Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC


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


  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

CHAPTER 4.5. Electrical and Gas Corporations [2771 - 2775.7]
  ( Chapter 4.5 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 757. )


The commission shall establish priorities among the types or categories of customers of every electrical corporation and every gas corporation, and among the uses of electricity or gas by such customers. The commission shall determine which of such customers and uses provide the most important public benefits and serve the greatest public need and shall categorize all other customers and uses in order of descending priority based upon these standards. The commission shall establish no such priority after the effective date of this chapter which would cause any reduction in the transmission of gas to California pursuant to any federal rule, order, or regulation.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 757.)


In establishing the priorities pursuant to Section 2771, the commission shall include, but not be limited to, a consideration of all the following:

(a) A determination of the customers and uses of electricity and gas, in descending order of priority, that provide the most important public benefits and serve the greatest public need.

(b) A determination of the customers and uses of electricity and gas that are not included under subdivision (a).

(c) A determination of the economic, social, and other effects of a temporary discontinuance in electrical or gas service to the customers or for the uses determined in accordance with subdivision (a) or (b).

(d) A determination of the potential effect of extreme temperatures on the health and safety of residential customers. In making this determination, the commission shall do all of the following:

(1) Consult with appropriate medical experts and review appropriate literature and research.

(2) Consider whether providing priority to customers experiencing extreme temperatures would result in increased outage frequency and duration for remaining customers and its effect on the health and safety of those remaining customers.

(3) To the extent the commission determines it is in the public interest to provide priority to customers that experience extreme temperatures, it shall provide that priority only when temperatures are extreme.

(4) Consider whether alternative measures are appropriate, including, but not limited to, reducing the duration of the outage or imposing the outage earlier or later in the day.

(e) A determination of unacceptable jeopardy or imminent danger to public health and safety that creates substantial likelihood of severe health risk requiring medical attention.

(f) Any curtailment or allocation rules, orders, or regulations issued by any agency of the federal government.

(g) The commission shall also consider the effect of providing a high priority to some customers on those customers who do not receive a high priority.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 447, Sec. 1. Effective October 3, 2001.)


The commission may establish as many priorities of use for a customer as that customer has uses of gas or electricity.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 757.)


Notwithstanding any rule, order, or decision of the commission to the contrary, industrial or commercial gas customers shall not be required to maintain any alternative fuel capability with respect to equipment which uses gas to generate steam for enhanced crude oil recovery or which uses gas for purposes of cogeneration. Nothing in this section shall require the commission to assign these industrial customers any higher gas priority as a result of the elimination of this alternative fuel requirement.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 534, Sec. 1.)


In the event any electrical or gas corporation experiences any shortage of capacity or capability in the generation, production, or transmission of electricity or gas and is unable to obtain electricity or gas from any other source so that the corporation is unable to meet all demands by its customers, the commission shall, to the extent practicable, order that service be temporarily reduced by an amount that reflects the priorities established pursuant to this chapter, for the duration of the shortage. The commission may, to the extent permitted by federal law or regulation, require electrical or gas corporations to mutually assist each other in dealing with shortages resulting from inadequate fuel supplies, and shall determine the terms, including compensation, under which such assistance shall be provided.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 757.)


(a) (1) The commission shall require an electrical corporation to include in an annual reliability report, required pursuant to Decision 96-09-045, as amended, or a decision that supersedes Decision 96-09-045, information on the reliability of service to end use customers that identifies, but is not limited to, the frequency and duration of interruptions in services. This information shall indicate areas with both the most frequent and longest outages, using local areas determined by the commission. The commission, in consultation with the electrical corporation, shall ensure that the geographical boundaries of local areas do not split up circuits for reporting purposes, if the electrical corporation aggregates data by circuits. The information shall be sufficiently aggregated to both maintain electrical system security, and be of use and relevance to affected customers of the electrical corporation.

(2) Before July 1, 2014, the commission shall determine the local areas for the purposes of paragraph (1).

