion and relocation assistance.

(6) Business retention and recruitment.

(7) Management assistance.

(d) This section shall not be interpreted to permit the funding of economic development activities that benefit any affiliated companies or parent holding companies beyond that which is authorized by law as of January 1, 1992.

(e) (1) This section does not authorize the commission to establish discriminatory rates for the purpose of attracting or benefiting specific industries or business entities, except that incentives may be provided for the benefit of industries or business entities whose facilities are located within the boundaries of enterprise zones, economic incentive areas, recycling market development zones, or federal rural enterprise communities in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 12.8 (commencing with Section 7070) and Article 1 (commencing with Section 7080) of Chapter 12.9 of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, and Article 2 (commencing with Section 42145) of Chapter 3 of Part 3 of the Public Resources Code.

(2) The commission may apply the incentives authorized by this subdivision that benefit industries or business entities whose facilities are located within the boundaries of economic enterprise zones or incentive areas to attract a federal Department of Defense Finance and Accounting Service Center at the existing site of Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino County. This paragraph shall become inoperative if the federal Department of Defense Finance and Accounting Service Center is not located upon the premises known as Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino County and shall also become inoperative on February 1, 1994, if that facility has not been awarded to that site before that date.

(f) The commission may provide incentives pursuant to subdivision (e) to industries or business entities whose facilities are located within the boundaries of an enterprise zone that engage in activities in connection with the conversion of Fort Ord to other uses.

(g) The commission may authorize rate discounts to industries or business entities whose facilities are located or will be located within the boundaries of enterprise zones, recycling market development zones, or economic incentive areas pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (e). These discounts may be applied in either of the following ways:

(1) Utilities may apply reduced monthly rates to qualifying customers’ monthly utility bills.

(2) Utilities may, at the election of qualifying customers, assign the discounts to a private or public entity that returns consideration of like value to those customers, provided the customers agree to maintain their facilities in an enterprise zone, a recycling market development zone, or an economic incentive area for a minimum of five years from the date of commencement of the discount.

(h) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Public Utilities Commission, in implementing this chapter, shall allow rate recovery of expenses and rate discounts supporting economic development programs within the geographic area served by any public utility to the extent the utility incurring or proposing to incur those expenses and rate discounts demonstrates that the ratepayers of the public utility will derive a benefit from those programs. Further, it is the intent of the Legislature that expenses for economic development programs incurred prior to the effective date of this chapter, which have not been previously authorized to be recovered in rates, shall not be subject to rate recovery.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 17, Sec. 127. Effective January 1, 1998.)

740.5.
  

(a) For purposes of this section, “21st Century Energy System Decision” means commission Decision 12-12-031 (December 20, 2012), Decision Granting Authority to Enter Into a Research and Development Agreement with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for 21st Century Energy Systems and for costs up to one hundred fifty-two million one hundred ninety thousand dollars ($152,190,000) or any subsequent decision in Application 11-07-008 (July 18, 2011), Application of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (U39M), San Diego Gas and Electric Company (U902E), and Southern California Edison Company (U338E) for Authority to Increase Electric Rates and Charges to Recover Costs of Research and Development Agreement with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for 21st Century Energy Systems.

(b) In implementing the 21st Century Energy System Decision, the commission shall not authorize recovery from ratepayers of any expense for research and development projects that are not for purposes of cyber security and grid integration. Total funding for research and development projects for purposes of cyber security and grid integration pursuant to the 21st Century Energy System Decision shall not exceed thirty-five million dollars ($35,000,000). All cyber security and grid integration research and development projects shall be concluded by the fifth anniversary of their start date.

(c) The commission shall not approve for recovery from ratepayers those program management expenditures proposed, commencing with page seven, in the joint advice letter filed by the state’s three largest electrical corporations, Advice 3379-G/4215-E (Pacific Gas and Electric Company), Advice 2887-E (Southern California Edison Company), and Advice 2473-E (San Diego Gas and Electric Company), dated April 19, 2013. Project managers for the 21st Century Energy System Decision shall be limited to three representatives, one representative each from Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, and San Diego Gas and Electric Company.

(d) The commission shall require the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, as a condition for entering into any contract pursuant to the 21st Century Energy System Decision, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, and San Diego Gas and Electric Company to ensure that research parameters reflect a new contribution to cyber security and that there not be a duplication of research being done by other private and governmental entities.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 842, Sec. 15. (SB 1222) Effective January 1, 2017.)

740.6.
  

(a) The commission may authorize investor-owned gas and electric utilities to match grants provided to nonprofit agencies and local governments to participate in the Department of Economic Opportunity’s pilot program to identify and counsel low-income individuals and group facilities that are eligible to receive rate discounts and weatherization benefits offered by those utilities. The amount of utility matching funds for the pilot program shall be limited to a statewide total of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000). The commission shall require that utility expenditures for those purposes be recoverable in rates.

(b) If federal funds become available for low-income energy assistance or weatherization programs that may be secured with matching funds from states or utilities, the commission may authorize investor-owned gas and electric utilities to match those federal funds, and shall require that utility expenditures for those purposes be recoverable in rates.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1159, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1994.)

740.7.
  

Interruptible service or curtailment programs adopted by the commission shall assure that the programs allow customers to aggregate multiple accounts to meet any minimum kilowatt requirements for participation in the program, subject to geographical, load, and other parameters, as determined by the commission.

(Added by Stats. 2001, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 7, Sec. 7. Effective April 12, 2001.)

740.8.
  

As used in Section 740.3 or 740.12, “interests” of ratepayers, short- or long-term, mean direct benefits that are specific to ratepayers, consistent with both of the following:

(a) Safer, more reliable, or less costly gas or electrical service, consistent with Section 451, including electrical service that is safer, more reliable, or less costly due to either improved use of the electric system or improved integration of renewable energy generation.

(b) Any one of the following:

(1) Improvement in energy efficiency of travel.

(2) Reduction of health and environmental impacts from air pollution.

(3) Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions related to electricity and natural gas production and use.

(4) Increased use of alternative fuels.

