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 1. Generally [701 - 718]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

701.
  

The commission may supervise and regulate every public utility in the State and may do all things, whether specifically designated in this part or in addition thereto, which are necessary and convenient in the exercise of such power and jurisdiction.

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

701.1.
  

(a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares that, in addition to other ratepayer protection objectives, a principal goal of electric and natural gas utilities’ resource planning and investment shall be to minimize the cost to society of the reliable energy services that are provided by natural gas and electricity, and to improve the environment and to encourage the diversity of energy sources through improvements in energy efficiency, development of renewable energy resources, such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy, and widespread transportation electrification.

(2) The amendment made to this subdivision by the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 does not expand the authority of the commission beyond that provided by other law.

(b) The Legislature further finds and declares that, in addition to any appropriate investments in energy production, electrical and natural gas utilities should seek to exploit all practicable and cost-effective conservation and improvements in the efficiency of energy use and distribution that offer equivalent or better system reliability, and which are not being exploited by any other entity.

(c) In calculating the cost-effectiveness of energy resources, including conservation and load management options, the commission shall include, in addition to other ratepayer protection objectives, a value for any costs and benefits to the environment, including air quality. The commission shall ensure that any values it develops pursuant to this section are consistent with values developed by the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission pursuant to Section 25000.1 of the Public Resources Code. However, if the commission determines that a value developed pursuant to this subdivision is not consistent with a value developed by the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 25000.1 of the Public Resources Code, the commission may nonetheless use this value if, in the appropriate record of its proceedings, it states its reasons for using the value it has selected.

(d) In determining the emission values associated with the current operating capacity of existing electric powerplants pursuant to subdivision (c), the commission shall adhere to the following protocol in determining values for air quality costs and benefits to the environment. If the commission finds that an air pollutant that is subject to regulation is a component of residual emissions from an electric powerplant and that the owner of that powerplant is either of the following:

(1) Using a tradable emission allowance, right, or offset for that pollutant, which (A) has been approved by the air quality district regulating the powerplant, (B) is consistent with federal and state law, and (C) has been obtained, authorized, or acquired in a market-based system.

(2) Paying a tax per measured unit of that pollutant.

The commission shall not assign a value or cost to that residual pollutant for the current operating capacity of that powerplant because the alternative protocol for dealing with the pollutant operates to internalize its cost for the purpose of planning for and acquiring new generating resources.

(e) (1) The values determined pursuant to subdivision (c) to represent costs and benefits to the environment shall not be used by the commission, in and of themselves, to require early decommissioning or retirement of an electric utility powerplant that complies with applicable prevailing environmental regulations.

(2) Further, the environmental values determined pursuant to subdivision (c) shall not be used by the commission in a manner which, when those values are aggregated, will result in advancing an electric utility’s need for new powerplant capacity by more than 15 months.

(f) This subdivision shall apply whenever a powerplant bid solicitation is required by the commission for an electric utility and a portion of the amount of new powerplant capacity, which is the subject of the bid solicitation, is the result of the commission’s use of environmental values to advance that electric utility’s need for new powerplant capacity in the manner authorized by paragraph (2) of subdivision (e). The affected electric utility may propose to the commission any combination of alternatives to that portion of the new powerplant capacity that is the result of the commission’s use of environmental values as authorized by paragraph (2) of subdivision (c). The commission shall approve an alternative in place of the new powerplant capacity if it finds all of the following:

(1) The alternative has been approved by the relevant air quality district.

(2) The alternative is consistent with federal and state law.

(3) The alternative will result in needed system reliability for the electric utility at least equivalent to that which would result from bidding for new powerplant capacity.

(4) The alternative will result in reducing system operating costs for the electric utility over those which would result from the process of bidding for new powerplant capacity.

(5) The alternative will result in equivalent or better environmental improvements at a lower cost than would result from bidding for new powerplant capacity.

(g) This section does not require an electric utility to alter the dispatch of its powerplants for environmental purposes.

(h) This section does not preclude an electric utility from submitting to the commission any combination of alternatives to meet a commission-identified need for new capacity, if the submission is otherwise authorized by the commission.

(i) This section does not change or alter any provision of commission decision 92-04-045, dated April 22, 1992.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 547, Sec. 30. (SB 350) Effective January 1, 2016.)

701.3.
  

