Chapter 2. The Public Utilities Commission: Organization of California Public Utilities Code >> Division 1. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 2.
The membership of the Public Utilities Commission, and the
qualifications and tenure of the members of the commission are as
provided in Section 1 of Article XII of the Constitution of this
Each commissioner shall, before entering upon the duties of
his office, take and subscribe the constitutional oath of office.
(a) A public utilities commissioner may not hold an official
relation to, nor have a financial interest in, a person or
corporation subject to regulation by the commission. If any
commissioner acquires a financial interest in a corporation or person
subject to regulation by the commission other than voluntarily, his
or her office shall become vacant unless within a reasonable time he
or she divests himself or herself of the interest.
(b) The commission shall adopt an updated Conflict of Interest
Code and Statement of Incompatible Activities, by February 28, 1998,
in a manner consistent with applicable law.
The annual salary of each commissioner is provided for by
Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 11550) of Part 1 of Division 3 of
Title 2 of the Government Code. The commissioners shall be civil
executive officers, and their salaries as fixed by law shall be paid
in the same manner as are the salaries of other state officers.
The Governor shall designate a president of the commission
from among the members of the commission. The president shall direct
the executive director, the attorney, and other staff of the
commission, except for the staff of the division described in Section
309.5, in the performance of their duties, in accordance with
commission policies and guidelines. The president shall preside at
all meetings and sessions of the commission.
(a) The office of the commission shall be in the City and
County of San Francisco. The office shall always be open, legal
holidays and nonjudicial days excepted. The commission shall hold its
sessions at least once in each calendar month in the City and County
of San Francisco. The commission may also meet at such other times
and in such other places as may be expedient and necessary for the
proper performance of its duties, and for that purpose may rent
quarters or offices.
(b) The meetings of the commission shall be open and public in
accordance with the provisions of Article 9 (commencing with Section
11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the
In addition to the requirements of Section 11125 of the Government
Code, the commission shall include in its notice of meetings the
agenda of business to be transacted, and no item of business shall be
added to the agenda subsequent to the notice in the absence of an
unforeseen emergency situation. A rate increase shall not constitute
an unforeseen emergency situation. As used in this subdivision,
"meeting" shall include all investigations, proceedings, and showings
required by law to be open and public.
(c) The commission shall have a seal, bearing the inscription
"Public Utilities Commission State of California." The seal shall be
affixed to all writs and authentications of copies of records and to
such other instruments as the commission shall direct.
(d) The commission may procure all necessary books, maps, charts,
stationery, instruments, office furniture, apparatus, and appliances.
(a) The commission may appoint as attorney to the commission
an attorney at law of this state, who shall hold office during the
pleasure of the commission.
(b) The attorney shall represent and appear for the people of the
State of California and the commission in all actions and proceedings
involving any question under this part or under any order or act of
the commission. If directed to do so by the president, except as
otherwise directed by vote of the commission, the attorney shall
intervene, if possible, in any action or proceeding in which any such
question is involved.
(c) The attorney shall commence, prosecute, and expedite the final
determination of all actions and proceedings directed or authorized
by the president, except as otherwise directed or authorized by vote
of the commission, advise the commission and each commissioner, when
so requested, in regard to all matters in connection with the powers
and duties of the commission and the members thereof, and generally
perform all duties and services as attorney to the commission that
the president, or vote of the commission, may require of him.
(a) The commission shall appoint an executive director, who
shall hold office during its pleasure. The executive director shall
be responsible for the commission's executive and administrative
duties and shall organize, coordinate, supervise, and direct the
operations and affairs of the commission and expedite all matters
within the commission's jurisdiction.
(b) The executive director shall keep a full and true record of
all proceedings of the commission, issue all necessary process,
writs, warrants, and notices, and perform such other duties as the
president, or vote of the commission, prescribes. The president may
authorize the executive director to dismiss complaints or
applications when all parties are in agreement thereto, in accordance
with rules that the commission may prescribe.
(c) The commission may appoint assistant executive directors who
may serve warrants and other process in any county or city and county
of this state.
Persons employed as investigators and investigator
supervisors of the Consumer Services Division or the Rail Safety and
Carrier Division of the commission who are designated by the
commission's executive director and approved by the commission have
the authority of peace officers, as specified in paragraph (5) of
subdivision (a) of Section 830.11 of the Penal Code, while engaged in
exercising the powers granted to or performing the duties imposed
upon them in investigating the laws administered by the commission or
commencing directly or indirectly any criminal prosecution arising
from any investigation conducted under these laws. All persons herein
referred to shall be deemed to be acting within the scope of
employment with respect to all acts and matters set forth in this
The executive director may employ such officers,
administrative law judges, experts, engineers, statisticians,
accountants, inspectors, clerks, and employees as the executive
director deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this part or
to perform the duties and exercise the powers conferred upon the
commission by law. All officers and employees shall receive such
compensation as is fixed by the commission.
The Governor may appoint one adviser for each member of the
commission upon the request of the commission member. Each adviser
shall receive a salary fixed by the commission with the approval of
the Department of Human Resources. The total number of advisers
exempt from civil service may not exceed five.
(a) There is within the commission an independent Office of
Ratepayer Advocates to represent and advocate on behalf of the
interests of public utility customers and subscribers within the
jurisdiction of the commission. The goal of the office shall be to
obtain the lowest possible rate for service consistent with reliable
and safe service levels. For revenue allocation and rate design
matters, the office shall primarily consider the interests of
residential and small commercial customers.
(b) The director of the office shall be appointed by, and serve at
the pleasure of, the Governor, subject to confirmation by the
The director shall annually appear before the appropriate policy
committees of the Assembly and the Senate to report on the activities
of the office.
(c) The director shall develop a budget for the office that shall
be subject to final approval of the Department of Finance. As
authorized in the approved budget, the office shall employ personnel
and resources, including attorneys and other legal support staff, at
a level sufficient to ensure that customer and subscriber interests
are effectively represented in all significant proceedings. The
office may employ experts necessary to carry out its functions. The
director may appoint a lead attorney who shall represent the office,
and shall report to and serve at the pleasure of the director. The
lead attorney for the office shall obtain adequate legal personnel
for the work to be conducted by the office from the commission's
attorney appointed pursuant to Section 307. The commission's attorney
shall timely and appropriately fulfill all requests for legal
personnel made by the lead attorney for the office, provided the
office has sufficient moneys and positions in its budget for the
(d) The commission shall develop appropriate procedures to ensure
that the existence of the office does not create a conflict of roles
for any employee. The procedures shall include, but shall not be
limited to, the development of a code of conduct and procedures for
ensuring that advocates and their representatives on a particular
case or proceeding are not advising decisionmakers on the same case
(e) The office may compel the production or disclosure of any
information it deems necessary to perform its duties from any entity
regulated by the commission, provided that any objections to any
request for information shall be decided in writing by the assigned
commissioner or by the president of the commission, if there is no
(f) There is hereby created the Public Utilities Commission
Ratepayer Advocate Account in the General Fund. Moneys from the
Public Utilities Commission Utilities Reimbursement Account in the
General Fund shall be transferred in the annual Budget Act to the
Public Utilities Commission Ratepayer Advocate Account. The funds in
the Public Utilities Commission Ratepayer Advocate Account shall be a
budgetary program fund administered and utilized exclusively by the
office in the performance of its duties as determined by the
director. The director shall annually submit a staffing report
containing a comparison of the staffing levels for each five-year
(g) On or before January 10 of each year, the office shall provide
to the chairperson of the fiscal committee of each house of the
Legislature and to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee all of the
(1) The number of personnel years utilized during the prior year
by the Office of Ratepayer Advocates.
(2) The total dollars expended by the Office of Ratepayer
Advocates in the prior year, the estimated total dollars expended in
the current year, and the total dollars proposed for appropriation in
the following budget year.
(3) Workload standards and measures for the Office of Ratepayer
(h) The office shall meet and confer in an informal setting with a
regulated entity prior to issuing a report or pleading to the
commission regarding alleged misconduct, or a violation of a law or a
commission rule or order, raised by the office in a complaint. The
meet and confer process shall be utilized in good faith to reach
agreement on issues raised by the office regarding any regulated
entity in the complaint proceeding.
(a) The commission shall adopt procedures on the
disqualification of administrative law judges due to bias or
prejudice similar to those of other state agencies and superior
(b) The commission shall develop the procedures with the
opportunity for public review and comment.
(a) The division of the commission responsible for consumer
protection and safety shall be responsible for inspection,
surveillance, and investigation of the rights-of-way, facilities,
equipment, and operations of railroads and public mass transit
guideways, and for enforcing state and federal laws, regulations,
orders, and directives relating to transportation of persons or
commodities, or both, of any nature or description by rail. The
division of the commission responsible for consumer protection and
safety shall advise the commission on all matters relating to rail
safety, and shall propose to the commission rules, regulations,
orders, and other measures necessary to reduce the dangers caused by
unsafe conditions on the railroads of the state. The delegation of
enforcement responsibility to the division of the commission
responsible for consumer protection and safety shall not diminish the
power of other agencies of state government to enforce laws relating
to employee or environmental safety, pollution prevention, or public
health and safety.
(b) In performing its duties, the division of the commission
responsible for consumer protection and safety shall exercise all
powers of investigation granted to the commission, including rights
to enter upon land or facilities, inspect books and records, and
compel testimony. The commission shall employ sufficient federally
certified inspectors to ensure at the time of inspection that
railroad locomotives and equipment and facilities located in class I
railroad yards in California are inspected not less frequently than
every 180 days, and all main and branch line tracks are inspected not
less frequently than every 12 months. In performing its duties, the
division of the commission responsible for consumer protection and
safety shall consult with representatives of railroad corporations,
labor organizations representing railroad employees, and the Federal
(c) The general counsel shall assign to the division of the
commission responsible for consumer protection and safety the
personnel and attorneys necessary to fully utilize the powers granted
to the commission by any state law, and by any federal law relating
to rail transportation, including, but not limited to, the Federal
Rail Safety Act (45 U.S.C. Sec. 421m et seq.), to enforce safety
laws, rules, regulations, and orders, and to collect fines and
penalties resulting from the violation of any safety rule or
(d) The activities of the division of the commission responsible
for consumer protection and safety that relate to safe operation of
common carriers by rail, other than those relating to grade crossing
protection, shall also be supported by the fees paid by railroad
corporations, if any, pursuant to Sections 421 to 424, inclusive. The
activities of the division of the commission responsible for
consumer protection and safety that relate to grade crossing
protection shall be supported by funds appropriated therefor from the
State Highway Account in the State Transportation Fund.
