BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”



                                                                  AB 719
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 8, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

               AB 719 (Roger Hernandez) - As Amended:  April 16, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                              Utilities and  
          Commerce     Vote:                            10-3

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

           SUMMARY  

          This bill requires the Public Utilities Commission to order  
          electrical corporations to submit a tariff to be used, at the  
          discretion of local governments, to fund energy efficient street  
          light poles.    
          Specifically, this bill:

          1)Requires the tariff to be structured in a manner that allows  
            local governments to pay for improvements over time, without  
            shifting costs to non-participating ratepayers.

          2)Limits the program to local governments who pay the  
            electricity bills for utility-owned street light poles.

          3)Allows eligibility for any other rebates or incentives  
            available through rate-payer funded programs intended to  
            increase energy efficiency.

          4)Defines street light pole as a pole, arm, or fixture used  
            primarily for street pedestrian, or security lighting.
           
          5)States legislative intent that street light poles will be  
            converted to use cost-effective technology that reduces energy  
            consumption.


           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Increased state costs of administering the tariff of  
          approximately $120,000 (special fund).









                                                                  AB 719
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           COMMENTS  

           1)Purpose.  According to the author, street lights are neglected  
            pubic facilities operating on outdated energy technology with  
            cities paying the higher energy costs associated with the old  
            technology.  

            To address the issues of reducing demand for electricity and  
            reducing electricity costs paid by local governments for  
            utility owned streetlights, without impacting other  
            ratepayers, the author intends this bill to allow local  
            governments to voluntarily elect to a new rate plan that will  
            a) fund the energy efficiency improvements over time through  
            the tariff remitted by the local government, b) achieve lower  
            electricity bills, and c) be eligible for ratepayer-funded  
            rebates to help offset the cost of the improvement. 
           2)Background.   Street light poles can be owned by local  
            governments, investor-owned utilties homeowner associations,  
            or private parties. According to data provided by the PUC,  
            local government and investor-owned utilities own the  
            following number of street light poles:

                     ------------------------------------------ 
                    |Utility         | IOU owned |    Local    |
                    |                |           | Government  |
                    |                |           |    Owned    |
                    |----------------+-----------+-------------|
                    |PG&E            |  175,585  |   554,000   |
                    |----------------+-----------+-------------|
                    |SCE             |  653,209  |   115,460   |
                    |----------------+-----------+-------------|
                    |SDG&E           |  27,981   |119,469      |
                     ------------------------------------------ 

            The local government pays the energy bill for the street light  
            regardless of whether the pole is owned by the government or  
            the utility.

            A number of cities in California have received loans and  
            grants to fund energy efficient streetlight replacements  
            through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009  
            (AARA), administered by the California Energy Commission  
            (CEC). It is not known how many cities have converted street  
            lights without assistance or how many will be able to convert  
            assistance now that the grant program has stopped accepting  








                                                                  AB 719
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            new applications.

            Of the local government owned poles, roughly 20% in Pacific  
            Gas and Electric (PG&E) area have been converted, about 1% in  
            Southern California Edison's (SCE's) area have been converted,  
            and about 40% of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) area poles  
            have been converted. Very few utility-owned poles (less than  
            40 total) have been converted.

             
           

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