|Topic||Bill number||Author||Interest position||Became law|
|An Act to Amend Section 365.1 Of, to Add Section 395.5 To, and to Add and Repeal Section 769.1 Of, the Public Utilities Code, Relating to Electricity.||SB 286 (2015-2016)||Hertzberg||Support||No|
The Public Utilities Act requires the Public Utilities Commission, pursuant to electrical restructuring, to authorize and facilitate direct transactions between electricity suppliers and retail… More
The Public Utilities Act requires the Public Utilities Commission, pursuant to electrical restructuring, to authorize and facilitate direct transactions between electricity suppliers and retail end-use customers. Existing law, enacted during the energy crisis of 2000–01, authorized the Department of Water Resources, until January 1, 2003, to enter into contracts for the purchase of electricity, and to sell electricity to retail end-use customers at not more than the department’s acquisition costs and to recover those costs through the issuance of bonds to be repaid by ratepayers. That law suspended the right of retail end-use customers, other than community choice aggregators and a qualifying direct transaction customer, as defined, to acquire service through a direct transaction until the Department of Water Resources no longer supplies electricity under that law. Existing law continues the suspension of direct transactions except as expressly authorized, until the Legislature, by statute, repeals the suspension or otherwise authorizes direct transactions. Existing law requires the commission to authorize direct transactions for nonresidential end-use customers subject to a reopening schedule that will phase in over a period of not less than 3 years and not more than 5 years, and is subject to an annual maximum allowable total kilowatthour limit established, as specified, for each electrical corporation. The California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program requires a retail seller, as defined, and local publicly owned electric utilities to purchase specified minimum quantities of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources, as defined, for specified compliance periods. The program, consistent with the goals of procuring the least-cost and best-fit eligible renewable energy resources that meet project viability principles, requires that all retail sellers procure a balanced portfolio of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources, meeting specified portfolio content categories. This bill would require the commission to adopt and implement a schedule that implements a 2nd phase-in period for expanding direct transactions for individual retail nonresidential end-use customers over a period of not more than 3 years, raising the allowable limit of kilowatthours that can be supplied by other providers in each electrical corporation’s distribution service territory by that electrical corporation’s share of an aggregate of 8,000 gigawatthours, apportioned as specified. The bill would require that all of an electric service provider’s retail sales associated with each 2nd phase direct transaction be procured from eligible renewable energy resources and would require the commission to enforce the bill’s renewables procurement requirements as part of the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program. The bill would require nonresidential retail end-use customers engaging in direct transactions to be responsible for their proportionate share of the costs of specified programs. The bill would require that an electrical corporation continue to construct, own, and operate distribution system equipment, as specified, and continue to provide support functions, as specified, through its own employees, except that construction of distribution system equipment and line clearance tree trimming may be performed under contract. The bill would prohibit an electric service provider from offering consolidated billing beginning January 1, 2016. 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. Because the provisions of this bill would be a part of the act and because a violation of an order or decision of the commission implementing its requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program by expanding the operation of a crime. 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.