Until the commission completes an electric generation procurement methodology that values the environmental and diversity costs and benefits associated with various generation technologies, the commission shall direct that a specific portion of future electrical generating capacity needed for California be reserved or set aside for renewable resources.

(Added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 1023, Sec. 2.)

701.4.
  

It is the policy of the state and the intent of the Legislature that state and municipal electric resource acquisition programs recognize and include a value for the resource diversity provided by renewable resources.

(Added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 1225, Sec. 3.)

701.5.
  

With respect to financing arrangements which are established after January 1, 1988, no electrical, gas, or telephone corporation, whose rates are set by the commission on a cost-of-service basis, shall issue any bond, note, lien, guarantee, or indebtedness of any kind pledging the utility assets or credit for or on behalf of any subsidiary or affiliate of, or corporation holding a controlling interest in, the electrical, gas, or telephone corporation. The commission may, however, authorize an electrical, gas, or telephone corporation to issue any bond, note, lien, guarantee, or indebtedness pledging the utility assets or credits as follows:

(a) For or on behalf of a subsidiary if its revenues and expenses are included by the commission in establishing rates for the electrical, gas, or telephone corporation.

(b)  For or on behalf of a subsidiary if it is engaged in a regulated public utility business in this state or in any other state.

(c) For or on behalf of a subsidiary or affiliate if it engages in activities which support the electric, gas, or telephone corporation in its operations or service, these activities are, or will be, regulated either by the commission or a comparable federal agency, and the issuance of the bond, note, lien, guarantee, or indebtedness is specifically approved in advance by the commission.

The commission shall not approve the bond, note, lien, guarantee, or indebtedness unless the commission finds and determines that the proposed financing will benefit the interests of the utility and its ratepayers.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1179, Sec. 2.)

701.6.
  

(a) The commission may authorize gas and electrical corporations to include in ratepayer-supported research and development programs, activities that relate to improving the energy efficiency of manufactured housing and mobilehomes if those programs are evaluated in accordance with the guidelines established by Section 740.1. The commission may develop a program involving utilities, representatives of the manufactured housing and mobilehome industries, and organizations representing senior citizens and consumers to increase the construction and marketing of energy efficiency measures for mobilehomes and manufactured housing.

(b) The commission may authorize gas and electrical corporations to provide incentives to seniors, low-income households, and others who buy new manufactured homes, or mobilehomes, which incorporate energy efficient measures.

(c) The commission may authorize gas and electrical corporations to recover through rates the reasonable costs associated with the programs specified in subdivisions (a) and (b).

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 193, Sec. 176. Effective January 1, 2005.)

701.8.
  

(a) To ensure that electrical corporations do not operate their transmission and distribution monopolies in a manner that impedes the ability of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART District) to reduce its electricity cost through the purchase and delivery of preference power, electrical corporations shall meet the requirements of this section.

(b) Any electrical corporation that owns and operates transmission and distribution facilities that deliver electricity at one or more locations to the BART District’s system shall, upon request by the BART District, and without discrimination or delay, use the same facilities to do any or all of the following:

(1) Deliver preference power purchased from a federal power marketing agency or its successor.

(2) Deliver electricity purchased from a local publicly owned electric utility.

(3) Deliver electricity generated by an eligible renewable energy resource.

(c) Where the BART District purchases electricity at more than one location, at any voltage, from an electric utility under tariffs regulated by the commission, the utility shall bill the BART District for usage as though all the electricity purchased at transmission level voltages were metered by a single meter at one location and all the electricity purchased at subtransmission voltages were metered by a single meter at one location, provided that any billing for demand charges would be based on the coincident demand of transmission and distribution metering.

(d) If, on or after January 1, 1996, the BART District leases or has agreed to lease, as special facilities, utility plants for the purpose of receiving power at transmission level voltages, an electrical corporation may not terminate the lease without concurrence from the BART District.

(e) When the BART District elects to have electricity delivered pursuant to subdivision (b), neither Sections 365 and 366, and any commission regulations, orders, or tariffs, that implement direct transactions, are applicable, nor is the BART District an electricity supplier. Neither the commission, nor any electrical corporation that delivers the federal power or electricity purchased from a local publicly owned electric utility or generated by an eligible renewable energy resource to the BART District, shall require that an electricity supplier be designated as a condition of the delivery of that electricity.

(f) The BART District may elect to obtain electricity from the following multiple sources at the same time:

(1) Electricity delivered pursuant to subdivision (b).

