BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                              Senator Jim Beall, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:          AB 682            Hearing Date:    6/23/2015
          |Author:   |Williams                                              |
          |Version:  |5/13/2015                                             |
          |Urgency:  |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes             |
          |Consultant|Randy Chinn                                           |
          |:         |                                                      |

          SUBJECT:  Mobilehome park: electric and gas service:   
          master-meter customers

            DIGEST:  This bill facilitates upgrades to mobilehome utility  
          service by eliminating a required Department of Housing and  
          Community Development (HCD) permit in specified situations.

          Existing law requires that any alteration of heating or  
          electrical systems of mobilehomes be permitted in advance by the  

          This bill:

          1)Allows for alterations to electric or gas service in  
            mobilehome parks from the utility-owned line to the electrical  
            subpanel or gas inlet of the mobilehome for mobilehomes that  
            are subject to a specified California Public Utilities  
            Commission (CPUC) decision without HCD permits.

          2)Requires the HCD to inspect all the above alterations and  
            assess an hourly technical service fee. 

          Purpose of bill.  According to the author, it is not uncommon  
          for mobilehome owners to lack clear title to their homes.  This  
          makes it difficult to obtain construction permits from HCD as  


          AB 682 (Williams)                                  Page 2 of ?
          those can only be issued if the owner can demonstrate that s/he  
          has the title.  By creating a narrow exemption to the permitting  
          requirement, this bill allows mobilehomes to participate in a  
          program to upgrade their substandard gas and electric service.

          Solving a problem.  Mobilehome park residents often receive  
          substandard utility service.  This is because gas and/or  
          electric service is often provided by the mobilehome park,  
          rather than the utility which serves the surrounding area.   
          Known as master metered service, the mobilehome park acts as a  
          mini utility, receiving service from the traditional utility  
          (e.g., Southern California Edison, PG&E) and then distributing  
          the service through its own distribution system to the  
          individual mobilehomes in the parks.  The mobilehome park  
          receives a discount on the utility service and then resells the  
          service to the individual mobilehomes at a regulated rate.  The  
          discount is intended to provide the mobilehome park owner with  
          sufficient margin to pay for the cost of operating and  
          maintaining the gas and/or electric distribution system on the  
          park property, though there is much debate over the adequacy of  
          the discount.  However, there is little debate that mobilehome  
          park residents are receiving service which is neither as  
          reliable nor as safe as traditional utility-provided service.

          To remedy this long-standing problem, the CPUC, which has  
          regulatory authority over most utilities, has established a  
          three-year pilot program to upgrade the utility service in  
          mobilehome parks.  Under the program, the utility would provide  
          the utility service in place of the mobilehome park, replacing  
          the existing lines and equipment with facilities that meet  
          current regulations.  The result will be utility-provided and  
          -maintained service similar to that of most residential  
          neighborhoods.  Ten percent of the mobilehome park residents  
          would receive this upgrade, which is approximately 25,000  
          mobilehomes.  The cost of these upgrades can be expensive,  
          upwards of $28,000 per mobilehome according to one utility  
          estimate; though when spread over all the utility customers it  
          will be reasonable, according to the CPUC.  

          This bill is concerned with the permitting for the replacement  
          of the relatively short run of electric and gas lines from the  
          customer meter located at or near the individual mobilehome  
          space to the mobilehome itself.  This bill eliminates the need  
          for an upfront HCD permit, as the time to acquire such a permit  
          can be lengthy, especially when the mobilehome owner does not  


          AB 682 (Williams)                                  Page 3 of ?
          have clear title.  That would likely hold up the utility  
          replacement for the entire park, as it is most economical for  
          the crews to complete an entire park at once, rather than  
          piecemeal the retrofit.  

          Safety inspection required.  The bill requires HCD to inspect  
          all the work accomplished under this bill.  This seems to be  
          necessary for public safety, given California's recent history  
          with natural gas service and the wide variation in the  
          serviceability of mobilehomes.

          Double-referral.  The Rules Committee has referred this bill to  
          both this committee and the Senate Energy, Utilities and  
          Communications Committee.

          Related Legislation:

          AB 587 (Chau) - creates a tax abatement program for mobilehome  
          owners who cannot transfer title into their names due to  
          delinquent taxes and fees that may have been incurred by prior  
          owners.  This bill is pending in the Senate Transportation and  
          Housing Committee.

          AB 999 (Daly) - establishes due-process requirements for  
          mobilehome park owners seeking to dispose of an abandoned  
          mobilehome without first being required to pay any unpaid  
          property taxes on the mobilehome.  This bill is also being heard  
          in this committee today.

          Assembly Votes:

            Floor:    75-0
            Appr:     15-0
            H&CD:       5-1
          FISCAL EFFECT:  Appropriation:  Yes    Fiscal Com.:  Yes     
          Local:  No

            POSITIONS:  (Communicated to the committee before noon on  
                          June 17, 2015.)


          AB 682 (Williams)                                  Page 4 of ?
          Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (sponsor)
          Golden State Manufactured Home Owners League


          None received

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