No vacancy in the commission impairs the right of the
remaining commissioners to exercise all the powers of the commission.
A majority of the commissioners constitutes a quorum for the
transaction of any business, for the performance of any duty, or for
the exercise of any power of the commission. Any investigation,
inquiry, or hearing which the commission may undertake or hold may be
undertaken or held by or before any commissioner or commissioners
designated for the purpose by the commission. The evidence in any
investigation, inquiry, or hearing may be taken by the commissioner
or commissioners to whom the investigation, inquiry, or hearing has
been assigned or, in his, her, or their behalf, by an administrative
law judge designated for that purpose. Every finding, opinion, and
order made by the commissioner or commissioners so designated,
pursuant to the investigation, inquiry, or hearing, when approved or
confirmed by the commission and ordered filed in its office, is the
finding, opinion, and order of the commission.
(a) The commission, each commissioner, the executive director,
and the assistant executive directors may administer oaths, certify
to all official acts, and issue subpoenas for the attendance of
witnesses and the production of papers, waybills, books, accounts,
documents, and testimony in any inquiry, investigation, hearing, or
proceeding in any part of the state.
(b) The administrative law judges may administer oaths, examine
witnesses, issue subpoenas, and receive evidence, under rules that
the commission adopts.
(c) The evidence in any hearing shall be taken by the commissioner
or the administrative law judge designated for that purpose. The
commissioner or the administrative law judge may receive and exclude
evidence offered in the hearing in accordance with the rules of
practice and procedure of the commission.
(d) Consistent with the procedures contained in Sections 1701.1,
1701.2, 1701.3, and 1701.4, the assigned commissioner or the
administrative law judge shall prepare and file an opinion setting
forth recommendations, findings, and conclusions. The opinion of the
assigned commissioner or the administrative law judge is the proposed
decision and a part of the public record in the proceeding. The
proposed decision of the assigned commissioner or the administrative
law judge shall be filed with the commission and served upon all
parties to the action or proceeding without undue delay, not later
than 90 days after the matter has been submitted for decision. The
commission shall issue its decision not sooner than 30 days following
filing and service of the proposed decision by the assigned
commissioner or the administrative law judge, except that the 30-day
period may be reduced or waived by the commission in an unforeseen
emergency situation or upon the stipulation of all parties to the
proceeding or as otherwise provided by law. The commission may, in
issuing its decision, adopt, modify, or set aside the proposed
decision or any part of the decision. Where the modification is of a
decision in an adjudicatory hearing it shall be based upon the
evidence in the record. Every finding, opinion, and order made in the
proposed decision and approved or confirmed by the commission shall,
upon that approval or confirmation, be the finding, opinion, and
order of the commission.
(e) Any item appearing on the commission's public agenda as an
alternate item to a proposed decision or to a decision subject to
subdivision (g) shall be served upon all parties to the proceeding
without undue delay and shall be subject to public review and comment
before it may be voted upon. For purposes of this subdivision,
"alternate" means either a substantive revision to a proposed
decision that materially changes the resolution of a contested issue
or any substantive addition to the findings of fact, conclusions of
law, or ordering paragraphs. The commission shall adopt rules that
provide for the time and manner of review and comment and the
rescheduling of the item on a subsequent public agenda, except that
the item may not be rescheduled for consideration sooner than 30 days
following service of the alternative item upon all parties. The
alternate item shall be accompanied by a digest that clearly explains
the substantive revisions to the proposed decision. The commission's
rules may provide that the time and manner of review and comment on
an alternate item may be reduced or waived by the commission in an
unforeseen emergency situation.
(f) The commission may specify that the administrative law judge
assigned to a proceeding involving an electrical, gas, telephone,
railroad, or water corporation, or a highway carrier, initiated by
customer or subscriber complaint need not prepare, file, and serve an
opinion, unless the commission finds that to do so is required in
the public interest in a particular case.
(g) (1) Prior to voting on any commission decision not subject to
subdivision (d), the decision shall be served on parties and subject
to at least 30 days public review and comment. Any alternate to any
commission decision shall be subject to the same requirements as
provided for alternate decisions under subdivision (e). For purposes
of this subdivision, "decision" also includes resolutions, including
resolutions on advice letter filings.
(2) The 30-day period may be reduced or waived in an unforeseen
emergency situation, upon the stipulation of all parties in the
proceeding, for an uncontested matter in which the decision grants
the relief requested, or for an order seeking temporary injunctive
(3) This subdivision does not apply to uncontested matters that
pertain solely to water corporations, or to orders instituting
investigations or rulemakings, categorization resolutions under
Sections 1701.1 to 1701.4, inclusive, or orders authorized by law to
be considered in executive session. Consistent with regulatory
efficiency and the need for adequate prior notice and comment on
commission decisions, the commission may adopt rules, after notice
and comment, establishing additional categories of decisions subject
to waiver or reduction of the time period in this section.
(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, amendments,
revisions, or modifications by the commission of its Rules of
Practice and Procedure, shall be submitted to the Office of
Administrative Law for prior review in accordance with Sections
11349, 11349.3, 11349.4, 11349.5, 11349.6, and 11350.3 of, and
subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 11349.1 of, the Government Code.
If the commission adopts an emergency revision to its Rules of
Practice and Procedure based upon a finding that the revision is
necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and
safety, or general welfare, this emergency revision shall only be
reviewed by the Office of Administrative Law in accordance with
subdivisions (b) to (d), inclusive, of Section 11349.6 of the
Government Code. The emergency revision shall become effective upon
filing with the Secretary of State and shall remain in effect for no
more than 120 days. A petition for writ of review pursuant to Section
1756 of a commission decision amending, revising, or modifying its
Rules of Practice and Procedure shall not be filed until the
regulation has been approved by the Office of Administrative Law, the
Governor, or a court pursuant to Section 11350.3 of the Government
Code. If the period for filing the petition for writ of review would
otherwise have already commenced under Section 1733 or 1756 at the
time of that approval, then the period for filing the petition for
writ of review shall continue until 30 days after the date of that
approval. Nothing in this subdivision shall require the commission to
comply with Article 5 (commencing with Section 11346) of Chapter 3.5
of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. This
subdivision is only intended to provide for the Office of
Administrative Law review of procedural commission decisions relating
to commission Rules of Practice and Procedure, and not general
orders, resolutions, or other substantive regulations.
(i) The commission shall immediately notify the Legislature
whenever the commission reduces or waives the time period for public
review and comment due to an unforseen emergency situation, as
provided in subdivision (d), (e), or (g).
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commission
shall not consider or require, in determining qualified bidders for,
or in awarding contracts, that any facilities be located within a
particular area of the state, or within geographical proximity of any
particular area of the state.
(a) On or after July 1, 2001, the commission shall establish
procedures to permit the submission of informal complaints through
electronic means in accordance with this section.
(b) On or before January 1, 2002, the commission shall provide on
its Internet Web site the means by which consumers may submit
informal complaints through electronic means.
(c) For the purpose of this section, "electronic means" includes,
but shall not be limited to, email or the Internet, or both.
(d) Upon the receipt of an informal complaint submitted by
electronic means, the commission shall immediately forward the
complaint to the entity named in the complaint.
(e) The commission shall permit the submission of informal
complaints through electronic means, if, as determined by the
commission, both of the following conditions are met:
(1) The dollar amount in the complaint does not exceed the
jurisdictional limit of a small claims court specified in subdivision
(a) of Section 116.220 or Section 116.221 of the Code of Civil
(2) The commission has addressed any impediments in the electronic
systems employed by the commission that would prevent or
substantially adversely affect the ability of the commission to
receive informal complaints by electronic means.
(f) The commission shall include a notice on its Internet Web site
of the availability of the procedures described in subdivision (a).
(g) For the purposes of implementing this section, the commission
shall make available to the public an industry specific online
complaint form that allows a customer to specify information that the
commission determines to be relevant for purposes of resolving a
dispute, including the account number, the type of dispute, and the
opportunity to make general comments.
(h) This act may not be implemented, and no information
technology-related preparatory work may be undertaken in connection
with this act prior to July 1, 2001, without the concurrence of the
commission and the authorization of the Department of Information
Technology pursuant to Executive Order D-3-99.
(a) (1) Prior to commencement of any meeting at which
commissioners vote on items on the public agenda the commission shall
make available to the public copies of the agenda, and upon request,
any agenda item documents that are proposed to be considered by the
commission for action or decision at a commission meeting.
(2) In addition, the commission shall publish the agenda, agenda
item documents, and adopted decisions in a manner that makes copies
of them easily available to the public, including publishing those
documents on the Internet. Publication of the agenda and agenda item
documents shall occur on the Internet at the same time as the written
agenda and agenda item documents are made available to the public.
(b) The commission shall publish and maintain the following
documents on the Internet:
(1) Each of the commission's proposed and alternate proposed
decisions and resolutions, until the decision or resolution is
adopted and published.
(2) Each of the commission's adopted decisions and resolutions.
The publication shall occur within 10 days of the adoption of each
decision or resolution by the commission.
(3) The then-current version of the commission's general orders
and Rules of Practice and Procedure.
(4) Each of the commission's rulings. The commission shall
maintain those rulings on its Internet Web site until final
disposition, including disposition of any judicial appeals, of the
respective proceedings in which the rulings were issued.
(5) A docket card that lists, by title and date of filing or
issuance, all documents filed and all decisions or rulings issued in
those proceedings. The commission shall maintain the docket card
until final disposition, including disposition of any judicial
appeals, of the corresponding proceedings.
The commission and each commissioner may issue writs of
summons, subpenas, warrants of attachment, warrants of commitment,
and all necessary process in proceedings for contempt, in like manner
and to the same extent as courts of record. The process issued by
the commission or any commissioner, extends to all parts of the State
and may be served by any person authorized to serve process of
courts of record, or by any person designated by the commission or a
commissioner. The person executing any such process shall receive
such compensation as is allowed by the commission, not to exceed the
fees prescribed by law on August 8, 1915, for similar services, and
such fees shall be paid in the same manner as provided in this part
for payment of the fees of witnesses.
The commission may require, by order served on any public
utility, the production within this State at such time and place as
it designates, of any books, accounts, papers, or records kept by the
public utility in any office or place without this State, or, at its
option, verified copies in lieu thereof, so that an examination
thereof may be made by the commission or under its direction.
(a) The commission, each commissioner, and each officer and
person employed by the commission may, at any time, inspect the
accounts, books, papers, and documents of any public utility. The
commission, each commissioner, and any officer of the commission or
any employee authorized to administer oaths may examine under oath
any officer, agent, or employee of a public utility in relation to
its business and affairs. Any person, other than a commissioner or an
officer of the commission, demanding to make any inspection shall
produce, under the hand and seal of the commission, authorization to
make the inspection. A written record of the testimony or statement
so given under oath shall be made and filed with the commission.
(b) Subdivision (a) also applies to inspections of the accounts,
books, papers, and documents of any business that is a subsidiary or
affiliate of, or a corporation that holds a controlling interest in,
an electrical, gas, or telephone corporation, or a water corporation
that has 2,000 or more service connections, with respect to any
transaction between the water, electrical, gas, or telephone
corporation and the subsidiary, affiliate, or holding corporation on
any matter that might adversely affect the interests of the
ratepayers of the water, electrical, gas, or telephone corporation.
The commission shall inspect and audit the books and records
for regulatory and tax purposes (a) at least once in every three
years in the case of every electrical, gas, heat, telegraph,
telephone, and water corporation serving over 1,000 customers, and
(b) at least once in every five years in the case of every
electrical, gas, heat, telegraph, telephone, and water corporation
serving 1,000 or fewer customers. An audit conducted in connection
with a rate proceeding shall be deemed to fulfill the requirements of
this section. Reports of such inspections and audits and other
pertinent information shall be furnished to the State Board of
Equalization for use in the assessment of public utilities.
The commission shall investigate the cause of all accidents
occurring within this State upon the property of any public utility
or directly or indirectly arising from or connected with its
maintenance or operation, resulting in loss of life or injury to
person or property and requiring, in the judgment of the commission,
investigation by it, and may make such order or recommendation with
respect thereto as in its judgment seems just and reasonable. Neither
the order or recommendation of the commission nor any accident
report filed with the commission shall be admitted as evidence in any
action for damages based on or arising out of such loss of life, or
injury to person or property. Every public utility shall file with
the commission, under such rules as the commission prescribes, a
report of each accident so occurring of such kinds or classes as the
commission from time to time designates.
(a) Each electrical corporation shall cooperate fully with the
commission in an investigation into any major accident or any
reportable incident, as these terms are defined by the commission,
concerning overhead electric supply facilities, regardless of pending
litigation or other investigations, including, but not limited to,
those that may be related to a commission investigation.
(b) After the scene of the incident has been made safe and service
has been restored, each electrical corporation shall provide the
commission, upon its request, immediate access to all of the
(1) Any factual or physical evidence under the electrical
corporation's, or its agent's, physical control, custody, or
possession related to the incident.
(2) The name and contact information of any known percipient
(3) Any employee percipient witness under the electrical
(4) The name and contact information of any person or entity that
has taken possession of any physical evidence removed from the site
of the incident.
(5) Any and all documents under the electrical corporation's
control that are related to the incident and are not subject to
attorney-client privilege or attorney work product doctrine.
(c) Each electrical corporation shall preserve any and all
documents or evidence it collects as part of its own investigation
related to the incident for at least five years or a shorter period
of time as authorized by the commission.
(d) Any and all documents collected by an electrical corporation
pursuant to this section shall be catalogued and preserved in an
accessible manner for assessment by commission investigators as
determined by the commission.
The commission may request the local agency formation
commission to advise it as to any special districts as defined in
Section 54775 of the Government Code who are authorized and capable
of performing comparable utility service within an area for which a
public utility is seeking certification.
The commission shall conduct a zero-based budget for all of
its programs by January 10, 2015. The zero-based budget shall be
completed for the entire commission, rather than on a
(a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the
(1) "Direct seller," "prepaid consumer," "prepaid mobile telephony
services," "prepaid MTS provider," "prepaid MTS surcharge," and
"Public Utilities Commission surcharges," have the same meaning as
defined in Section 42004 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(2) "Reimbursement fee" means a charge imposed by the commission
pursuant to Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 401).
(3) "Universal service surcharge" means any charge imposed by the
commission to support programs funded through one of the state's
universal service funds created pursuant to Chapter 1.5 (commencing
with Section 270).
(b) The commission shall annually, on or before October 1 of each
year, commencing October 1, 2015, compute a reimbursement fee as a
percentage of the sales price for prepaid mobile telephony services,
to be effective on January 1 of the following year and to be
collected and remitted pursuant to the Prepaid Mobile Telephony
Services Surcharge Collection Act (Part 21 (commencing with Section
42001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code). On or before
October 8 of each year, commencing October 8, 2015, the commission
shall post notice of the reimbursement fee on its Internet Web site
and notify both the Office of Emergency Services and the State Board
of Equalization of this information as well as the computation method
used to determine the reimbursement fee.
(c) The commission shall annually, on or before October 1 of each
year, commencing October 1, 2015, compute the individual and
cumulative amounts of the telecommunications universal service
surcharges as a percentage of the sales price for prepaid mobile
telephony services, to be effective on January 1 of the following
year and to be collected and remitted pursuant to the Prepaid Mobile
Telephony Services Surcharge Collection Act (Part 21 (commencing with
Section 42001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code). On
or before October 8 of each year, commencing October 8, 2015, the
commission shall post notice of the individual percentages and the
cumulative surcharge on its Internet Web site and notify both the
Office of Emergency Services and the State Board of Equalization of
this information as well as the computation method used to determine
the cumulative surcharge.
(d) (1) Except for that portion of the prepaid MTS surcharge that
is the Public Utilities Commission surcharges, computed pursuant to
subdivisions (b) and (c), this section neither restricts the
commission's authority to adjust reimbursement fees or universal
service surcharges nor requires that they only be adjusted once
(2) In annually computing reimbursement fees and universal service
surcharges to be collected and remitted to the commission pursuant
to this section, the commission shall adjust the fees and surcharges
to account for any past overcollection or undercollection of fees or
surcharges from prepaid consumers resulting from a reduction or
increase in the surcharges made subsequent to December 31 of the
(3) If both upward and downward adjustments are made to
reimbursement fees and universal service surcharges subsequent to
December 31, the commission may adjust how collections are deposited
into the reimbursement and universal service accounts so that
overcollections or undercollections are minimized.
(4) It is the intent of the Legislature that reimbursement fees
and universal service surcharges be applied, as much as possible, in
a competitively neutral manner that does not favor either prepaid or
postpaid payment for mobile telephony services, and that, over time,
collections of state charges from prepaid and postpaid consumers
balance out so that neither pay a disproportionate amount.
(5) At least 30 days prior to adopting any adjustment to a
reimbursement fee or universal service surcharge to be collected and
remitted to the commission on both postpaid and prepaid intrastate
service, the commission shall prepare a resolution or other public
document proposing the fee or surcharge adjustment and explaining the
calculation of the fee or surcharge. The commission shall make the
resolution or other public document available to the public and on
the commission's Internet Web site and it shall include all of the
(A) The prior year revenues from the fee or surcharge, including,
but not limited to, revenues from prepaid service.
(B) Projected expenses and revenues from all sources, including,
but not limited to, prepaid service, for the purposes of the fee or
(C) The rationale for adjustment to the reimbursement fee or
universal service surcharge, including, but not limited to, all
impacts from prepaid MTS surcharge collection.
(e) The commission shall have enforcement authority to ensure the
proper remittances over retail transactions of a prepaid MTS provider
pursuant to the Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Surcharge
Collection Act (Part 21 (commencing with Section 42001) of Division 2
of the Revenue and Taxation Code).
(f) (1) A prepaid MTS provider shall remit to the commission the
fee established for telephone corporations pursuant to subdivision
(a) of Section 431 on the intrastate portion of the revenues received
for prepaid mobile telephony service through December 31, 2015.
(2) A prepaid MTS provider shall remit to the commission the
telecommunications universal service surcharges established for
telephone corporations on the intrastate portion of the revenues
received for prepaid mobile telephony service through December 31,
(g) (1) This section does not relieve a prepaid MTS provider or
direct seller of their continuing obligation to report prepaid mobile
telephony service revenues to the commission in a manner prescribed
by the commission.
(2) When reporting prepaid mobile telephony service revenues to
the commission, a prepaid MTS provider or direct seller shall report
the intrastate revenue portion subject to the reimbursement fee and
the telecommunications universal service surcharges, as well as total
state mobile telephony service revenue.
(3) Reports made pursuant to this subdivision are subject to
Section 583 and any related orders of the commission.
(h) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2020, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends
The Legislature hereby declares that it is the policy of this
state to achieve, whenever feasible and not inconsistent with sound
environmental planning, the undergrounding of all future electric and
communication distribution facilities which are proposed to be
erected in proximity to any highway designated a state scenic highway
pursuant to Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 260) of Chapter 2
of Division 1 of the Streets and Highways Code and which would be
visible from such scenic highways if erected above ground. The
commission shall prepare and adopt by December 31, 1972, a statewide
plan and schedule for the undergrounding of all such utility
distribution facilities in accordance with the aforesaid policy and
the rules of the commission relating to the undergrounding of
The commission shall coordinate its activities regarding the plan
with local governments and planning commissions concerned.
The commission shall require compliance with the plan upon its
This section shall not apply to facilities necessary to the
operation of any railroad.
(a) The commission shall establish an office of the public
advisor and shall appoint a public advisor, including a separate
office in the Los Angeles office of the commission. The commission
may employ staff as necessary to carry out the duties of the office
of the public advisor. The office of the public advisor shall assist
members of the public and ratepayers who desire to testify before or
present information to the commission in any hearing or proceeding of
the commission. The public advisor shall advise the commission on
procedural matters relating to public participation in proceedings of
(b) The public advisor and executive director shall publicize the
commission's programs for encouraging and supporting participation in
the commission's proceedings.
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that the commission
assess the consequences of its decisions, including economic effects,
and assess and mitigate the impacts of its decision on customer,
public, and employee safety, as part of each ratemaking, rulemaking,
or other proceeding, and that this be accomplished using existing
resources and within existing commission structures. The commission
shall not establish a separate office or department for the purpose
of evaluating and mitigating consequences of commission activities.
(b) The commission shall take all necessary and appropriate
actions to assess the economic effects of its decisions and to assess
and mitigate the impacts of its decisions on customer, public, and
The president of the commission shall annually appear before
the appropriate policy committees of the Senate and Assembly to
present the annual report of the commission required pursuant to
(a) The commission shall periodically, at least once each
year, compile its rules of procedure together with every order and
decision of the commission relating to the conduct of the commission'
s hearings and proceedings.
(b) The compilation shall include, but not be limited to, matters
relating to all of the following:
(2) Public notice.
(3) Public attendance.
(4) Specification of issues.
(5) Prehearing procedures.
(8) Supporting documentation.
(9) Submission of briefs and arguments.
(10) Meetings of the commission.
(11) All other rules of procedure governing participation in
hearings and proceedings of the commission by public utilities,
commission staff, and other persons.
The commission shall determine, as part of the proceeding in
Rulemaking 98-07-038 (Rulemaking for purposes of Revising General
Order 96-A Regarding Informal Filings at the Commission) or any other
appropriate proceeding, as determined by the commission, the
feasibility of submitting advice letters to the commission through
electronic means. If determined to be feasible, the commission shall,
within six months, propose a plan for submitting advice letters by
electronic means. For purposes of this section, "electronic means"
include electronic mail and electronic forms developed or approved by
the commission and submitted through the commission's Internet Web
(a) Commencing January 1, 1989, the commission shall cause the
complete text of each of its orders and decisions to be published
within a reasonable time, not to exceed one year after issuance. The
commission shall, on or before January 1, 1990, publish every
significant decision or order issued, but not published, as of
January 1, 1989.
(b) With respect to the order or decision in any proceeding not
assigned to an administrative law judge pursuant to subdivision (b)
of Section 311, the commission may comply with subdivision (a) by
publishing the docket number or other identifying number used in its
recordkeeping system, the name of the case, the parties to the case,
and the ordering language in the case.
(c) If the commission participates in or uses an electronic means
of publication of its orders and decisions, the commission shall
assure reasonable public access to that system upon the payment of
reasonable fees or charges.
(a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms
have the following meanings:
(1) "Demand-side energy management programs" mean all energy
efficiency, demand-side response, clean distributed generation,
energy conservation, energy savings, or weatherization programs of
the state or a local government, electrical corporations, gas
corporations, or a local publicly owned electric or gas utility.
(2) "Small business" has the same meaning as defined in Section
14837 of the Government Code.
(b) The commission shall ensure that the Internet Web site for the
Energy Upgrade California program be revised to include information
related to demand-side energy management programs for small business
The executive director of the commission may release to the
Director of Industrial Relations any information concerning any
person, corporation, or other entity under the jurisdiction and
control of the commission relevant to the enforcement of the workers'
compensation laws of this state.
(a) The Public Utilities Commission shall publish any data
it collects for its clearinghouse minority and women business data
base that it deems to be nonconfidential, including, but not limited
to, company name, address, telephone number, fax number, point of
contact, federal Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code,
ethnicity code, gender code, and business description, for use by
governmental agencies and the public who request the information.
Publication of the data base shall be done on a semiannual basis and
shall be made available in hardcopy and softcopy (computer disk). The
data base shall also be made available electronically via a
computer-accessed bulletin board service (BBS).
(b) The commission may impose fees on the requesters of
information commensurate with its cost to publish, duplicate, or
provide computer access to the data base.
(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the
commission should have the authority to act swiftly to expedite
planning for the long-term recovery in parts of the state which have
been declared national disaster areas and in which severe damage to
or destruction of existing utility facilities has occurred and to
adopt expedited procedures for that purpose.
(b) The commission shall, therefore, review existing rules,
regulations, and orders and develop and adopt new rules, regulations,
or orders, as may be appropriate or necessary to establish expedited
procedures to be followed in the event that a determination is made
by the President of the United States that an emergency exists, of
the severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the
capabilities of the state and the affected local governments and that
federal assistance is necessary pursuant to Section 5191 of Title 42
of the United States Code Annotated. The procedures shall require a
determination by the commission, upon application of a utility or
other interested party, that the emergency has resulted in severe
damage or destruction to an existing utility's facilities or existing
utilities' facilities under the jurisdiction of the commission. The
rules and regulations shall be developed consistent with existing
rules and regulations pursuant to the authority granted to the
commission in Sections 701 and 1701. The expedited procedures shall
not prevent or otherwise interfere with a utility's ability promptly
to restore service to its customers requiring the service, and to
recover the reasonable costs associated with the restoration of
service, as determined by the commission. The expedited procedures
shall be adopted by the commission on or before January 1, 1994.
(c) In developing the expedited procedures, the commission shall
consider, among other things, the following:
(1) Once the President declares that an emergency exists, the
extent to which the expedited procedures should become effective.
(2) The extent to which the expedited procedures should take
precedence over any conflicting rule, regulation, or order which may
impede any appropriate or necessary decisions and actions by the
(3) If the expedited procedures become effective, the scope of
relief which may be sought and granted pursuant thereto, including,
but not limited to, the following:
(A) A determination of the applicability of existing commission
rules, regulations, and orders.
(B) An exemption from those existing rules and regulations.
(4) The time period following the date of the declaration of an
emergency by the President, within which any affected city or county
within the declared disaster area or public utility serving all or a
portion of the county or city thereof, may apply to the commission
(5) The need, if any, for referral of any application to an
administrative law judge, and the need, if any, for formal
(d) No utility shall be required to proceed to incur any costs
pursuant to commission order issued under these expedited procedures
until arrangements satisfactory to the affected utility have been
made for payment of the excess, if any, of the estimated costs of
completing the work contemplated by the commission order over the
amount of the costs allocated to the ratepayers by the commission
(e) The expedited procedures shall preserve the right of
interested parties to reasonable notice and an opportunity to be
heard, as required by applicable law. The expedited procedures shall
provide that in the event of an emergency as defined in this section,
the commission has the authority to waive the referral of the
application to an administrative law judge, and has the authority to
act on the application.
(f) In the event that the President has declared that an emergency
exists, pursuant to federal law, after January 1, 1993, and before
the adoption of emergency procedures by the commission, the
commission is authorized, and empowered to act expeditiously upon the
direct request of any affected city or county or public utility
serving all or a portion of the city or county, for relief; and to
adopt expedited measures and procedures which the commission
determines to be necessary or appropriate, including, but not limited
to, the considerations set forth above in subdivision (c).
(a) The electrical corporations and gas corporations that
participate in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE)
program, as established pursuant to Section 739.1, shall administer
low-income energy efficiency and rate assistance programs described
in Sections 382, 739.1, 739.2, and 2790, subject to commission
oversight. In administering the programs described in Section 2790,
the electrical corporations and gas corporations, to the extent
practicable, shall do all of the following:
(1) Continue to leverage funds collected to fund the program
described in subdivision (a) with funds available from state and
(2) Work with state and local agencies, community-based
organizations, and other entities to ensure efficient and effective
delivery of programs.
(3) Encourage local employment and job skill development.
(4) Maximize the participation of eligible participants.
(5) Work to reduce consumers electric and gas consumption, and
(6) For electrical corporations, target energy efficiency and
solar programs to upper-tier and multifamily customers in a manner
that will result in long-term permanent reductions in electricity
usage at the dwelling units, and develop programs that specifically
target nonprofit affordable housing providers, including programs
that promote weatherization of existing dwelling units and
replacement of inefficient appliances.
(7) For electrical corporations and for public utilities that are
both electrical corporations and gas corporations, allocate the costs
of the CARE program on an equal cents per kilowatthour or equal
cents per therm basis to all classes of customers that were subject
to the surcharge that funded the program on January 1, 2008.
(b) If the commission requires low-income energy efficiency
programs to be subject to competitive bidding, the electrical and gas
corporations described in subdivision (a), as part of their bid
evaluation criteria, shall consider both cost-of-service criteria and
quality-of-service criteria. The bidding criteria, at a minimum,
shall recognize all of the following factors:
(1) The bidder's experience in delivering programs and services,
including, but not limited to, weatherization, appliance repair and
maintenance, energy education, outreach and enrollment services, and
bill payment assistance programs to targeted communities.
(2) The bidder's knowledge of the targeted communities.
(3) The bidder's ability to reach targeted communities.
(4) The bidder's ability to utilize and employ people from the
(5) The bidder's general contractor's license and evidence of good
standing with the Contractors' State License Board.
(6) The bidder's performance quality as verified by the funding
(7) The bidder's financial stability.
(8) The bidder's ability to provide local job training.
(9) Other attributes that benefit local communities.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), the commission may modify the
bid criteria based upon public input from a variety of sources,
including representatives from low-income communities and the program
administrators identified in subdivision (b), in order to ensure the
effective and efficient delivery of high quality low-income energy