(2) Electricity supplied by one or more direct transactions.

(3) Electricity from any electrical corporation that owns and operates transmission and distribution facilities that deliver electricity at one or more locations to the BART District’s system.

(g) For purposes of this section, “eligible renewable energy resources” has the same meaning as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 399.12.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 146, Sec. 1. (SB 502) Effective January 1, 2016.)

701.10.
  

The policy of the State of California is that rates and charges established by the commission for water service provided by water corporations shall do all of the following:

(a) Provide revenues and earnings sufficient to 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.

(b) Minimize the long-term cost of reliable water service to water customers.

(c) Provide appropriate incentives to water utilities and customers for conservation of water resources.

(d) Provide for equity between present and future users of water service.

(e) Promote the long-term stabilization of rates in order to avoid steep increases in rates.

(f) Be based on the cost of providing the water service including, to the extent consistent with the above policies, appropriate coverage of fixed costs with fixed revenues.

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

702.
  

Every public utility shall obey and comply with every order, decision, direction, or rule made or prescribed by the commission in the matters specified in this part, or any other matter in any way relating to or affecting its business as a public utility, and shall do everything necessary or proper to secure compliance therewith by all of its officers, agents, and employees.

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

703.
  

The commission may investigate all existing or proposed interstate rates, fares, tolls, charges, and classifications, and all rules and practices in relation thereto, for or in relation to the transportation of persons or property or the transmission of messages for conversations, where any act in relation thereto takes place within this state and when they are, in the opinion of the commission, in violation of federal law, or in conflict with the rulings, orders, or regulations of the a federal agency, the commission may apply for relief by petition or otherwise to the federal agency that has jurisdiction over the alleged violation or to any court of competent jurisdiction.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 1005, Sec. 32. Effective January 1, 2000.)

704.
  

Except as otherwise provided in this section, no foreign corporation, other than those which by compliance with the laws of this State are entitled to transact a public utility business within this State, shall henceforth transact within this State any public utility business, nor shall any foreign corporation which is at present lawfully transacting business within this State henceforth transact within this State any public utility business of a character different from that which it is at present authorized by its charter or articles of incorporation to transact. No license, permit, or franchise to own, control, operate, or manage any public utility business or any part or incident thereof shall be henceforth granted or transferred, directly or indirectly, to any foreign corporation which is not at present lawfully transacting within this State a public utility business of like character.

Foreign corporations engaging in commerce with foreign nations or commerce among the several states may transact within this State such commerce and intrastate commerce of a like character; provided, however, that no such foreign corporation shall be permitted to engage in intrastate commerce within this State until it shall have first complied with the laws of this State respecting foreign corporations. Any foreign corporation which complies with the laws of this State respecting foreign corporations, and which owns at least 90 percent of the outstanding capital stock of any other foreign corporation transacting a public utility business in this State, may succeed to the public utility business, franchises, and rights of such latter corporation and, thereafter continue and carry on such public utility business.

(Amended by Stats. 1957, Ch. 279.)

705.
  

Whenever in Articles 2 (commencing with Section 726), 3 (commencing with Section 761), and 4 (commencing with Section 791) a hearing by the commission is required, the hearing may be had either upon complaint or upon motion of the commission.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 142, Sec. 128.)

706.
  

(a) For purposes of this section, “compensation” means any annual salary, bonus, benefits, or other consideration of any value, paid to an officer of an electrical corporation or gas corporation.

(b) An electrical corporation or gas corporation shall not recover expenses for compensation from ratepayers. Compensation shall be paid solely by shareholders of the electrical corporation or gas corporation.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 626, Sec. 29. (SB 901) Effective January 1, 2019.)

707.
  

(a) Not later than March 1, 2012, the commission shall institute a rulemaking proceeding for the purpose of considering and adopting a code of conduct, associated rules, and enforcement procedures, to govern the conduct of the electrical corporations relative to the consideration, formation, and implementation of community choice aggregation programs authorized in Section 366.2. The code of conduct, associated rules, and enforcement procedures, shall do all of the following:

(1) Ensure that an electrical corporation does not market against a community choice aggregation program, except through an independent marketing division that is funded exclusively by the electrical corporation’s shareholders and that is functionally and physically separate from the electrical corporation’s ratepayer-funded divisions.