(5) Creating high-quality jobs or other economic benefits, including in disadvantaged communities identified pursuant to Section 39711 of the Health and Safety Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 547, Sec. 31. (SB 350) Effective January 1, 2016.)

740.9.
  

(a) Any optional binding mandatory curtailment program adopted by the commission that exempts customers from Stage 3 rotating outages in exchange for partial load curtailments during every rotating outage period shall provide, for agricultural and water supplier customers, the use of backup generation to offset the curtailed load under the program, to the extent the use of backup generation is allowed under existing law, including, but not limited to, all relevant local air pollution control district and air quality management district rules and regulations.

(b) As used in this section, “agricultural customers” means any customer involved in the production of or processing of agricultural products. “Water suppliers” means those water agencies or suppliers as defined in Section 20200 of the Water Code and Section 241 of the Public Utilities Code.

(Added by Stats. 2001, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 7, Sec. 8. Effective April 12, 2001.)

740.10.
  

(a) Each public utility electrical corporation shall develop and offer its customers, on or before May 30, 2001, the opportunity to participate, in addition to other programs developed by the commission, in a demand reduction program as described in this section.

(b) The program required by this section shall identify specific periods coincident with morning or evening system peak conditions determined by the Independent System Operator within which the customer agrees to drop a preset amount of load. This program shall be known as the Scheduled Load Reduction Program. The commission shall develop appropriate incentives for customers to participate in the program.

(Added by Stats. 2001, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 7, Sec. 9. Effective April 12, 2001.)

740.11.
  

In recognition of the fact that agricultural and water supplier customers necessarily have high electricity usage during peak summer demand periods, the Legislature strongly urges the commission to consider providing the option to all agricultural commodity processing customers to be included in the definition of customers eligible to be served under agricultural tariffs, consistent with its other constitutional and statutory objectives, and to the extent it does not result in cost shifting to other customer classes.

(Added by Stats. 2001, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 7, Sec. 10. Effective April 12, 2001.)

740.12.
  

(a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(A) Advanced clean vehicles and fuels are needed to reduce petroleum use, to meet air quality standards, to improve public health, and to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.

(B) Widespread transportation electrification is needed to achieve the goals of the Charge Ahead California Initiative (Chapter 8.5 (commencing with Section 44258) of Part 5 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code).

(C) Widespread transportation electrification requires increased access for disadvantaged communities, low- and moderate-income communities, and other consumers of zero-emission and near-zero-emission vehicles, and increased use of those vehicles in those communities and by other consumers to enhance air quality, lower greenhouse gases emissions, and promote overall benefits to those communities and other consumers.

(D) Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 will require widespread transportation electrification.

(E) Widespread transportation electrification requires electrical corporations to increase access to the use of electricity as a transportation fuel.

(F) Widespread transportation electrification should stimulate innovation and competition, enable consumer options in charging equipment and services, attract private capital investments, and create high-quality jobs for Californians, where technologically feasible.

(G) Deploying electric vehicles should assist in grid management, integrating generation from eligible renewable energy resources, and reducing fuel costs for vehicle drivers who charge in a manner consistent with electrical grid conditions.

(H) Deploying electric vehicle charging infrastructure should facilitate increased sales of electric vehicles by making charging easily accessible and should provide the opportunity to access electricity as a fuel that is cleaner and less costly than gasoline or other fossil fuels in public and private locations.

(I) According to the State Alternative Fuels Plan analysis by the Energy Commission and the State Air Resources Board, light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle electrification results in approximately 70 percent fewer greenhouse gases emitted, over 85 percent fewer ozone-forming air pollutants emitted, and 100 percent fewer petroleum used. These reductions will become larger as renewable generation increases.

(2) It is the policy of the state and the intent of the Legislature to encourage transportation electrification as a means to achieve ambient air quality standards and the state’s climate goals. Agencies designing and implementing regulations, guidelines, plans, and funding programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions shall take the findings described in paragraph (1) into account.

(b) The commission, in consultation with the State Air Resources Board and the Energy Commission, shall direct electrical corporations to file applications for programs and investments to accelerate widespread transportation electrification to reduce dependence on petroleum, meet air quality standards, achieve the goals set forth in the Charge Ahead California Initiative (Chapter 8.5 (commencing with Section 44258) of Part 5 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code), and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Programs proposed by electrical corporations shall seek to minimize overall costs and maximize overall benefits. The commission shall approve, or modify and approve, programs and investments in transportation electrification, including those that deploy charging infrastructure, via a reasonable cost recovery mechanism, if they are consistent with this section, do not unfairly compete with nonutility enterprises as required under Section 740.3, include performance accountability measures, and are in the interests of ratepayers as defined in Section 740.8.

(c) The commission shall review data concerning current and future electric transportation adoption and charging infrastructure utilization prior to authorizing an electrical corporation to collect new program costs related to transportation electrification in customer rates. If market barriers unrelated to the investment made by an electric corporation prevent electric transportation from adequately utilizing available charging infrastructure, the commission shall not permit additional investments in transportation electrification without a reasonable showing that the investments would not result in long-term stranded costs recoverable from ratepayers.

(d) This section applies to an application to the commission for transportation electrification programs and investments if one of the following conditions is met:

(1) The application is filed on or after January 1, 2016.

(2) The application is filed before January 1, 2016, but has an evidentiary hearing scheduled on or after July 1, 2016.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 547, Sec. 32. (SB 350) Effective January 1, 2016.)

740.13.
  

(a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) “Charging station” means the removable equipment that provides alternating or direct current to the battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, but does not include the supporting charging infrastructure, such as wiring, conduit, and electric panel.

(2) “Educational institution” has the same meaning as defined in Section 22129 of the Education Code.

(3) “School facility” means owned or leased improved real property used for the purpose of the private or public education of more than 12 children in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, or in any combination thereof, or any other facility of a school district or county office of education where activities described in subdivision (c) are provided, but does not include any private school in which education is conducted primarily in private homes.

