Chapter 4.5. Electrical And Gas Corporations of California Public Utilities Code >> Division 1. >> Part 2. >> Chapter 4.5.
The commission shall establish priorities among the types or
categories of customers of every electrical corporation and every gas
corporation, and among the uses of electricity or gas by such
customers. The commission shall determine which of such customers and
uses provide the most important public benefits and serve the
greatest public need and shall categorize all other customers and
uses in order of descending priority based upon these standards. The
commission shall establish no such priority after the effective date
of this chapter which would cause any reduction in the transmission
of gas to California pursuant to any federal rule, order, or
In establishing the priorities pursuant to Section 2771, the
commission shall include, but not be limited to, a consideration of
all the following:
(a) A determination of the customers and uses of electricity and
gas, in descending order of priority, that provide the most important
public benefits and serve the greatest public need.
(b) A determination of the customers and uses of electricity and
gas that are not included under subdivision (a).
(c) A determination of the economic, social, and other effects of
a temporary discontinuance in electrical or gas service to the
customers or for the uses determined in accordance with subdivision
(a) or (b).
(d) A determination of the potential effect of extreme
temperatures on the health and safety of residential customers. In
making this determination, the commission shall do all of the
(1) Consult with appropriate medical experts and review
appropriate literature and research.
(2) Consider whether providing priority to customers experiencing
extreme temperatures would result in increased outage frequency and
duration for remaining customers and its effect on the health and
safety of those remaining customers.
(3) To the extent the commission determines it is in the public
interest to provide priority to customers that experience extreme
temperatures, it shall provide that priority only when temperatures
(4) Consider whether alternative measures are appropriate,
including, but not limited to, reducing the duration of the outage or
imposing the outage earlier or later in the day.
(e) A determination of unacceptable jeopardy or imminent danger to
public health and safety that creates substantial likelihood of
severe health risk requiring medical attention.
(f) Any curtailment or allocation rules, orders, or regulations
issued by any agency of the federal government.
(g) The commission shall also consider the effect of providing a
high priority to some customers on those customers who do not receive
a high priority.
The commission may establish as many priorities of use for a
customer as that customer has uses of gas or electricity.
Notwithstanding any rule, order, or decision of the
commission to the contrary, industrial or commercial gas customers
shall not be required to maintain any alternative fuel capability
with respect to equipment which uses gas to generate steam for
enhanced crude oil recovery or which uses gas for purposes of
cogeneration. Nothing in this section shall require the commission to
assign these industrial customers any higher gas priority as a
result of the elimination of this alternative fuel requirement.
In the event any electrical or gas corporation experiences
any shortage of capacity or capability in the generation, production,
or transmission of electricity or gas and is unable to obtain
electricity or gas from any other source so that the corporation is
unable to meet all demands by its customers, the commission shall, to
the extent practicable, order that service be temporarily reduced by
an amount that reflects the priorities established pursuant to this
chapter, for the duration of the shortage. The commission may, to the
extent permitted by federal law or regulation, require electrical or
gas corporations to mutually assist each other in dealing with
shortages resulting from inadequate fuel supplies, and shall
determine the terms, including compensation, under which such
assistance shall be provided.
(a) (1) The commission shall require an electrical
corporation to include in an annual reliability report, required
pursuant to Decision 96-09-045, as amended, or a decision that
supersedes Decision 96-09-045, information on the reliability of
service to end use customers that identifies, but is not limited to,
the frequency and duration of interruptions in services. This
information shall indicate areas with both the most frequent and
longest outages, using local areas determined by the commission. The
commission, in consultation with the electrical corporation, shall
ensure that the geographical boundaries of local areas do not split
up circuits for reporting purposes, if the electrical corporation
aggregates data by circuits. The information shall be sufficiently
aggregated to both maintain electrical system security, and be of use
and relevance to affected customers of the electrical corporation.
(2) Before July 1, 2014, the commission shall determine the local
areas for the purposes of paragraph (1).
(3) The requirements of paragraph (1) shall apply to annual
reports due after July 1, 2014.
(4) The electrical corporation shall conspicuously post on its
Internet Web site the annual report required pursuant to Decision
96-09-045, as amended, or a decision that supersedes Decision
(b) (1) The commission shall use the information contained in an
electrical corporation's annual reliability report to require
cost-effective remediation of reliability deficiencies if the report,
or more than one report, identifies repeated deficiencies in the
same local area as determined by the commission pursuant to paragraph
(1) of subdivision (a). In requiring cost-effective remediation, the
commission shall consult with the electrical corporation and
consider mitigating factors that may impede an electrical corporation
from implementing required cost-effective remediation, including,
but not limited to, local permitting matters or other events or
conditions or public policy considerations that may present higher
priority safety or reliability issues.
(2) The commission may suspend the requirements of paragraph (1)
if the commission finds that expenditures by the electrical
corporation to comply with that paragraph are not justified or that
the remediation measures undertaken by the electrical corporation are
not effective at improving reliability.
(c) (1) The commission may order an electrical corporation to make
more frequent trend analyses of local area service reliability and
to make those analyses publicly available.
(2) The information made publicly available shall provide
sufficient confidentiality for purposes of protecting electrical
(3) The commission may make those analyses publicly available.
