BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 270
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          AB 270 (Bradford)
          As Amended  August 22, 2013
          Majority vote
          |ASSEMBLY:  |70-0 |(May 16, 2013)  |SENATE: |37-0 |(September 3,  |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2013)          |
           Original Committee Reference:    U. & C.  

           SUMMARY  :  Requires public information on ratepayer-funded energy  
          efficiency expenditures.  Specifically,  this bill  requires the  
          California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to:

          a)Order Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs) to establish, by June 1,  
            2014, a publicly available Internet Web site containing  
            specified information regarding ratepayer-funded energy  
            efficiency programs while maintaining customer  

          b)Include in its annual report to the Legislature on its effort  
            to identify and eliminate ratepayer-funded energy efficiency  
            programs that duplicate programs administered by other  
            specified state agencies.

           The Senate amendments  make technical amendments to prevent  
          redundancy and the potential for inadvertent modification of  
          existing law related to personal information protections.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.  

           COMMENTS  :  

           1)Author's statement  .  "The state currently lacks a  
            comprehensive framework that fully coordinates these  
            activities to help ensure that the state's goals are being  
            achieved. California's energy efficiency programs need  
            collaboration, accountability, and transparency to make sure  
            we are on track to achieve energy and climate goals for energy  
            efficiency. We need to know if California has adequate  
            monitoring of programs and results. We need to know if state  


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            agencies and departments are coordinating and collaborating  
            successfully to make sure our energy efficiency goals will be  
            met. Ratepayers deserve to have confidence that their money is  
            being used in the right way."

           2)The loading order .  California statute requires IOUs to "first  
            meet its unmet resource needs through all available energy  
            efficiency and demand reduction resources that are cost  
            effective, reliable, and feasible."  This is referred to as  
            "the loading order," meaning that new energy resources are  
            procured in the following order:  a) energy efficiency and  
            demand response; b) renewable energy resources; and c) clean  
            and efficient fossil generation.  As a result of this  
            prioritization, many programs have been funded toward  
            achieving greater levels of energy efficiency.

           3)Ratepayers have paid $15 billion (so far) on energy  
            efficiency  .  In response to a directive in the 2012-13 Budget  
            Package, the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) released a  
            report in December 2012 titled "Energy Efficiency and  
            Alternative Energy Programs."  The report explored over a  
            dozen major programs that are intended to support the  
            development of energy efficiency and alternative energy in the  
            state.  It found that over the past 10 to 15 years, the state  
            has spent a combined total of approximately $15 billion on  
            such efforts, the majority of which has been funded by utility  

            In November 2012, PUC adopted 2013-14 budgets for  
            ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs at $1 billion per  
            year over the two year program.

           4)Where did the money go  ?  There is no public database showing  
            where energy efficiency improvements are occurring, how much  
            was spent to acquire the improvements, or the results of those  
            improvements.  Lack of public information prevents assessment  
            of which programs are working well, need improvement, should  
            be discontinued, or are duplicative with other programs.  Lack  
            of information constrains program evaluation to PUC, the  
            consultants working for PUC, or the utilities and causes  
            delays in assessing programs until well after the program  
            funds have been spent. 

           5)PUC proposed expenditure for an Energy Data Center  .  PUC  
            currently has a rulemaking underway to consider whether  


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            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 state,  
            Commission and utility programs using customer-specific data  
            but publishing results of that data in an aggregated and  
            anonymized form that protects customers' privacy."  
            In PUC's proceeding, PUC is seeking comments from intervenors  
            on whether the Energy Data Center should be funded by  
            cap-and-trade auction revenue administrative funds, electric  
            program investment charge funds, energy efficiency evaluation,  
            measurement, and verification funds, a new source from utility  
            PUC's proposed 2013-14 Energy Efficiency Budget allocates $1.4  
            million to energy efficiency program data management.  

            In a recent Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee hearing,  
            held on March 6, 2013, the Committee found that ratepayers may  
            have funded at least three comprehensive energy efficiency  
            databases already. 
           6)Public accountability  .  A recent Department of Finance (Office  
            of State Audits and Evaluations) audit of PUC which found  
            "significant weaknesses within PUC's budget operations which  
            compromise its ability to prepare and present reliable and  
            accurate budget information."  It would be useful to have  
            public accountability as to the use and status of the  
            ratepayer funds allocated to energy efficiency programs.

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Susan Kateley / U. & C. / (916)  

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