(b) By July 30, 2018, an electrical corporation may file with the commission a pilot program proposal for the installation of electrical grid integrated charging stations at school facilities and other educational institutions. The proposal may include parameters for the installation of charging infrastructure for transportation vehicles, such as schoolbuses, owned by a school district, county office of education, private school, or other educational institution. By December 31, 2018, the commission shall review, modify if appropriate, and decide whether to approve a pilot program proposal filed by an electrical corporation.

(c) A school district, county office of education, private school, or other educational institution choosing to participate in the program shall have the authority to establish guidelines for use of the charging stations installed pursuant to the approved program, which may include use by faculty, students, and parents, before, during, and after school hours at those times that the school facilities or other educational institutions are operated for purposes of providing education or school-related activities, including, but not limited to, parent-teacher conferences, clubs, theater, and athletic events, and by any other persons present for those activities and events.

(d) Construction and maintenance of the charging stations and infrastructure shall be managed in coordination with the school district, county office of education, private school, or other educational institution.

(e) The approved pilot program shall include a reasonable mechanism for cost recovery by the electrical corporation if the commission finds all of the following are true:

(1) The costs to be recovered are consistent with a cost limitation approved by the commission for the pilot program.

(2) The pilot program seeks to minimize overall costs and maximize overall benefits.

(3) The pilot program does not unfairly compete with nonutility enterprises as required under Section 740.3.

(4) The pilot program includes performance accountability measures.

(5) The pilot program is in the interests of ratepayers, as defined in Section 740.8.

(f) Charging stations installed pursuant to a pilot program approved by the commission pursuant to this section shall be installed and maintained by the utility workforce, or by workers who are paid the prevailing wage for all program-related work. The Director of Industrial Relations shall determine the prevailing wage in accordance with the standards set forth in Article 2 (commencing with Section 1770) of Chapter 1 of Part 7 of Division 2 of the Labor Code. A nonutility enterprise installing or maintaining charging stations and infrastructure pursuant to a pilot program approved by the commission shall submit wage schedules to the commission as part of its application and shall make all payroll records available to the commission for enforcement purposes pursuant to this part. Certified payrolls submitted to the commission shall be public records.

(g) A school facility or other educational institution receiving charging stations pursuant to the approved pilot program shall participate in a time-variant rate approved by the commission. A school district, county office of education, private school, or other educational institution may require users of the charging stations to pay electricity costs.

(h) An electrical corporation shall prioritize in its proposal school facilities and other educational institutions located in disadvantaged communities. For these purposes, “disadvantaged communities” means communities identified by the California Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Investment Plan and Communities Revitalization Act (Chapter 4.1 (commencing with Section 39710) of Part 2 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code).

(i) Participation in the approved pilot program shall not prevent a school district, county office of education, private school, or other educational institution from participating in other transportation electrification programs. After a school district, county office of education, private school, or other educational institution has participated in the program for eight years, the school district, county office of education, private school, or other educational institution may cease participation in the pilot program and request removal of the charging station by providing 180-day notice to the electrical corporation.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 637, Sec. 2. (AB 1082) Effective January 1, 2018.)

740.14.
  

(a) By July 30, 2018, in consultation with the Department of Parks and Recreation, Public Utilities Commission, Energy Commission, and State Air Resources Board, each electrical corporation may file with the commission a pilot program proposal for the installation of electrical grid integrated charging stations at state parks and beaches within its service territory. By December 31, 2018, the commission shall review, modify if appropriate, and decide whether to approve a pilot program proposal filed by an electrical corporation. The Department of Parks and Recreation shall determine which state parks or beaches are suitable for charging stations.

(b) The approved pilot program shall include a reasonable mechanism for cost recovery by an electrical corporation if the commission finds all of the following are true:

(1) The costs to be recovered are consistent with a cost limitation approved by the commission for the pilot program.

(2) The pilot program seeks to minimize overall costs and maximize overall benefits.

(3) The pilot program does not unfairly compete with nonutility enterprises as required under Section 740.3.

(4) The pilot program includes performance accountability measures for the electrical corporation or, for charging equipment installed and maintained by a nonutility enterprise, performance accountability measures for the nonutility enterprise.

(5) The pilot program is in the interests of ratepayers, as defined in Section 740.8.

(c) Charging stations installed pursuant to a pilot program approved by the commission pursuant to this section shall be installed and maintained by the utility workforce, or by workers who are paid the prevailing wage for all program-related work. The Director of Industrial Relations shall determine the prevailing wage in accordance with the standards set forth in Article 2 (commencing with Section 1770) of Chapter 1 of Part 7 of Division 2 of the Labor Code. A nonutility enterprise installing or maintaining charging equipment pursuant to a pilot program approved by the commission shall submit wage schedules to the commission as part of its application and shall make all payroll records available to the commission for enforcement purposes pursuant to this part. Certified payrolls submitted to the commission shall be public records.

(d) State parks and beaches receiving charging stations pursuant to the approved pilot program shall participate in a time-variant rate approved by the commission.

(e) An electrical corporation shall prioritize in its proposal those state parks and beaches that serve residents of disadvantaged communities. For these purposes, “disadvantaged communities” means communities identified by the California Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Investment Plan and Communities Revitalization Act (Chapter 4.1 (commencing with Section 39710) of Part 2 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code).

(f) Except for costs incurred in determining park and beach suitability pursuant to subdivision (a) and potential liability under the Government Claims Act (Division 3.6 (commencing with Section 810) of Title 1 of the Government Code), the Department of Parks and Recreation shall not be required to incur any costs or liability related to the installation, use, or maintenance of the charging stations for the pilot program’s duration.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 638, Sec. 2. (AB 1083) Effective January 1, 2018.)

740.15.
  

(a) The commission shall consider, in an existing proceeding, all of the following:

(1) Facilitating the development of technologies that promote grid integration, including technologies that provide submetering capabilities to residential charging stations, if the commission determines that these technologies and submetering capabilities are in the best interests of ratepayers.

(2) Exploring policies that support the development of technologies and rate strategies that can reduce the effects of demand charges on electric vehicle drivers and fleets, and help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.

