Bill Text: CA SB68 | 2021-2022 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Building electrification and electric vehicle charging.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2021-06-03 - Referred to Com. on U. & E. [SB68 Detail]

Download: California-2021-SB68-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Senate  May 20, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  April 28, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  April 08, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  March 07, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 68


Introduced by Senator Becker

December 07, 2020


An act to amend Section 25711.5 of, and to add Section 25233.5 to, the Public Resources Code, and to add Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 8400) to Division 4.1 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to electricity.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 68, as amended, Becker. Building decarbonization. electrification and electric vehicle charging.
Existing law requires the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Energy Commission) to assess the potential for the state to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from the state’s residential and commercial building stock by at least 40% below 1990 levels by January 1, 2030.
This bill would require the Energy Commission to gather or develop, and publish on its internet website, guidance and best practices to help building owners, the construction industry, and local governments overcome barriers to electrification of buildings and installation of electric vehicle charging equipment.
Existing law requires the Energy Commission to develop and implement the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program to award moneys for projects that will benefit electricity ratepayers, lead to technological advancement and breakthroughs, and result in a portfolio of projects that is strategically focused and sufficiently narrow to make advancement on the most significant technological challenges, as specified.
This bill would authorize the Energy Commission to also award those moneys for projects that will benefit electricity ratepayers and lead to technological advancements to reduce the costs of building electrification.

Existing law requires the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to enforce rules governing the extension of service by electrical corporations.

This bill would require the PUC to establish a reasonable timeframe for an electrical corporation to complete an electrical service upgrade, as defined, from the time the request for the electrical service upgrade is received until all work is completed and upgraded service is reconnected, and would authorize the PUC to establish different timeframes for categories of electrical service upgrades based on factors that could materially affect the reasonable timeframe for completion, as specified. The bill would specify that the timeframe established for requests to operate distributed energy generation or energy storage systems subject to a certain tariff is measured from the time when copies of all required information has been provided to the electrical corporation until approval has been issued. The bill would require each electrical corporation to publish certain information regarding the timeframes and requirements established by the bill on its internet website. The bill would, beginning January 1, 2023, require each electrical corporation to annually report to the commission on the performance of the electrical corporation in meeting the timeframes described in the bill. For requests for which the electrical corporation failed to meet the timeframe established by the PUC pursuant to the bill, the bill would require the electrical corporation to notify the building owner and the PUC of the reasons for the failure and the expected completion date. The bill would require the PUC to enforce the above-described provisions in the same manner as the Public Utilities Act.

Under the Public Utilities Act, a violation of the Public Utilities Act and a violation of an order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirements of the PUC is a crime.

Because the bill would require the PUC to enforce certain provisions of the bill in the same manner as the Public Utilities Act and would require the PUC to establish timeframes in which electrical corporations are required to respond to specified requests, a violation of which would be a crime, this 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.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YESNO  

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Climate change is an urgent threat to the health and well-being of California’s residents and economy.
(2) Emissions of greenhouse gases from the combustion of fossil fuels in commercial and residential buildings make up a significant share of the state’s total emissions and can result in negative health consequences for building occupants.
(3) Switching from the use of fossil fuels to electricity for heating and other building energy uses is an important pathway for reducing onsite emissions of greenhouse gases from buildings while improving public health.
(4) Emissions of greenhouse gases from the use of fossil fuels for transportation makes up the largest share of the state’s total emissions.
(5) Switching from fossil fuel-powered vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs) is an important pathway for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from the transportation sector.
(6) The availability of EV charging at residential and commercial buildings is an important factor in the adoption of EVs.
(7) Encouraging building owners to adopt these technologies will also support local jobs retrofitting buildings in every city around the state.
(8) Therefore, it is a priority for the state’s climate policy to make it as easy as possible for building owners who choose to switch from fossil fuel-powered equipment to electrical equipment for heating, cooking, and other energy needs and to install EV charging equipment or energy storage systems for their buildings.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to reduce the barriers that impede building owners from electrifying their buildings or adding EV charging equipment as a means of accelerating the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases from the building and transportation sectors.

SEC. 2.

 Section 25233.5 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

25233.5.
 To help building owners to decarbonize buildings and add energy storage or electric vehicle charging capacity to buildings, the commission, in coordination with the Public Utilities Commission, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the California Building Standards Commission, and other relevant state agencies, shall gather or develop, and publish on the commission’s internet website, guidance and best practices to help building owners, the construction industry, and local governments overcome barriers to electrification of buildings and installation of electric vehicle charging equipment that include any of the following topics:
(a) Availability of electrical equipment for replacement of the common fossil-fuel-powered equipment within buildings, including high-efficiency options that can minimize electrical service capacity requirements.
(b) Approaches for energy budgeting to fit electrical replacements and vehicle-charging equipment within the existing electrical service capacity of the building whenever possible, including guidance on how to maximize the use of the nonconcurrent electrical load that is allowed under the California Electrical Code (Part 3 (commencing with Section 89.101.1) of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations).
(c) Technologies that allow the noncoincidental sharing of electrical circuits.
(d) The development of whole building electrification plans to help building owners prepare for future additions of electrical equipment, even if only a portion of equipment will be replaced, or energy storage or vehicle charging added, during an initial project. The plan may include wiring changes and energy planning to reduce the need for rework and help correctly size distributed energy and energy storage systems to anticipated future needs.
(e) Model permit applications, an eligibility checklist for expedited permitting, and a concise inspection list for the most common building electrification or electrification, energy storage storage, or vehicle charging installation projects that would be suitable for adoption by local governments seeking to streamline and standardize permitting and inspections.