(3) The requirements of paragraph (1) shall apply to annual reports due after July 1, 2014.

(4) The electrical corporation shall conspicuously post on its Internet Web site the annual report required pursuant to Decision 96-09-045, as amended, or a decision that supersedes Decision 96-09-045.

(b) (1) The commission shall use the information contained in an electrical corporation’s annual reliability report to require cost-effective remediation of reliability deficiencies if the report, or more than one report, identifies repeated deficiencies in the same local area as determined by the commission pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a). In requiring cost-effective remediation, the commission shall consult with the electrical corporation and consider mitigating factors that may impede an electrical corporation from implementing required cost-effective remediation, including, but not limited to, local permitting matters or other events or conditions or public policy considerations that may present higher priority safety or reliability issues.

(2) The commission may suspend the requirements of paragraph (1) if the commission finds that expenditures by the electrical corporation to comply with that paragraph are not justified or that the remediation measures undertaken by the electrical corporation are not effective at improving reliability.

(c) (1) The commission may order an electrical corporation to make more frequent trend analyses of local area service reliability and to make those analyses publicly available.

(2) The information made publicly available shall provide sufficient confidentiality for purposes of protecting electrical system security.

(3) The commission may make those analyses publicly available.

(Added by Stats. 2013, Ch. 578, Sec. 1. (AB 66) Effective January 1, 2014.)


An electrical corporation or local publicly owned electric utility shall immediately notify the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol, the Office of Emergency Services, and the sheriff and any affected chief of police of the specific area within their respective law enforcement jurisdictions that will sustain a planned loss of power as soon as the planned loss becomes known as to when and where that power loss will occur. The notification shall include common geographical boundaries, grid or block numbers of the affected area, and the next anticipated power loss area designated by the electrical corporation or public entity during rotating blackouts.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 352, Sec. 495. (AB 1317) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 543 of Ch. 352.)


The commission, in consultation with the Energy Commission, shall develop a program for residential and commercial customer air-conditioning load control, as an element of each electrical corporation’s tariffed service offerings paid for with electrical service rates. The goal of the program shall be to contribute to the adequacy of electricity supply and to help customers reduce their electrical service bills in a cost-effective manner. The program may include peak load reduction programs for residential and commercial air-conditioning systems, if the commission determines that the inclusion would be cost effective.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 396, Sec. 35. (AB 1513) Effective January 1, 2020.)


No electrical or gas corporation which reduces or discontinues service in accordance with any order of the commission issued pursuant to this chapter shall be liable for any damages to any person or property resulting from such reduction or discontinuance.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 757.)


(a) If an electrical or gas corporation desires to manufacture, lease, sell, or otherwise own or control any solar energy system, it shall submit to the commission, in such form as the commission may specify, a description of the proposed program of solar energy development which it desires to pursue. The corporation may pursue the program of solar energy development unless the commission, within 45 days after the commission has accepted the filing of the corporation’s description pursuant to this subdivision, orders the corporation to obtain from the commission the authorization to do so as provided in this section. In cases where the corporation seeks to pursue a program of solar energy development with costs and expenses to be passed through to the ratepayers, the corporation may not implement the program until it receives an authorization from the commission which includes findings and a determination, pursuant to subdivision (f), that the program is in the ratepayers’ interest. No such authorization shall be required for any solar energy system which is owned or controlled for experimental or demonstration purposes. As used in this subdivision, “experimental or demonstration purposes” means a limited program of installation, use, or development the sole purpose of which is to investigate the technical viability or economic cost effectiveness of a solar application.

(b) The commission shall deny the authorization sought if it finds that the proposed program will restrict competition or restrict growth in the solar energy industry or unfairly employ in a manner which would restrict competition in the market for solar energy systems any financial, marketing, distributing, or generating advantage which the corporation may exercise as a result of its authority to operate as a public utility. Before granting any such authorization, the commission shall find that the program of solar energy development proposed by the corporation will accelerate the development and use of solar energy systems in this state for the duration of the program.