(3) Adopting a tariff specific to heavy-duty electric vehicle fleets or electric trucks and buses that encourages the use of charging stations when there is excess grid capacity.

(b) For purposes of this section, “charging station” means the removable equipment that provides alternating or direct current to the battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, but does not include the supporting charging infrastructure, such as wiring, conduit, and electric panels.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 368, Sec. 4. (SB 1000) Effective January 1, 2019.)

741.
  

(a) Every owner or operator of telephones available for public use, other than a telephone corporation, that accept any form of payment which, as part of the service furnished, provides operator-assisted services by other than a telephone corporation having tariff schedules on file with the commission providing for the furnishing of operator-assisted services, shall cause to be posted on or near the telephone equipment so as to be easily seen by telephone customers all of the following information:

(1) The name of the provider of operator-assisted services and a toll-free telephone number for contacting that provider.

(2) The applicable charges for each available operator-assisted service.

(3) That the provider of operator-assisted services will respond to inquiries concerning the terms and conditions of any available service.

(4) That surcharges may apply to operator-assisted and calling card calls.

(5) That card-activated calls, calls activated by any other payment device, or calls that may be charged to a card by giving a card number to an operator may cost more than coin-activated calls.

(6) The local rates for nonoperator-assisted calls.

(b) Every owner or operator of telephones available for public use, other than a telephone corporation, that accept any form of payment which, as part of the service furnished, provides operator-assisted services by other than a telephone corporation having tariff schedules on file with the commission providing for the furnishing of operator-assisted services, shall:

(1) Identify itself, audibly and distinctly, to the consumer at the beginning of each telephone call and before the consumer incurs any charge for the call.

(2) Permit the consumer to terminate the telephone call before the call is connected.

(3) At no charge, disclose to the consumer, immediately after the number to be called is entered or given to an operator, a quotation of its complete rates and charges for the call.

(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2015.

(Amended (as added by Stats. 2013, Ch. 140, Sec. 2) by Stats. 2014, Ch. 71, Sec. 149. (SB 1304) Effective January 1, 2015.)

741.1.
  

Every nonpublic utility provider of telephone services, including, but not limited to, a hotel, motel, hospital, or university, which imposes charges on users of the services and which, as part of the service furnished, provides operator-assisted services by other than a telephone corporation having tariff schedules on file with the commission providing for the furnishing of operator-assisted services shall cause to be posted on or near the telephone equipment so as to be easily seen by users of the service all of the following information:

(a) The name of the provider of operator-assisted services and a toll-free telephone number for contacting that provider.

(b) The applicable charges for each available operator-assisted service.

(c) That the provider of operator-assisted services will respond to inquiries concerning the terms and conditions of any available service.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 648, Sec. 3.)

741.2.
  

(a) No nonpublic utility provider of telephone services, including, but not limited to, a hotel, motel, hospital, university, or similar place of temporary accommodation owning or operating message switching or billing equipment solely for the purpose of reselling services provided by a telephone corporation to its patients or guests is required to file or maintain tariff schedules.

(b) No such nonpublic utility provider of telephone services which provides service to hospital patients may charge more for any nontoll telephone call than the maximum rate of charge authorized by the commission for a nontoll call placed from a coin-activated telephone owned or operated by other than a telephone corporation plus twenty-five cents ($0.25).

(c) No such nonpublic utility provider of telephone services which provides service to hospital patients may charge more for any toll telephone call than the sum of all of the following:

(1) The applicable tariff rate or charge of the telephone corporation whose service is resold for that telephone call.

(2) The surcharge or surcharges, if any, applicable to that call if placed from a coin-activated telephone owned or operated by the telephone corporation within whose service area the nonpublic utility provider of telephone services is located, unless that surcharge is included in the tariff rate or charge for that call.

(3) Twenty-five cents ($0.25).

(d) No such nonpublic utility provider of telephone services may make any charge for any uncompleted telephone call unless notice pursuant to subdivision (e) is provided specifying the circumstances under which a charge will be made for an uncompleted call.

(e) Every nonpublic utility provider of telephone services shall display or post on or near the telephone equipment so as to be easily seen by telephone users a notice of all of the following:

(1) The charges applicable to all of the available telephone services. These charges shall be separately stated, and shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

(A) Individual customer telephone service activation deposits or fees, if any.

(B) Charges for use of telephone services, irrespective of whether a call is completed.

(2) That these charges are consistent with this section, if applicable.

(3) The telephone number of the Consumer Affairs Division of the commission to which questions or complaints may be directed.

(f) Subdivision (e) does not require separate notices for multiple or extension telephones having the same telephone extension number.

(g) This section does not require any such nonpublic utility provider of telephone services to make any charge for the furnishing of any telephone service, and this section does not apply to any such provider that makes no charge for telephone services furnished. This section does not constitute any such provider a telephone corporation or otherwise subject it to regulation by the commission as a public utility.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 681, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1998.)

741.3.
  

The commission shall, by rule or order, adopt and enforce operating requirements applicable to operator-assisted telephone services, whether furnished by a telephone corporation or other than a telephone corporation, for nonpublic utility providers of telephone services, including, but not limited to, hotels, motels, hospitals, universities, and similar places of temporary accommodation owning or operating message switching or billing equipment solely for the purpose of reselling services provided by a telephone corporation to its patients or guests. These operating requirements shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(a) That there be displayed or posted on or near the telephone equipment so as to be easily seen by telephone users a notice stating the identity of the nonpublic utility provider of the telephone services; the method for obtaining the rates, terms, or conditions of operator-assisted services; the operator-assisted services provider’s procedures for handling complaints; the means by which the telephone user may gain access to other providers of operator-assisted services; and the means by which the telephone user may gain access to the services of the telephone corporation operating within the service area within which the telephone services of the nonpublic utility provider are furnished. The notice shall also provide the telephone number of the Consumer Affairs Division of the commission to which questions or complaints may be directed.