SEC. 3.

 Section 25711.5 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

25711.5.
 In administering moneys in the fund for research, development, and demonstration programs under this chapter, the commission shall develop and implement the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program to do all of the following:
(a) Award funds for projects that will benefit electricity ratepayers and lead to either of the following:
(1) Technological advancement and breakthroughs to overcome the barriers that prevent the achievement of the state’s statutory energy goals and that result in a portfolio of projects that is strategically focused and sufficiently narrow to make advancement on the most significant technological challenges that shall include, but not be limited to, energy storage, renewable energy and its integration into the electrical grid, energy efficiency, integration of electric vehicles into the electrical grid, and accurately forecasting the availability of renewable energy for integration into the grid.
(2) Technological advancements to reduce the costs of building electrification, including by reducing or avoiding the costs of expanding electrical service and electrical panel upgrades for existing buildings.
(b) In consultation with the Treasurer, establish terms that shall be imposed as a condition to receipt of funding for the state to accrue any intellectual property interest or royalties that may derive from projects funded by the EPIC program. The commission, when determining if imposition of the proposed terms is appropriate, shall balance the potential benefit to the state from those terms and the effect those terms may have on the state achieving its statutory energy goals. The commission shall require each reward recipient, as a condition of receiving moneys pursuant to this chapter, to agree to any terms the commission determines are appropriate for the state to accrue any intellectual property interest or royalties that may derive from projects funded by the EPIC program.
(c) Require each applicant to report how the proposed project may lead to technological advancement and potential breakthroughs to overcome barriers to achieving the state’s statutory energy goals.
(d) Take into account, when applicable, the adverse localized health impacts of proposed projects to the greatest extent possible.
(e) Establish a process for tracking the progress and outcomes of each funded project, including an accounting of the amount of funds spent by program administrators and individual grant recipients on administrative and overhead costs and whether the project resulted in any technological advancement or breakthrough to overcome barriers to achieving the state’s statutory energy goals.
(f) Notwithstanding Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, prepare and submit to the Legislature no later than April 30 of each year an annual report in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code that shall include all of the following:
(1) A brief description of each project for which funding was awarded in the immediately prior calendar year, including the name of the recipient and the amount of the award, a description of how the project is thought to lead to technological advancement or breakthroughs to overcome barriers to achieving the state’s statutory energy goals, and a description of why the project was selected.
(2) A brief description of each project funded by the EPIC program that was completed in the immediately prior calendar year, including the name of the recipient, the amount of the award, and the outcomes of the funded project.
(3) A brief description of each project funded by the EPIC program for which an award was made in the previous years but that is not completed, including the name of the recipient and the amount of the award, and a description of how the project will lead to technological advancement or breakthroughs to overcome barriers to achieving the state’s statutory energy goals.
(4) Identification of the award recipients that are California-based entities, small businesses, or businesses owned by women, minorities, or disabled veterans.
(5) Identification of which awards were made through a competitive bid, interagency agreement, or sole source method, and the action of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (h) for each award made through an interagency agreement or sole source method.
(6) Identification of the total amount of administrative and overhead costs incurred for each project.
(7) A brief description of the impact on program administration from the allocations required to be made pursuant to Section 25711.6, including any information that would help the Legislature determine whether to reauthorize those allocations beyond June 30, 2023.
(g) Establish requirements to minimize program administration and overhead costs, including costs incurred by program administrators and individual grant recipients. Each program administrator and grant recipient, including a public entity, shall be required to justify actual administration and overhead costs incurred, even if the total costs incurred do not exceed a cap on those costs that the commission may adopt.
(h) (1) Use a sealed competitive bid as the preferred method to solicit project applications and award funds pursuant to the EPIC program.
(2) (A) The commission may use a sole source or interagency agreement method if the project cannot be described with sufficient specificity so that bids can be evaluated against specifications and criteria set forth in a solicitation for bid and if both of the following conditions are met:
(i) The commission, at least 60 days before making an award pursuant to this subdivision, notifies the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the relevant policy committees in both houses of the Legislature, in writing, of its intent to take the proposed action.
(ii) The Joint Legislative Budget Committee either approves or does not disapprove the proposed action within 60 days from the date of notification required by clause (i).
(B) It is the intent of the Legislature to enact this paragraph to ensure legislative oversight for awards made on a sole source basis, or through an interagency agreement.
(3) Notwithstanding any other law, standard terms and conditions that generally apply to contracts between the commission and any entities, including state entities, do not automatically preclude the award of moneys from the fund through the sealed competitive bid method.

SEC. 4.Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 8400) is added to Division 4.1 of the Public Utilities Code, to read:
8.Electrical Service Response Time Standards
8400.

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

(a)(1)“Electrical service upgrade” means a project to provide additional electrical capacity to an existing building at or within 25 feet of the existing meter location that does not require either a change in the location where the electrical service connects to the distribution system or the underground installation of a physical component.

(2)“Electrical service upgrade” includes all aspects of the work of the electrical corporation or its agents necessary to complete the required project, including, as applicable, all of the following:

(A)Review of submitted documentation.

(B)A virtual or in-person inspection of the meter location.

(C)Upgrades of service conductors.

(D)Transformer upgrades.

(E)On-pole upgrades.

(F)Virtual or in-person inspections of the electrical panel for the building.

(G)Service reconnection.

(b)“Request for an electrical service upgrade” means a request for an electrical corporation to provide an electrical service upgrade.

8401.

(a)(1)The commission shall establish a reasonable timeframe for an electrical corporation to complete an electrical service upgrade from the time the request for an electrical service upgrade is received until all work is completed and upgraded service is reconnected, unless the special circumstances identified pursuant to subdivision (d) apply.

(2)The commission may establish different timeframes for categories of electrical service upgrades based on factors that could materially affect the reasonable timeframe for completion, such as the amount of capacity upgrade needed for commercial buildings versus single-family homes.

(b)If an electrical corporation determines that further information or action is needed from a building owner during its response to a request for an electrical service upgrade, including if the location of the electrical meter is required to be moved to a new location on the building to comply with safety or other requirements, the time from when the electrical corporation notifies the building owner’s representative of the need for this information or action until the electrical corporation is provided with the information or notified that the action has been completed shall not be counted toward the timeframe established pursuant to subdivision (a). The notification of the need for further information or action shall not restart the timeframe, except under conditions established by the commission.

(c)The commission shall allow costs incurred as a result of this section for electrical service upgrades to residential buildings that exceed the electrical corporation’s allowance established in Electric Tariff Rule 15 (distribution line extensions) and Rule 16 (service line extension) and that will provide benefits to other ratepayers to be treated as common facility costs to be recovered from all ratepayers.

(d)(1)The commission shall identify special circumstances under which a failure to meet the timeframe established pursuant to subdivision (a) shall not apply.

(2)Special circumstances may include, but are not limited to, unusual right-of-way or access issues, tree removal requirements, the location of the building relative to the distribution feeder line, a service capacity request significantly exceeding the building’s prior total energy consumption and anticipated energy requirements for occupants’ vehicle charging needs, and a force majeure event occurring in the area in which the building is located.

(e)For a request for an electrical service upgrade for which the electrical corporation failed to meet the timeframe established pursuant to subdivision (a), the electrical corporation shall notify the building owner and the commission of the reason for its failure to meet the timeframe, including the applicability of any special circumstances identified pursuant to subdivision (d) that would excuse the failure, and an expected completion date.

8402.

(a)The timeframe for processing a request for permission to operate a distributed energy generation or energy storage system subject to Electric Rule 21(D)(13)(b) shall be measured from the time when copies of all required information has been provided to the electrical corporation until approval has been issued.

(b)If an electrical corporation determines that information provided for the permission to operate request is incomplete, the time from when the electrical corporation notifies the building owner’s representative of the issue until the electrical corporation is provided with the corrected information shall not be counted toward the time permitted pursuant to Electric Rule 21(D)(13)(b). The notification of the need for corrected information shall not restart the time permitted.

8403.

(a)Each electrical corporation shall publish a notice on the relevant portion of its internet website describing the requirements and timeframes established by this chapter with content intended to make building owners aware of their rights pursuant to this chapter.

(b)Each electrical corporation shall publish a reference to guidance published pursuant to Section 25233.5 of the Public Resources Code or substantially equivalent guidance for avoiding unnecessary electrical service upgrades on the portion of its internet website related to requesting an electrical service upgrade.

8404.

Beginning January 1, 2023, each electrical corporation shall annually report to the commission on the performance of the electrical corporation in meeting the timeframes established in Section 8401, and the timeframe established under Electric Rule 21(D)(13)(b) for requests subject to Section 8402, including the number of each type of request received, the number of requests that were completed or not completed within the established timeframes, the average time for completion of each type of request, and other information as the commission may request related to the electrical corporation’s performance in meeting the timeframes. The data shall be aggregated by ZIP Code, or other regional grouping as determined by the commission, to understand the regional variation in service levels.

8405.

The commission shall enforce the requirements of this chapter pursuant to Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 2100) of Part 1 of Division 1.

SEC. 5.

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.

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