BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 454
                                                                  Page 1

          Date of Hearing:  June 27, 2011

                                Wesley Chesbro, Chair
                     SB 454 (Pavley) - As Amended:  May 31, 2011

           SENATE VOTE  :  25-14
          SUBJECT  :  Energy efficiency standards

           SUMMARY  :  Authorizes the California Energy Commission (CEC) to 
          adopt an administrative enforcement process, including civil 
          penalties, for violations of its appliance efficiency standards. 
           Requires utility energy efficiency rebates to be provided only 
          if work complies with applicable permitting and contractor 
          licensing requirements.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Requires the CEC to take specified actions to reduce the 
            wasteful, uneconomic, inefficient, or unnecessary consumption 
            of energy, including adopting energy and water efficiency 
            standards for appliances that the CEC determines use a 
            significant amount of energy or water on a statewide basis.

          2)Prohibits the sale of any new appliance unless it is certified 
            by the manufacturer to be in compliance with the CEC 

          3)Requires the standards to be drawn so that they do not result 
            in any added total costs for consumers over the designed life 
            of the appliance.

          4)Provides that, if the CEC finds any actual or imminent 
            violation of the provisions of law relating to CEC's authority 
            or operations, the Attorney General is required to petition a 
            court to enjoin the violation. 

           THIS BILL  :

          1)Authorizes the CEC to establish an administrative enforcement 
            process for violations of its appliance efficiency standards, 
            including administrative civil penalties up to $2500 for each 
            violation, in compliance with existing law governing 
            administrative hearings and adjudication.


                                                                  SB 454
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          2)Authorizes the CEC to refer violations to the Attorney General 
            to petition a court to enjoin the violation, and authorizes a 
            court to grant injunctive relief and assess a civil penalty up 
            to $2500 for each violation.

          3)Requires penalties to be deposited into the Appliance 
            Efficiency Enforcement Subaccount, which is established by the 
            bill, to be expended by the CEC, upon appropriation, for 
            appliance efficiency enforcement and public education.

          4)Provides that a CEC-imposed civil penalty shall be subject to 
            judicial review by petition for writ of mandate in the 
            superior court.

          5)Provides that a person subject to a CEC-imposed civil penalty 
            shall not be liable for a court-imposed civil penalty.

          6)Requires the court, upon granting relief to the CEC for an 
            action brought to enforce its appliance efficiency standards, 
            to award the CEC its reasonable costs in investigating and 
            prosecuting the action.

          7)Requires that any energy efficiency rebate or incentive 
            offered by a public utility (i.e. investor-owned electrical 
            and gas corporations regulated by the Public Utilities 
            Commission) be provided only if work complies with applicable 
            permitting and contractor licensing requirements.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown

           COMMENTS  :

           1)Background.  Among its regulatory powers, the CEC has 
            authority to adopt regulations describing the standards for 
            minimum levels of efficiency for appliances that use a 
            significant amount of energy or water.  These regulations 
            include standards for both federally-regulated appliances and 
            non-federally-regulated residential and commercial appliances 
            including water heaters, clothes washers, dishwashers, traffic 
            signals, lighting, and heat and air conditioning systems to be 
            sold in California.  The CEC's appliance regulations are 
            designed to achieve significant energy savings state-wide that 
            are feasible, attainable, and do not result in added costs to 
            the consumer for the estimated lifetime of the regulated 


                                                                  SB 454
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            appliance.  With one exception (power plant certification), 
            the CEC doesn't have administrative civil penalty authority 
            and must refer enforcement matters to the Attorney General to 
            petition a court to grant injunctive relief and/or impose 
            civil penalties.  

          2)Purpose of the bill.   According to the author:

               A recent survey suggests half of appliances sold in 
               California have not properly certified to meet California's 
               energy efficiency standards. The high number of 
               manufacturers that fail to certify appliances means that 
               Californians cannot be sure they are avoiding energy-hog 
               appliances and puts compliant manufacturers at a 
               disadvantage. These standards are key to minimizing 
               California's energy needs and this bill will allow the CEC 
               to ensure compliance. 

           3)Double referral.   This bill has been double-referred to the 
            Utilities and Commerce Committee.


          Breathe California
          California Labor Federation
          California League of Conservation Voters
          Environmental Defense Fund
          Natural Resources Defense Council
          OSRAM Sylvania
          Sierra Club California
          None on file

           Analysis Prepared by  :  Lawrence Lingbloom / NAT. RES. / (916)