(b) That, when contacted for service by the telephone user, the operator-assisted services provider orally identify itself by name prior to the connection of the telephone call or the commencement of any charges.

(c) That the telephone equipment permit access by the telephone user to any other provider of operator-assisted services generally available in the service area.

(d) Any other operating requirement determined necessary and in the public interest by the commission.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1014, Sec. 2.)

742.
  

(a) The commission shall, by rule or order, adopt and enforce operating requirements for telephones available for public use that accept any form of payment and that are owned or operated by corporations or persons other than telephone corporations. These requirements shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

(1) A requirement that the telephone corporation furnishing service to the corporation or person owning or operating a telephone that accepts any form of payment terminate service for any violation of the commission’s rules or orders or of this section, upon a determination by the commission that the violation was a significant or repeated violation. Any determination by the commission leading to a termination of service shall be made in accordance with commission rules or orders adopted pursuant to this subdivision.

(2) A requirement that every telephone permit a caller to be connected with the operator personnel of any telephone corporation authorized by the commission to operate within a service area by dialing the numeral “0” and with the emergency services switchboard reached by dialing the numerals “911” without insertion of any coin or without any other form of payment.

(3) A requirement that every telephone contain instructions for both local and long distance dialing, the name of the owner or operator of the telephone, and the telephone number of that owner or operator to which complaints can be made.

(4) A requirement that every telephone display its telephone number or other identification number, as determined by the commission, and the address at which the telephone is located, on the telephone in a place where that information may be seen by a person using the telephone.

(b) The commission shall require every telephone corporation that publishes a directory of subscribers to include in that directory information comprising the substance of this section and the rules and orders of the commission adopted pursuant to this section.

(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2015.

(Repealed (in Sec. 3) and added by Stats. 2013, Ch. 140, Sec. 4. (SB 50) Effective January 1, 2014. Section operative January 1, 2015, by its own provisions.)

742.1.
  

(a) The commission shall, by rule or order, adopt and enforce operating requirements for every corporation or person, other than a telephone corporation, which, as part of the services furnished, furnishes operator-assisted services by other than a telephone corporation having tariff schedules on file with the commission. These requirements shall include, but not be limited to, a requirement that furnishing these operator-assisted services for telephone calls within a service area is prohibited unless the commission, after instituting a proceeding for the purpose, finds and determines that to permit these operator-assisted services is in the public interest.

(b) The commission shall require every telephone corporation which publishes a directory of subscribers to include in that directory information comprising the substance of this section and the rules and orders of the commission adopted pursuant to this section.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1058, Sec. 3.)

742.3.
  

The commission shall, by rule or order, adopt and enforce an operating requirement for coin-activated and credit card-activated telephones available for public use, whether owned by telephone corporations or persons other than telephone corporations, which requires that every telephone display a notice that surcharges may apply to operator-assisted and calling card calls. The required signage shall be phased in over a period of two years beginning on January 1, 1993. A sticker with the necessary notification may be used as an interim measure until January 1, 1995.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 539, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)

742.5.
  

(a) No telephone corporation which operates within a service area shall provide billing and collection services for either of the following:

(1) Any telephone corporation which has not obtained a certificate of public convenience and necessity but is required to do so.

(2) Any person or corporation providing billing and collection services for any telephone corporation which has not obtained a certificate of public convenience and necessity but is required to do so.

(b) Subdivision (a) does not prohibit a telephone corporation operating within a service area from providing billing and collection services for a provider of enhanced service, as defined by Section 64.702 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(c) No telephone corporation which provides billing and collection services for any call placed by a subscriber of the telephone corporation from a coin-activated telephone available for public use owned or operated by other than a telephone corporation shall transmit any charge which is in excess of the maximum tariff rate or charge for that call placed from that telephone, as determined by the commission. Any reasonable cost incurred by the telephone corporation in verifying any such charge may be included in the fees or charges for conducting the billing and collection services. The commission shall adopt rules and procedures for the implementation of this subdivision.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1014, Sec. 3.)

743.
  

(a) As used in this section, “steel producer” means a producer of steel products in California which in 1981 or any subsequent year produced at least 75,000 tons of rolled or finished steel and which has a maximum demand for electricity of 4,000 kilowatts or more at one plant location. Any steel producer which transfers any substantial amount of employment from its facilities in this state to any out-of-state facility or otherwise substantially reduces employment at its facilities in this state below the June 30, 1985, level, or fails to maintain and make reasonable and prudent investments in its facilities, as determined by the commission, is ineligible for any electric rate established pursuant to this section.

(b) As used in this section, “frozen food processor” means a corporation or person engaged in the processing of food in California, which food is classified according to the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, 1972, in Industry No. 2037 and Industry No. 2038 of Group 203, of Food and Kindred Products Major Group 20, as specified in Section 2900.3 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations. “Processing of food” includes the postprocessing storage of frozen food in a warehouse, or other facility, until the frozen food leaves the control or responsibility of the frozen food processor or until the frozen food processor no longer has an obligation to store the food.

(c) As used in this section, “system average rate” means total jurisdictional revenues of the electrical corporation divided by total jurisdictional sales.

(d) Every electrical corporation furnishing electricity to a steel producer, frozen food processor, or other heavy-industry customer, as determined and specified by the electrical corporation, shall prepare and file tariffs providing rates which shall be lower than the system average rate and take into consideration all of the following:

(1) Specific service requirements of individual customers, including, but not limited to, reliability, interruptability, quantity of use, and requirements of voltage.

(2) Incentives to achieve conservation, improvements in efficiency, and time-of-day load shifting.

(3) Implementation at the option of the customer.

(4) Cost of service.

(e) The commission shall consider and approve tariffs which shall be consistent with this section and which shall be in effect on and after July 1, 1992.