(2) Limit the electrical corporation’s independent marketing division’s use of support services from the electrical corporation’s ratepayer-funded divisions, and ensure that the electrical corporation’s independent marketing division is allocated costs of any permissible support services from the electrical corporation’s ratepayer-funded divisions on a fully allocated embedded cost basis, providing detailed public reports of such use.

(3) Ensure that the electrical corporation’s independent marketing division does not have access to competitively sensitive information.

(4) (A) Incorporate rules that the commission finds to be necessary or convenient in order to facilitate the development of community choice aggregation programs, to foster fair competition, and to protect against cross-subsidization paid by ratepayers.

(B) It is the intent of the Legislature that the rules include, in whole or in part, the rules approved by the commission in Decision 97-12-088 and Decision 08-06-016.

(C) This paragraph does not limit the authority of the commission to adopt rules that it determines are necessary or convenient in addition to those adopted in Decision 97-12-088 and Decision 08-06-016 or to modify any rule adopted in those decisions.

(5) Provide for any other matter that the commission determines to be necessary or advisable to protect a ratepayer’s right to be free from forced speech or to implement that portion of the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 that establishes the federal standard that no electric utility may recover from any person other than the shareholders or other owners of the utility, any direct or indirect expenditure by the electric utility for promotional or political advertising (16 U.S.C. Sec. 2623(b)(5)).

(b) The commission shall ensure that the code of conduct, associated rules, and enforcement procedures are implemented by no later than January 1, 2013.

(c) This section does not limit the authority of the commission to require that any marketing against a community choice aggregation plan shall be conducted by an affiliate of the electrical corporation, or to require that marketing against a community choice aggregator not be conducted by a marketing division of the electrical corporation, subject to affiliate transaction rules to be developed by the commission.

(Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 599, Sec. 10. (SB 790) Effective January 1, 2012.)

708.
  

The commission shall require every electrical, gas, and telephone corporation to prepare and issue to every employee who, in the course of his or her employment, has occasion to enter the premises of customers or subscribers of the corporation an identification card in a distinctive format having a photograph of the employee. The corporation shall require every employee to present the card upon requesting entry into any building or structure on the premises of a customer or subscriber.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 374, Sec. 1.)

708.3.
  

Whenever a business transaction of an electrical, gas, water corporation with 10,000 or more service connections, or telephone corporation is such that a personal appearance by a person is required by the corporation and the person is unable to appear at the corporation’s place of business during the corporation’s usual business hours, then the corporation shall provide a reasonable and convenient alternative to the person such as an appointment outside the corporation’s usual business hours or allowing the person to conduct the transaction by telephone, or mail, or both.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 614, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1996.)

709.
  

The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the policies for telecommunications in California are as follows:

(a) To continue our universal service commitment by assuring the continued affordability and widespread availability of high-quality telecommunications services to all Californians.

(b) To focus efforts on providing educational institutions, health care institutions, community-based organizations, and governmental institutions with access to advanced telecommunications services in recognition of their economic and societal impact.

(c) To encourage the development and deployment of new technologies and the equitable provision of services in a way that efficiently meets consumer need and encourages the ubiquitous availability of a wide choice of state-of-the-art services.

(d) To assist in bridging the “digital divide” by encouraging expanded access to state-of-the-art technologies for rural, inner-city, low-income, and disabled Californians.

(e) To promote economic growth, job creation, and the substantial social benefits that will result from the rapid implementation of advanced information and communications technologies by adequate long-term investment in the necessary infrastructure.

(f) To promote lower prices, broader consumer choice, and avoidance of anticompetitive conduct.

(g) To remove the barriers to open and competitive markets and promote fair product and price competition in a way that encourages greater efficiency, lower prices, and more consumer choice.

(h) To encourage fair treatment of consumers through provision of sufficient information for making informed choices, establishment of reasonable service quality standards, and establishment of processes for equitable resolution of billing and service problems.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 674, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2003.)

709.2.
  

(a) The commission shall authorize fully open competition for intrastate interexchange telecommunications service, otherwise known as intrastate interLATA, or intrastate service between local access and transport areas, in California if federal legislation or court action amends the modification of final judgment entered by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in United States v. Western Electric, Civil Action No. 82-0192, to allow open competition in that service.

(b) (1) If neither federal law nor court action has authorized full intrastate interexchange competition, the commission shall order the opening of all intrastate interexchange telecommunications markets to full competition, and the commission shall order, no later than October 1, 1995, all telephone corporations subject to the restrictions in the modification of final judgment to offer full intrastate interexchange service, and to seek a waiver of the interexchange telecommunications service restriction from the federal court overseeing the modification of final judgment. The service may be offered through resale and through facilities owned by the telephone corporations.

(2) If the federal district court denies the waiver request, and an appeal is taken and the federal Court of Appeals affirms the denial and refuses to remand the waiver request to the federal district court for further review, and review is sought in the United States Supreme Court and that court refuses to review or reviews and affirms the lower court decisions denying the waiver, and the commission determines that all reasonable legal recourse has been exhausted by the telephone corporation, the commission shall rescind the order.

(3) No order shall be implemented, nor services marketed by the telephone corporations until a waiver is granted or until federal legislation or court action amends the modification of final judgment to allow open competition in intrastate interexchange telecommunications service.

(c) No commission order authorizing or directing competition in intrastate interexchange telecommunications shall be implemented until the commission has done all of the following, pursuant to the public hearing process:

(1) Determined that all competitors have fair, nondiscriminatory, and mutually open access to exchanges currently subject to the modified final judgment and interexchange facilities, including fair unbundling of exchange facilities, as prescribed in the commission’s Open Access and Network Architecture Development Proceeding (I. 93-04-003 and R. 93-04-003).

(2) Determined that there is no anticompetitive behavior by the local exchange telephone corporation, including unfair use of subscriber information or unfair use of customer contacts generated by the local exchange telephone corporation’s provision of local exchange telephone service.

(3) Determined that there is no improper cross-subsidization of intrastate interexchange telecommunications service by requiring separate accounting records to allocate costs for the provision of intrastate interexchange telecommunications service and examining the methodology of allocating those costs.

(4)  Determined that there is no substantial possibility of harm to the competitive intrastate interexchange telecommunications markets.

(d) The opening of intrastate interexchange telecommunications markets to competition pursuant to this section shall not precede, but may be coincident with, the opening of competition within the local exchange markets, as expressly authorized by the commission, subject to subdivision (c).

(e) No part of this section shall be construed as constituting a state action within the meaning of Parker v. Brown, 317 U.S. 341.

(f) No part of this section shall be construed to preempt application of the unfair practices or antitrust laws of this state.

(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 934, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1995.)

709.5.
  

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that all telecommunications markets subject to commission jurisdiction be opened to competition not later than January 1, 1997. The commission shall take steps to ensure that competition in telecommunications markets is fair and that the state’s universal service policy is observed.

(b) To the extent possible, competition in intraexchange telecommunications markets shall be coincident with competition in video markets.

(c) The commission shall expedite its open network architecture and network development, interconnection, universal service, and other related dockets so that whatever additional rules and regulations that may be necessary to achieve fair local exchange competition shall be in place no later than January 1, 1997.

(d) If any local exchange telephone company obtains the right to offer cable television or video dialtone service within its service territory from a regulatory body or court of competent jurisdiction, any cable television corporation or its affiliates may immediately have the right to enter into the intraexchange market within the service territory of that local exchange carrier by filing for approval of a certificate of public convenience and necessity, if necessary, which shall be expeditiously reviewed by the commission.

(e) If the local exchange corporation is subject to the commission’s standards for the interconnection of networks, network unbundling, and service quality, the cable television corporation or its affiliates may be subject to the commission’s standards for the interconnection of networks, network unbundling, and service quality, for that portion of their network dedicated to intraexchange telecommunications service. In addition, all corporations offering intraexchange telecommunications service shall be subject to the commission’s consumer protection regulations.

(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1260, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1995.)

709.6.
  

Not later than January 1, 2000, the commission shall commence a proceeding to consider whether to establish a new regulatory framework that does all of the following:

(a) Ensures that the public has universally available access to basic local exchange service.

(b) Applies appropriate rules to all telecommunications service providers.

(c) Encourages the provision of advanced, high-speed digital telecommunications services to the public.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 266, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1999.)

710.
  

(a) The commission shall not exercise regulatory jurisdiction or control over Voice over Internet Protocol and Internet Protocol enabled services except as required or expressly delegated by federal law or expressly directed to do so by statute or as set forth in subdivision (c). In the event of a requirement or a delegation referred to above, this section does not expand the commission’s jurisdiction beyond the scope of that requirement or delegation.