An electrical corporation or local publicly owned electric
utility shall immediately notify the Commissioner of the California
Highway Patrol, the Office of Emergency Services, and the sheriff and
any affected chief of police of the specific area within their
respective law enforcement jurisdictions that will sustain a planned
loss of power as soon as the planned loss becomes known as to when
and where that power loss will occur. The notification shall include
common geographical boundaries, grid or block numbers of the affected
area, and the next anticipated power loss area designated by the
electrical corporation or public entity during rotating blackouts.
The commission, in consultation with the State Energy
Resources Conservation and Development Commission, shall develop a
program for residential and commercial customer air-conditioning load
control, as an element of each electrical corporation's tariffed
service offerings paid for with electric rates. The goal of the
program shall be to contribute to the adequacy of electricity supply
and to help customers reduce their electric bills in a cost-effective
manner. The program may include peak load reduction programs for
residential and commercial air-conditioning systems, if the
commission determines that the inclusion would be cost-effective.
No electrical or gas corporation which reduces or
discontinues service in accordance with any order of the commission
issued pursuant to this chapter shall be liable for any damages to
any person or property resulting from such reduction or
(a) If an electrical or gas corporation desires to
manufacture, lease, sell, or otherwise own or control any solar
energy system, it shall submit to the commission, in such form as the
commission may specify, a description of the proposed program of
solar energy development which it desires to pursue. The corporation
may pursue the program of solar energy development unless the
commission, within 45 days after the commission has accepted the
filing of the corporation's description pursuant to this subdivision,
orders the corporation to obtain from the commission the
authorization to do so as provided in this section. In cases where
the corporation seeks to pursue a program of solar energy development
with costs and expenses to be passed through to the ratepayers, the
corporation may not implement the program until it receives an
authorization from the commission which includes findings and a
determination, pursuant to subdivision (f), that the program is in
the ratepayers' interest. No such authorization shall be required for
any solar energy system which is owned or controlled for
experimental or demonstration purposes. As used in this subdivision,
"experimental or demonstration purposes" means a limited program of
installation, use, or development the sole purpose of which is to
investigate the technical viability or economic cost effectiveness of
a solar application.
(b) The commission shall deny the authorization sought if it finds
that the proposed program will restrict competition or restrict
growth in the solar energy industry or unfairly employ in a manner
which would restrict competition in the market for solar energy
systems any financial, marketing, distributing, or generating
advantage which the corporation may exercise as a result of its
authority to operate as a public utility. Before granting any such
authorization, the commission shall find that the program of solar
energy development proposed by the corporation will accelerate the
development and use of solar energy systems in this state for the
duration of the program.
(c) The commission shall suspend or terminate any authorization
granted pursuant to this section whenever it finds and determines
that the program of solar energy development no longer qualifies for
the authorization under subdivision (b). This subdivision applies to
all programs of solar energy development undertaken by a gas or
electrical corporation pursuant to this section, including programs
undertaken pursuant to subdivision (a) without formal authorization
of the commission.
(d) As used in this section, "solar energy system" means equipment
which uses solar energy to heat or cool or produce electricity and
which has a useful life of at least three years. "Solar energy system"
does not include an electric plant as defined by Section 217.
(e) The commission shall prescribe the form of the description
required by subdivision (a) by July 1, 1990. The description of the
solar energy program filed with the commission shall include, but not
be limited to, a showing that the program will not restrict
competition, or restrict growth in the solar energy industry, or
unfairly employ any financial, marketing, distributing, or generation
advantage by the corporation on behalf of the solar energy program.
(f) The costs and expenses of implementing a program of solar
energy development proposed pursuant to this section shall not be
passed through to the ratepayers of an electrical or gas corporation
unless the commission finds and determines that it is in the
ratepayers' interest to do so.
(g) An electrical or gas corporation shall file a written notice
with the commission in all cases where one of its subsidiaries seeks
to implement a solar energy development program. If an affiliate of
an electrical or gas corporation seeks to implement a solar energy
development program, the electrical or gas corporation shall notify
the commission of its affiliate's actions annually, in a form
prescribed by the commission. If the electrical or gas corporation
intends to provide financial, marketing, or distribution assistance
to any subsidiary or affiliate thereof in implementing the subsidiary'
s or affiliate's program of solar energy development, the electrical
or gas corporation shall obtain authorization from the commission to
provide that assistance. Authorization by the commission shall be
given in the manner provided in subdivisions (a) and (b), and
suspension or termination by the commission may be imposed in the
manner provided in subdivision (c).
(h) The commission shall provide public notice of the receipt of
any corporation filings submitted pursuant to this section.
Every request for the recovery in rates of any costs or
liability incurred by a gas corporation and resulting from any
violation of Section 25421 of the Health and Safety Code, or of any
costs, damages, penalties, or other liabilities incurred in
connection with the sale of landfill gas containing chemicals known
to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity shall be
reviewed by the commission for the purposes of establishing rates for
the gas corporation. If the commission finds that the gas
corporation, on or after January 1, 1989, knowingly and intentionally
violated Section 25421 of the Health and Safety Code, the costs and
liability shall be disallowed by the commission for purposes of