(f) The commission may approve contracts between an electrical corporation and its heavy industrial customers as determined by the electrical corporation, of not more than ten years’ duration, in which the electrical corporation buys from the heavy industrial customer the right to interrupt the customer’s service on short notice, as determined by the commission. The payment mechanism may include a discounted rate for service. In approving and determining the reasonableness of these contracts, the commission may consider, among other things, the price paid by the electrical corporation for the right to interrupt, the value of that right to the utility system and its ratepayers, and the benefits to the ratepayers and the people of the state of retaining heavy industrial customers. Throughout the term of any of these contracts, the commission shall have the right to amend the contract. Every contract subject to this subdivision shall include a provision indicating that the contract is subject to amendment by the commission as provided in this subdivision. This subdivision does not supersede the requirement of subdivision (d) that the commission establish a heavy industrial tariff.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 878, Sec. 1.)

743.3.
  

(a) Beginning January 15, 2002, and at least once monthly thereafter, an electrical corporation shall notify each air pollution control district and air quality management district of the name and address of each entity within the district’s boundaries within the electrical corporation’s control or service area with whom the electrical corporation enters into an interruptible service contract or similar arrangement.

(b) For the purposes of this section, “interruptible service contract or similar arrangement” means any arrangement in which a nonresidential electrical customer agrees to reduce or consider reducing its electrical consumption during periods of peak demand or at the request of the Independent System Operator in exchange for compensation, or for assurances not to be blacked out or other similar nonmonetary assurances.

(c) The local air pollution control district or air quality management district shall maintain in a confidential manner the information received pursuant to this section. However, nothing in this subdivision shall affect the applicability of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, or of any other similar open records statute or ordinance, to information provided pursuant to this section.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 862, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)

744.
  

(a) As used in this section, “agricultural producer” means any person or corporation whose principal purpose is the agrarian production of food or fiber.

(b) Every electrical corporation furnishing electricity to an agricultural producer shall, in addition to its regular service, prepare and file tariffs providing, where economically and technologically feasible, for optional alternative interruptible service to any agricultural producer upon reasonable notice to the agricultural producer consistent with safety of operations by the agricultural producer and providing for limits upon the frequency and duration of interruption of service which the commission finds are reasonable in relation to the needs of the electrical corporation for reductions in load to meet system peak requirements and the burdens imposed upon the agricultural producer of reducing its operations during periods of interruption of electrical service. The commission shall establish the rate for this service at an appropriate discount from the system average rate, which shall be not less than the cost of furnishing this service.

(c) Every electrical corporation furnishing electricity to an agricultural producer shall, in addition to its regular service, prepare and file tariffs providing for an optional off-peak demand service, including the availability of time-differentiating meters or other measurement devices, to any agricultural producer providing for furnishing electricity to the agricultural producer during periods of off-peak demand and which the commission finds are reasonable in relation to the needs of the electrical corporation for reduction in demand to meet system peak requirements and the burdens imposed upon the agricultural producer of scheduling its operations to coincide with the periods of off-peak demand. The off-peak demand service tariff shall be composed of a two-part time differentiated schedule consisting of on- and off-peak rates. The commission shall establish the rate for this service at an appropriate discount from the system average rate, which shall be not less than the cost of furnishing this service.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 538, Sec. 2. Effective August 21, 1986.)

744.5.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Public Utilities Commission shall, as soon as is practicable after the operative date of the act adding this section, require every electrical corporation which furnishes electricity to an agricultural producer to provide, in accordance with the requirements of subdivision (c), citrus and avocado producers with an electrical energy payment deferral program related to the production of citrus and avocado crops.

(b) For the purposes of this section, “agricultural producer” shall be as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 744.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon verification by the agricultural producer of freeze-related crop losses of not less than 50 percent, the electrical corporation shall provide the electrical energy payment deferral program referenced in subdivision (a). For the purposes of this subdivision, the electrical corporation shall accept the original or a true photocopy of any of the following as verification of crop losses:

(1) A statement from a packing house or handler. A person who exercises managing control in a packing house shall provide at least one of the documents set forth in paragraphs 2 to 5, inclusive, in addition to, or in place of, the document set forth in this paragraph.

(2) A statement from a farm adviser of the University of California.

(3) A statement from the county agricultural commissioner.

(4) A statement of insurance adjustment.

(5) A calamity claim to the county tax assessor.

(d) For the purposes of this section, “deferral period” shall mean June 1, 1991, to March 31, 1992, inclusive. Electricity bills incurred by agricultural producers during the deferral period shall be eligible for deferral pursuant to this section.

(e) (1) Deferral programs under this section shall be developed on an individual basis between the electrical energy corporation and the eligible agricultural producers. These deferral programs shall allow eligible agricultural producers, at their option, to defer, without incurring interest charges, up to 50 percent of each electricity bill incurred during the deferral period on accounts or amounts attributable to the production of citrus or avocado crops.

(2) At the end of the deferral period, participating agricultural producers shall keep each month’s charges current and pay the accrued deferrals in up to 18 equal monthly installment payments. To be eligible for the maximum 50 percent deferral and the maximum 18-month repayment period, an agricultural producer shall do all of the following:

(A) Verify crop losses in accordance with subdivision (c).

(B) Demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the electrical energy corporation, which accounts are, or which portion of the amount billed is, attributable to the production of citrus or avocado crops.

(C) Pay, on or before the due date of each bill during the deferral period, at least 50 percent of the charges incurred on each bill.

(f) The electrical energy corporation may require a security interest in crops, real property, or other security acceptable to the electrical energy corporation, as a condition of deferring payments pursuant to this section. Any deferral by the electrical energy corporation of one or more electricity bills pursuant to this section shall not constitute a waiver by the corporation of its authority to require security for amounts already deferred or subsequently deferred.

(g) Each electrical energy corporation shall establish a balancing account to reflect the amounts of the deferrals and the costs of the payment deferral program. All of the costs of the payment deferral program, including, but not limited to, uncollectible amounts, interest, and administrative costs, shall be fully recovered from all customers of the electrical energy corporation.

(Added by Stats. 1991, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 8, Sec. 2. Effective August 30, 1991.)

745.
  

(a) For purposes of this section, “time-variant pricing” includes time-of-use rates, critical peak pricing, and real-time pricing, but does not include programs that provide customers with discounts from standard tariff rates as an incentive to reduce consumption at certain times, including peak time rebates.