(b) No department, agency, commission, or political subdivision of the state shall enact, adopt, or enforce any law, rule, regulation, ordinance, standard, order, or other provision having the force or effect of law, that regulates VoIP or other IP enabled service, unless required or expressly delegated by federal law or expressly authorized by statute or pursuant to subdivision (c). In the event of a requirement or a delegation referred to above, this section does not expand the commission’s jurisdiction beyond the scope of that requirement or delegation.

(c) This section does not affect or supersede any of the following:

(1) The Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge Law (Part 20 (commencing with Section 41001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code) and the state’s universal service programs (Section 285).

(2) The Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006 (Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 5800)) or a franchise granted by a local franchising entity, as those terms are defined in Section 5830.

(3) The commission’s authority to implement and enforce Sections 251 and 252 of the federal Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. Secs. 251 and 252).

(4) The commission’s authority to require data and other information pursuant to Section 716.

(5) The commission’s authority to address or affect the resolution of disputes regarding intercarrier compensation, including for the exchange of traffic that originated, terminated, or was translated at any point into Internet Protocol format.

(6) The commission’s authority to enforce existing requirements regarding backup power systems established in Decision 10-01-026, adopted pursuant to Section 2892.1.

(7) The commission’s authority relative to access to support structures, including pole attachments, or to the construction and maintenance of facilities pursuant to commission General Order 95 and General Order 128.

(8) The Warren-911-Emergency Assistance Act (Article 6 (commencing with Section 53100) of Chapter 1.5 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code).

(d) This section does not affect the enforcement of any state or federal criminal or civil law or any local ordinances of general applicability, including, but not limited to, consumer protection and unfair or deceptive trade practice laws or ordinances, that apply to the conduct of business, the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code), local utility user taxes, and state and local authority governing the use and management of the public rights-of-way.

(e) This section does not affect any existing regulation of, proceedings governing, or existing commission authority over, non-VoIP and other non-IP enabled wireline or wireless service, including regulations governing universal service and the offering of basic service and lifeline service, and any obligations to offer basic service.

(f) This section does not limit the commission’s ability to continue to monitor and discuss VoIP services, to track and report to the Federal Communications Commission and the Legislature, within its annual report to the Legislature, the number and type of complaints received by the commission from customers, and to respond informally to customer complaints, including providing VoIP customers who contact the commission information regarding available options under state and federal law for addressing complaints.

(g) This section does not affect the establishment or enforcement of standards, requirements, or procedures, including procurement policies, applicable to any department, agency, commission, or political subdivision of the state, or to the employees, agents, or contractors of a department, agency, commission, or political subdivision of the state, relating to the protection of intellectual property.

(h) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends that date.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 733, Sec. 3. (SB 1161) Effective January 1, 2013. Repealed as of January 1, 2020, by its own provisions.)

712.
  

(a) The commission shall convene, or continue, until August 26, 2025, an independent peer review panel to conduct an independent review of enhanced seismic studies and surveys of the Diablo Canyon Units 1 and 2 powerplant, including the surrounding areas of the facility and areas of nuclear waste storage.

(b) The independent peer review panel shall contract with the Energy Commission, the California Geological Survey of the Department of Conservation, the California Coastal Commission, the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission, the Office of Emergency Services, and the County of San Luis Obispo to participate on the panel and provide expertise.

(c) The independent peer review panel shall review the seismic studies and hold public meetings.

(d) The commission shall make reports by the independent peer review panel publicly available on the Internet Web site maintained by the commission.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 399, Sec. 2. (AB 361) Effective October 1, 2015.)

712.5.
  

(a) (1) The commission shall cause an assessment to be completed by no later than July 1, 2018, of the adverse and beneficial economic impacts, and the net economic effects, for the County of San Luis Obispo and the surrounding regions, that could occur if the Diablo Canyon Units 1 and 2 powerplant were to temporarily or permanently shut down before the powerplant’s current operating licenses from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission expire or when the Pacific Gas and Electric Company closes the powerplant upon the expiration of its current licenses. The assessment shall include a review, as described in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b), of potential actions for the state and local jurisdictions to consider in order to mitigate the adverse economic impact of a shutdown.

(2) The assessment shall be conducted by an independent third party, selected in accordance with paragraph (1) of subdivision (c).

(b) The assessment shall consist of, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(1) Estimates of any changes in local tax revenues, changes in workforce populations, changes in indirect or induced economies, and potential impacts to ratepayers from a shutdown.

(2) A review of the economic impacts that affected the region surrounding the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station after it was decommissioned by the Southern California Edison Company and of the relevant decommissioning plans of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

(3) A review of regions in the United States similar to the County of San Luis Obispo and the surrounding regions that have experienced the decommissioning of a nuclear powerplant and of the resulting economic impacts of the decommissioning on those regions.

(4) Identification of any contingency plans that could mitigate the adverse economic impact of a shutdown to state and local jurisdictions, the local workforce, and entities receiving enhanced tax revenue.

(c) (1) The commission shall issue a request for proposal for the independent third party that will ensure that the selected party is able to make an independent review and analysis of the data described in subdivision (b).

(2) The independent third party shall consult with the Board of Supervisors of the County of San Luis Obispo, the governing board of the San Luis Coastal Unified School District, the Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California at Berkeley, the regional economic development group of the County of San Luis Obispo, and other relevant governmental entities or community-based organizations to assist in an accurate assessment of the economic and workforce impacts of a shutdown.

(d) The commission shall make the assessment publicly available on its Internet Web site, distribute copies to relevant state and local jurisdictions, and convene a public forum in the County of San Luis Obispo on the findings and recommendations of the assessment.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 674, Sec. 1. (SB 968) Effective September 26, 2016.)

712.7.
  

(a) The commission shall approve both of the following:

(1) The full funding for the community impact mitigation settlement proposed in Application 16-08-006.

(2) The full funding for the employee retention program proposed in Application 16-08-006.

(b) The commission shall ensure that integrated resource plans are designed to avoid any increase in emissions of greenhouse gases as a result of the retirement of the Diablo Canyon Units 1 and 2 powerplant.

(c) The commission shall establish an expedited advice letter process for the approval and implementation pursuant to subdivision (a) of the community impact mitigation settlement and the employee retention program.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 561, Sec. 2. (SB 1090) Effective January 1, 2019.)

714.
  

(a) The commission, no later than July 1, 2017, shall open a proceeding to determine the feasibility of minimizing or eliminating use of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility located in the County of Los Angeles while still maintaining energy and electric reliability for the region. This determination shall be consistent with the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (Ch. 547, Stats. 2015) and Executive Order B-30-2015. The commission shall consult with the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, the Independent System Operator, the local publicly owned utilities that rely on natural gas for electricity generation, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources in the Department of Conservation, affected balancing authorities, and other relevant government entities, in making its determination.

(b) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2021, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2021, deletes or extends that date.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 14, Sec. 2. (SB 380) Effective May 10, 2016. Repealed as of January 1, 2021, by its own provisions.)

715.
  

(a) The commission shall direct the operator of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility located in the County of Los Angeles to provide all information the commission deems necessary for the commission to determine, in consultation with the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, the Independent System Operator, and affected publicly owned utilities, the range of working gas necessary to ensure safety and reliability for the region and just and reasonable rates in California. The determination shall be based on best available data, and shall incorporate data from recent and ongoing studies being conducted to determine energy and gas use in the region by the commission, the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, the Independent System Operator, and affected publicly owned utilities.

(b) Within 30 days of the effective date of the act adding this section, the commission shall publish a report that includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

(1) The range of working gas necessary at the facility to ensure safety and reliability and just and reasonable rates in California determined pursuant to subdivision (a).

(2) The amount of natural gas production at the facility needed to meet safety and reliability requirements.

(3) The number of wells and associated injection and production capacity required.

(4) The availability of sufficient natural gas production using gas storage wells that have satisfactorily completed testing and remediation required under subparagraph (B) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (c) of Section 3217 of the Public Resources Code.

(c) The commission shall make the report required under subdivision (b) available on its Internet Web site and seek, either through written comments or a workshop, public comments on the report.

(d) The executive director of the commission, in consultation with the State Oil and Gas Supervisor, shall direct the operator to maintain the specified range of working gas, determined pursuant to subdivision (a), at the facility to ensure reliability and just and reasonable rates in California, after all of the following occur:

(1) The gas storage well comprehensive safety review is complete pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (c) of Section 3217 of the Public Resources Code.

(2) The State Oil and Gas Supervisor has approved the maximum and minimum reservoir pressure pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 3217 of the Public Resources Code.

(3) The State Oil and Gas Supervisor has allowed injections of natural gas at the facility, pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 3217 of the Public Resources Code.

(4) The commission has allowed, and received, public comment on the report pursuant to subdivision (c).

(e) In no case may the volume of working gas set by the executive director of the commission result in reservoir pressures that fall out of the range established pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 3217 of the Public Resources Code.

(f) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2021, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2021, deletes or extends that date.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 14, Sec. 3. (SB 380) Effective May 10, 2016. Repealed as of January 1, 2021, by its own provisions.)

716.
  

(a) If an incumbent local exchange carrier files a forbearance petition with the Federal Communications Commission pursuant to Section 10 of the federal Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. Sec. 160), requesting that the Federal Communications Commission forbear from enforcing that carrier’s duty to provide to any requesting telecommunications carrier, nondiscriminatory access to network elements on an unbundled basis at any technically feasible point on rates, terms, and conditions that are just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (47 U.S.C. Sec. 251(c)(3) and Sec. 271 (c)(2)(B)(ii)), within any metropolitan statistical area located in the state, the commission shall participate in that forbearance proceeding by filing comments on the petition, providing data on competition in the metropolitan statistical area that is the subject of the petition, and taking any other action that advances the state’s policies promoting competition in telecommunications markets.

(b) (1) In order to be prepared to timely comply with subdivision (a), the commission shall develop a sample data request for collecting data on competition in any California metropolitan statistical area. The data shall include, but not be limited to, separate data on competitive options for residential, business, and wholesale services.

(2) All providers of voice communications services, including, but not limited to, local exchange carriers, interexchange carriers, mobile telephony service providers, and providers of facilities-based interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, shall provide all data and other information relevant to the forbearance petition requested by the commission pursuant to this section.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 358, Sec. 2. (AB 1315) Effective January 1, 2011.)

717.
  

(a) The commission shall require an electrical or gas corporation to do all of the following:

(1) Develop a program no later than January 1, 2017, within the electrical or gas corporation’s demand-side management programs authorized by the commission, to provide incentives to a residential or small or medium business customer to acquire energy management technology for use in the customer’s home or place of business. The electrical or gas corporation may allow third parties or local governments to apply for incentives on behalf of customers. The electrical or gas corporation shall work with third parties, local governments, and other interested parties in developing the program. The electrical or gas corporation shall establish incentive amounts based on savings estimation and baseline policies adopted by the commission.

(2) Develop a plan by September 30, 2016, to educate residential customers and small and medium business customers about the incentive program developed pursuant to paragraph (1). The commission may require that the plan be integrated into, or coordinated with, any education campaign required by the commission.

(3) Annually report to the commission on actual customer savings resulting from the incentive program established pursuant to this section. The commission shall evaluate all electrical or gas corporation energy savings claims achieved pursuant to the incentive program in a manner consistent with commission-adopted evaluation protocols and determine if the program shall continue or be modified.

(b) For purposes of this section, “energy management technology” may include a product, service, or software that allows a customer to better understand and manage electricity or gas use in the customer’s home or place of business.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to amend or limit the ability of a community choice aggregator to apply to administer an energy efficiency or conservation program or a demand-side management program as set forth in Section 381.1.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 589, Sec. 1. (AB 793) Effective January 1, 2016.)

718.
  

(a) The commission shall develop policies, rules, or regulations with a goal of reducing, by January 1, 2024, the statewide level of gas and electric service disconnections for nonpayment by residential customers, including policies, rules, or regulations specific to the four gas and electrical corporations that have the greatest number of customers. The commission shall convene stakeholders, including, but not limited to, public health officials, consumer advocates, and organizations representing low-income communities, to assist with the development of the policies, rules, or regulations.

(b) (1) In each gas and electrical corporation general rate case, the commission shall do both of the following:

(A) Designate the impact of any proposed increase in rates on disconnections for nonpayment as an issue in the scope of the proceeding.

(B) Conduct an assessment of and properly identify the impact of any proposed increase in rates on disconnections for nonpayment, which shall be included in the record of the proceeding.

(2) The commission shall adopt residential utility disconnections for nonpayment as a metric and incorporate the metric into each gas and electrical corporation general rate case.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 362, Sec. 2. (SB 598) Effective January 1, 2018.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC1