California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 270


Introduced by Assembly Member Bradford

February 7, 2013


An act to add Sections 589 and 747.6 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to public utilities.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 270, as introduced, Bradford. Public utilities: ratepayer-funded energy efficiency assistance.

(1) Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical and gas corporations. The Public Utilities Act requires the PUC to require electrical and gas corporations to establish various ratepayer-funded energy efficiency assistance programs. Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act or any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime.

This bill would require the PUC to require the electrical and gas corporations to cooperate in establishing, by June 1, 2014, a publicly available Internet Web site containing specified information regarding ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs. Because a violation of this provision is a crime, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.

(2) Existing law requires the PUC to prepare and submit to the Governor and the Legislature an annual report on the costs of programs and activities conducted by each electrical and gas corporation.

This bill would require the PUC to include in that annual report information on its effort to identify and eliminate ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs that duplicate programs administered by other specified state agencies.

(3) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

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SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

3(a) It is in the public interest to be able to measure the
4effectiveness of energy efficiency programs to ensure that the
5state’s interest in achieving its energy efficiency and climate change
6goals are met.

7(b) Over the past 15 years, California ratepayers and taxpayers
8have spent a combined total of roughly $15 billion to support
9development of energy efficiency and renewable energy in
10California.

11(c) California currently lacks a comprehensive framework that
12coordinates its efforts among programs administered by the Public
13Utilities Commission, the State Energy Resources Conservation
14and Development Commission, the State Air Resources Board,
15and the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation
16Financing Authority.

17(d) Current expenditures planned for energy efficiency in
182012-13 are $1 billion, and, historically, $9 billion have been
19expended for energy efficiency programs funded by California
20ratepayers.

21(e) There currently exists an information gap that inhibits
22assessment and monitoring of the expenditures of ratepayer funds
23expended toward energy efficiency improvements and programs,
24and research, development, and demonstration programs.

25

SEC. 2.  

Section 589 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to
26read:

27

589.  

(a) The commission shall require the electrical and gas
28corporations to cooperate in establishing an Internet Web site
P3    1available to the public that provides up-to-date information
2regarding ratepayer-funded energy efficiency assistance programs
3that include all of the following:

4(1) The types of energy efficiency measures installed.

5(2) The location of each customer receiving ratepayer-funded
6energy efficiency assistance without disclosing personal
7information about the customer.

8(3) The amount of funds expended at each site.

9(4) The expected annual energy savings and reduced energy
10usage expected in kilowatthour or therms.

11(b) (1) The commission shall order the electrical and gas
12corporations to establish, based on data, ratepayer-funded energy
13efficiency assistance program reports on program totals,
14geographical and monthly statistics, cost distribution, and progress
15toward program goals.

16(2) The electrical and gas corporations shall make the reports
17available on the Internet Web site established pursuant to
18subdivision (a).

19(c) The commission shall require the electrical and gas
20corporations to publish data, including the amount expended, on
21the ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs that are not direct
22retrofits, including, but not limited to, research on building and
23appliance standards and marketing and outreach, on the Internet
24Web site established pursuant to subdivision (a).

25(d) The commission shall require the electrical and gas
26corporations to publish data on grants, contracts, subsidies,
27financing, and activities administered through the Electric Program
28Investment Charge established by Decisions 11-12-035 and
2912-05-037, and related and subsequent decisions, to comply with
30General Order 156 of the commission.

31(e) The commission shall take necessary steps to ensure the
32Internet Web site established pursuant to subdivision (a) is
33available to the public on or before June 1, 2014.

34(f) The commission shall have a link to the Internet Web site
35established pursuant to subdivision (a) on the commission’s Internet
36Web site and require the electrical and gas corporations to have a
37link to the Internet Web site established pursuant to subdivision
38 (a) on its Internet Web site.

39

SEC. 3.  

Section 747.6 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to
40read:

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747.6.  

The commission shall report annually on its effort to
2identify and eliminate ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs
3that are duplicative of programs administered by the State Energy
4Resources Conservation and Development Commission, the State
5Air Resources Board, and the California Alternative Energy and
6Advanced Transportation Financing Authority in its annual report
7prepared pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 747.

8

SEC. 4.  

This measure does not provide the Public Utilities
9Commission with any authority to order the collection of the
10moneys consistent with Decisions 11-12-035 and 12-05-037, and
11related subsequent decisions, or to increase the amount collected
12through the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC).

13

SEC. 5.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
14Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
15the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
16district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
17infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
18for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
19the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
20the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
21Constitution.



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