(b) The commission may authorize an electrical corporation to offer residential customers the option of receiving service pursuant to time-variant pricing and to participate in other demand response programs. The commission shall not establish a mandatory or default time-variant pricing tariff for any residential customer except as authorized in subdivision (c).

(c) Beginning January 1, 2018, and subject to the commission making the findings required by subdivision (d), the commission may require or authorize an electrical corporation to employ default time-of-use rates for residential customers subject to all of the following:

(1) Residential customers receiving a medical baseline allowance pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 739, customers requesting third-party notification pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 779.1, customers who the commission has ordered cannot be disconnected from service without an in-person visit from a utility representative (Decision 12-03-054 (March 22, 2012), Decision on Phase II Issues: Adoption of Practices to Reduce the Number of Gas and Electric Service Disconnections, Order 2 (b) at page 55), and other customers designated by the commission in its discretion shall not be subject to default time-of-use rates without their affirmative consent.

(2) The commission shall ensure that any time-of-use rate schedule does not cause unreasonable hardship for senior citizens or economically vulnerable customers in hot climate zones.

(3) The commission shall strive for time-of-use rate schedules that utilize time periods that are appropriate for at least the following five years.

(4) A residential customer shall not be subject to a default time-of-use rate schedule unless that residential customer has been provided with not less than one year of interval usage data from an advanced meter and associated customer education and, following the passage of this period, is provided with no less than one year of bill protection during which the total amount paid by the residential customer for electric service shall not exceed the amount that would have been payable by the residential customer under that customer’s previous rate schedule.

(5) Each electrical corporation shall provide each residential customer, not less than once per year, using a reasonable delivery method of the customer’s choosing, a summary of available tariff options with a calculation of expected annual bill impacts under each available tariff. The summary shall not be provided to customers who notify the utility that they choose not to receive the summary. The reasonable costs of providing this service shall be recovered in rates.

(6) Residential customers have the option to not receive service pursuant to a time-of-use rate schedule and incur no additional charges as a result of the exercise of that option. Prohibited charges include, but are not limited to, administrative fees for switching away from time-of-use rates, hedging premiums that exceed any actual costs of hedging, and more than a proportional share of any discounts or other incentives paid to customers to increase participation in time-of-use rates. This prohibition on additional charges is not intended to ensure that a customer will necessarily experience a lower total bill as a result of the exercise of the option to not receive service pursuant to a time-of-use rate schedule.

(d) The commission shall not require or authorize an electrical corporation to employ default time-of-use rates for residential customers unless it has first explicitly considered evidence addressing the extent to which hardship will be caused on either of the following:

(1) Customers located in hot, inland areas, assuming no changes in overall usage by those customers during peak periods.

(2) Residential customers living in areas with hot summer weather, as a result of seasonal bill volatility, assuming no change in summertime usage or in usage during peak periods.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 625, Sec. 1. (SB 1090) Effective January 1, 2015.)

746.
  

The commission shall determine the appropriate ratemaking treatment for incentive compensation paid to officers or employees of an electrical corporation or gas corporation for incentive compensation that is linked to the stock price or financial performance of the electrical corporation or gas corporation.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 464, Sec. 1. (AB 861) Effective January 1, 2013.)

747.
  

It is the intent of the Legislature that the commission reduce rates for electricity and natural gas to the lowest amount possible.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 612, Sec. 18. (SB 697) Effective January 1, 2016.)

748.1.
  

An electrical corporation or gas corporation shall not recover through a rate approved by the commission a fine or penalty.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 626, Sec. 30. (SB 901) Effective January 1, 2019.)

748.5.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (c), the commission shall require revenues, including any accrued interest, received by an 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 to be credited directly to the residential, small business, and emissions-intensive trade-exposed retail customers of the electrical corporation.

(b) Not later than January 1, 2013, the commission shall require the adoption and implementation of a customer outreach plan for each electrical corporation, including, but not limited to, such measures as notices in bills and through media outlets, for purposes of obtaining the maximum feasible public awareness of the crediting of greenhouse gas allowance revenues. Costs associated with the implementation of this plan are subject to recovery in rates pursuant to Section 454.

(c) The commission may allocate up to 15 percent of the revenues, including any accrued interest, received by an electrical corporation as a result of the direct allocation of greenhouse gas allowances to electrical distribution utilities pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 95890 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, for clean energy and energy efficiency projects established pursuant to statute that are administered by the electrical corporation, or a qualified third-party administrator as approved by the commission, and that are not otherwise funded by another funding source.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 582, Sec. 2. (AB 693) Effective January 1, 2016.)

748.6.
  

Beginning with the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2019, and ending with the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023, the commission shall annually allocate fifty million dollars ($50,000,000) of the revenues, including any accrued interest, received by a gas corporation as a result of the direct allocation of greenhouse gas emissions allowances provided to gas corporations as part of a market-based compliance mechanism adopted pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 38562 of the Health and Safety Code to fund the Building Initiative for Low-emissions Development (BUILD) Program (Article 12 (commencing with Section 921)) and the Technology and Equipment for Clean Heating (TECH) Initiative (Article 13 (commencing with Section 922)).

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 378, Sec. 2. (SB 1477) Effective January 1, 2019.)

749.
  

Public utilities shall develop programs in cooperation with local school districts in reducing their electricity and gas bills through conservation and improvements in efficiency. Utilities may offer to school districts on a priority basis, and school districts may utilize, any programs or incentives for commercial customers developed by the utility and approved by the commission, including rebates, loan programs and incentives for the installation of efficient lighting, heating, or cooling systems.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1178, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 1994.)

749.5.
  

(a) For the purposes of this section, “public school” means a public school, including a charter school, maintaining a kindergarten, or any of the grades 1 to 12, inclusive.

(b) The commission shall, as part of its ratesetting process, direct each electrical and gas corporation to evaluate and report findings to the commission, by January 1, 2020, on the feasibility and economic impact of establishing public school electric and gas rates that would reflect a discount from the current rate structure. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Commercial rate increases in the past five years that affected public schools within the service territory of each electrical and gas corporation.

(2) Economic impact to all ratepayers if all public schools within the service territory received a discount from the current rate structure.

(3) The impact of planned modifications to the time intervals reflected in time-of-use rates and to rate design elements, as adopted by the commission and in the planning stages or proposed by electric and gas corporations.

(4) The cost shifts that would occur, if any, and to which consumers the costs would shift, as a result of a discounted rate for public schools.

(c)  The commission shall compile the reports required in subdivision (b) and submit the compilation to the Legislature, on or before January 1, 2020, in compliance with the requirements of Section 9795 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 208, Sec. 2. (AB 2068) Effective January 1, 2019.)

750.
  

The commission shall develop formal procedures to consider safety in a rate case application by an electrical corporation or gas corporation. The procedures shall include a means by which safety information acquired by the commission through monitoring, data tracking and analysis, accident investigations, and audits of an applicant’s safety programs may inform the commission’s consideration of the application.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 552, Sec. 2. (SB 900) Effective January 1, 2015.)

751.
  

(a) This section applies only to those public utilities over which the commission exercises its authority to fix rates and only to the extent the revenue requirements of the utility were based upon the tax rates in effect at the time rates were fixed for the utility by the commission. This section does not limit the discretionary authority of the commission to adjust any incentives provided pursuant to any state supervised or administered program, including the state’s telecommunications universal service programs administered pursuant to Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 270).

(b) The commission shall evaluate the full effect of the enactment of federal House Resolution 1 (Public Law 115-97) upon the expenses and tax liabilities incurred by public utilities for payment of federal taxes. If the commission determines that the projected expenses and tax liabilities for federal taxes that the commission has authorized in the rates for a public utility are materially affected by the enactment of federal House Resolution 1 (Public Law 115-97), the commission shall adjust the rates of the utility to reflect the changes in projected expenses and tax liabilities in light of the changes in federal law. This section does not limit the discretionary authority of the commission to determine the full effect of the changes in federal tax law on each utility’s cost of service, to utilize appropriate mechanisms at its disposal to track changes and adjust rates accordingly, and to allocate the impacts from changes in federal tax law over the period of time that results in the most reasonable allocation based on the particular circumstances of each utility.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 411, Sec. 1. (SB 1028) Effective January 1, 2019.)

755.
  

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

(1) An electrical, gas, or water corporation that offers customers credit card or debit card payment options, may recover the reasonable expenses incurred by the electrical, gas, or water corporation for providing the customers the option of paying their bills by credit card or debit card.

(2) Only the customers that choose to use these payment options incur the additional charge and that no portion of the expense is shifted to customers that do not choose to pay a bill by credit card or debit card, unless and until the commission determines that the savings to ratepayers exceeds the net cost of accepting those cards.

(3) The acceptance of credit cards or debit cards neither increases nor decreases the profitability of the electrical, gas, or water corporation.

(b) An electrical, gas, or water corporation may offer credit card and debit card bill payment options, if approved by the commission. The electrical, gas, or water corporation may recover reasonable transaction costs incurred by the electrical, gas, or water corporation only from those customers that choose to pay by those payment options.

(c) The commission shall determine through existing regulatory mechanisms the reasonableness of transaction costs charged to customers that choose to pay an electrical, gas, or water corporation by a credit card or debit card bill payment option pursuant to this section. The commission shall determine how any associated costs or potential savings as a result of those customers paying by the credit card or debit card payment option shall be passed on to electrical, gas, or water corporation customers. In determining how these savings or costs are passed on to customers, the commission shall do the following:

(1) The transaction costs that are passed on to customers pursuant to subdivision (b) shall be offset by any savings in transaction costs the electrical, gas, or water corporation derives as a result of those customers paying by credit card and debit card.

(2) If the commission determines that the use of credit cards and debit cards results in no net cost to the electrical, gas, or water corporation, there shall be no individual customer transaction fee as provided for in subdivision (b).

(3) If the commission determines that the savings to the electrical, gas, or water corporation exceeds the costs to the electrical, gas, or water corporation, the net savings shall be passed on to electrical, gas, or water corporation customers.

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 426, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2006.)

755.5.
  

(a) A water corporation with more than 10,000 service connections that seeks to operate a pilot program designed to evaluate customer interest in, and utilization of, bill payment options, including, but not limited to, credit card, debit card, and prepaid card bill payment options, and to assess the cost-effectiveness of, and customer interests served by, customer access to those bill payment options, shall do so by requesting commission approval through its general rate case application. A pilot program adopted pursuant to this subdivision shall be limited to the duration of the water corporation’s rate case cycle.

(b) Notwithstanding Section 755, the commission shall allow a water corporation to recover the reasonable expenses incurred by the water corporation in providing to its customers bill payment options pursuant to subdivision (a) and shall not require the water corporation to impose a transaction fee on its customers.

(c) The costs of a pilot program adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) may not be recovered from customers participating in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program established pursuant to Section 739.1 or in a water rate relief program for low-income ratepayers established pursuant to Section 739.8.

(d) The commission shall require a water corporation that is operating a pilot program to notify its customers that the water corporation is participating in a pilot program and that the pilot program may not continue, pending an assessment of the costs and benefits of the pilot program to customers.

(e) The commission shall ensure that accepting bill payment options pursuant to subdivision (a) neither increases nor decreases the rate of return of the water corporation.

(f) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2022, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2022, deletes or extends that date.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 254, Sec. 1. (AB 1180) Effective January 1, 2017. Repealed as of January 1, 2022, by its own provisions.)

758.
  

(a) The commission shall allow an electrical corporation to recover in rates amounts assessed to the utility pursuant to Section 8610.5 of the Government Code.

(b) The commission shall ensure that any moneys refunded to an electrical corporation from the Nuclear Planning Assessment Special Account pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 8610.5 of the Government Code are credited to ratepayers.

(Added by Stats. 2007, Ch. 492, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2008.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC