BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 270
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 8, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                   AB 270 (Bradford) - As Amended:  April 16, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                              Utilities and  
          Commerce     Vote:                            15-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          Yes    Reimbursable:              No

           SUMMARY  

          This bill requires the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to  
          order investor-owned utilities to establish a single public  
          website containing aggregate information on ratepayer-funded  
          energy efficiency programs by June 1, 2014.   

          This bill also requires the PUC to annually report to the  
          Legislature on its effort to identify and revise or eliminate  
          similar ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs that are  
          duplicative of programs at the Energy Commission, Air Resources  
          Board, or California Alternative Energy and Advanced  
          Transportation Financing Authority.  


           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Minimal, if any additional costs for the PUC.   The requirements  
          are within the current scope of PUC duties.

           COMMENTS  

           1)Rationale.   The state currently lacks a comprehensive  
            framework to coordinate energy efficiency programs or provide  
            the information necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the  
            programs in achieving state goals.

            According to the Legislative Analyst's Office, over the past  
            10 to 15 years, the state spent a combined $15 billion on  
            energy efficiency and alternative energy programs.  The  
            majority of these programs were funded by utility ratepayers.









                                                                  AB 270
                                                                  Page  2

            Further,  a recent Department of Finance (Office of State  
            Audits and Evaluations) audit of the PUC found "significant  
            weaknesses within PUC's budget operations which compromise its  
            ability to prepare and present reliable and accurate budget  
            information." 

            The lack of information prevents policy makers and the public  
            from determining which programs should continue and which  
            programs are duplicative or ineffective.  This bill is  
            intended to improve transparency and accountability.

           2)Background.  The PUC currently has a rulemaking underway to  
            consider whether establishing an Energy Data Center is in the  
            public interest. The goal of the research center would be to  
            encourage independent research and analysis of current  
            programs using customer-specific data but publishing results  
            of that data in an aggregated form to protect privacy.   The  
            relationship between this bill and the existing effort is  
            unclear.

            The PUC's proposed 2013-2014 Energy Efficiency Budget  
            allocates $1.4 million to energy efficiency program data  
            management.  

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Jennifer Galehouse / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081