Bill Text: CA AB1710 | 2023-2024 | Regular Session | Amended

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Electrical corporations: rates.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 4-0)

Status: (Failed) 2024-02-01 - From committee: Filed with the Chief Clerk pursuant to Joint Rule 56. [AB1710 Detail]

Download: California-2023-AB1710-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 23, 2023

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2023–2024 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1710


Introduced by Assembly Member Ta

February 17, 2023


An act to amend Section 739.11 of add Section 748.3 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to public utilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1710, as amended, Ta. Electrical corporations and gas corporations: rates and charges. Electrical corporations: rates.
Existing law vests the Public Utilities Commission with regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations. Existing law authorizes the commission to fix the rates and charges for every public utility and requires that those rates and charges be just and reasonable.
This bill would prohibit an electrical corporation from proposing a rate increase above the rate of inflation, as specified, except with the support of a majority of the electrical corporation’s voting customers in an election conducted according to specified requirements. The bill would prohibit the commission from approving, modifying, or denying a request to increase rates above the rate of inflation without prior approval by the electrical corporation’s customers, except the commission may approve a rate increase above the rate of inflation if the commission determines that those costs are directly related to safety enhancements and modernization, or higher commodity or fuel costs.
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 above-described requirements would be a part of the act, and because a violation of an action of the commission implementing the above-described prohibition would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
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.

Existing law vests the Public Utilities Commission with regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations and gas corporations. Existing law authorizes the commission to fix the rates and charges for every public utility and requires that those rates and charges be just and reasonable. Existing law requires the commission to direct each gas corporation and electrical corporation that, for some portion of residential customers, employs every-other-month meter reading and estimates bills for months when the customer’s meter is not read to include in its tariffs the methodology it employs to estimate bills for those months.

This bill would make a nonsubstantive change to the latter provision.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 748.3 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

748.3.
 (a) An electrical corporation shall not propose a rate increase above the rate of inflation, as a systemwide average, for any given general rate case cycle.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), an electrical corporation may propose a rate increase above the rate of inflation subject to approval by a majority of the electrical corporation’s voting customers through an election conducted in accordance with all of the following:
(1) The electrical corporation shall provide each customer with one ballot.
(2) The electrical corporation shall provide each customer with information regarding the proposed rate increase.
(3) The commission may set additional procedures and rules for the election.
(4) The cost of conducting an election shall be borne exclusively by the shareholders of the electrical corporation.
(5) An electrical corporation may propose as many rate plans as necessary until one receives the support of a majority of voting customers.
(6) The commission shall determine an interim rate plan, not to exceed the rate of inflation, until an electrical corporation’s proposed rate plan is approved.
(c) The commission shall not approve, modify, or deny a request to increase rates above the rate of inflation without prior approval by the electrical corporation’s customers based on the results of an election conducted pursuant to subdivision (b).
(d) The commission may approve a rate increase above the rate of inflation if the commission determines that those costs are directly related to safety enhancements and modernization, or higher commodity or fuel costs.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

SECTION 1.Section 739.11 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:
739.11.

(a)For bills issued to customers of gas corporations and electrical corporations in which usage is estimated, it is the intent of the Legislature that, to the extent practicable, the methodology for estimation be simple, transparent, and cost effective to the customer, and produce reasonably accurate results.

(b)For each gas corporation and electrical corporation that, for some portion of residential customers, employs every-other-month meter reading and estimates bills for months when the customer’s meter is not read, the commission shall direct the gas corporation or electrical corporation to include in its tariffs the methodology it employs to estimate bills for those months when the meter is not read.

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