(c) The commission shall suspend or terminate any authorization granted pursuant to this section whenever it finds and determines that the program of solar energy development no longer qualifies for the authorization under subdivision (b). This subdivision applies to all programs of solar energy development undertaken by a gas or electrical corporation pursuant to this section, including programs undertaken pursuant to subdivision (a) without formal authorization of the commission.

(d) As used in this section, “solar energy system” means equipment which uses solar energy to heat or cool or produce electricity and which has a useful life of at least three years. “Solar energy system” does not include an electric plant as defined by Section 217.

(e) The commission shall prescribe the form of the description required by subdivision (a) by July 1, 1990. The description of the solar energy program filed with the commission shall include, but not be limited to, a showing that the program will not restrict competition, or restrict growth in the solar energy industry, or unfairly employ any financial, marketing, distributing, or generation advantage by the corporation on behalf of the solar energy program.

(f) The costs and expenses of implementing a program of solar energy development proposed pursuant to this section shall not be passed through to the ratepayers of an electrical or gas corporation unless the commission finds and determines that it is in the ratepayers’ interest to do so.

(g) An electrical or gas corporation shall file a written notice with the commission in all cases where one of its subsidiaries seeks to implement a solar energy development program. If an affiliate of an electrical or gas corporation seeks to implement a solar energy development program, the electrical or gas corporation shall notify the commission of its affiliate’s actions annually, in a form prescribed by the commission. If the electrical or gas corporation intends to provide financial, marketing, or distribution assistance to any subsidiary or affiliate thereof in implementing the subsidiary’s or affiliate’s program of solar energy development, the electrical or gas corporation shall obtain authorization from the commission to provide that assistance. Authorization by the commission shall be given in the manner provided in subdivisions (a) and (b), and suspension or termination by the commission may be imposed in the manner provided in subdivision (c).

(h) The commission shall provide public notice of the receipt of any corporation filings submitted pursuant to this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 339, Sec. 1.)


Every request for the recovery in rates of any costs or liability incurred by a gas corporation and resulting from any violation of Section 25421 of the Health and Safety Code, or of any costs, damages, penalties, or other liabilities incurred in connection with the sale of landfill gas containing chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity shall be reviewed by the commission for the purposes of establishing rates for the gas corporation. If the commission finds that the gas corporation, on or after January 1, 1989, knowingly and intentionally violated Section 25421 of the Health and Safety Code, the costs and liability shall be disallowed by the commission for purposes of determining rates.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 162, Sec. 160. (SB 1171) Effective January 1, 2013.)


(a) (1) If the commission determines that a moratorium on new natural gas service connections is necessary to prevent substantial and imminent harm or to ensure gas system reliability, the commission shall state the necessity for the action in a report provided to all of the following entities:

(A) The Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy.

(B) The Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications.

(C) All affected gas corporations.

(2) The commission shall include in the report to the policy committees of the Legislature specified in paragraph (1) factual findings supporting the need to propose a moratorium on new natural gas service connections. The report shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:

(A) The number of pending gas service connection applications with each affected gas corporation.

(B) The estimated gas load deferred under the proposed moratorium.

(C) The system constraints that led to the proposed moratorium.

(D) Alternative actions considered to address the proposed need for a moratorium, including increasing or restoring natural gas transmission and storage infrastructure, and the reason those actions were not taken or were insufficient.

(E) The process for a customer to request an exemption from the moratorium.

(b) When a gas corporation receives notification from the commission that an action is pending to suspend new gas service connections, the gas corporation shall immediately notify any known potential or current customers that may experience a service impact as a result of the proposed suspension.

(c) The commission shall, at the yearly informational hearings pursuant to Section 321.6, present to the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy and the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications the status of natural gas service connections and efforts to provide natural gas supply.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 481, Sec. 1. (AB 1879) Effective September 18, 2018.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC