Article 11. Information Practices of California Public Utilities Code >> Division 1. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 2.3. >> Article 11.
The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Electricity is essential to the health, safety, and economic
well-being of all California consumers.
(b) The restructuring of the electricity industry will create a
new electricity market with new marketers and sellers offering new
goods and services, many of which may not be readily evaluated by the
(c) It is important that these customers be protected from unfair
marketing practices and that market participants demonstrate their
creditworthiness and technical expertise in order to engage in power
sales to these members of the public.
(d) Larger commercial and industrial customers are sophisticated
energy consumers that have adequate civil remedies and are adequately
protected by existing commercial law, as demonstrated by the absence
of significant amounts of contract litigation between commercial and
industrial natural gas users and natural gas marketers in
(e) It is important to create a market structure that will not
unduly burden new entrants into the competitive electric market, or
California may not receive the full benefits of reduced electricity
costs through competition.
(f) It is appropriate to create a system of registration and
consumer protection for the electric industry, designed to ensure
sufficient protection for residential and small commercial consumers
while simplifying entry into the market for responsible entities
serving larger, more sophisticated customers.
(g) It is the intent of the Legislature that:
(1) Electricity consumers be provided with sufficient and reliable
information to be able to compare and select among products and
services provided in the electricity market.
(2) Consumers be provided with mechanisms to protect themselves
from marketing practices that are unfair or abusive.
(3) Pursuant to the authority granted to the commission in this
part as to registration and consumer protection matters, the
commission shall balance the need to maximize competition by reducing
barriers to entry into the small retail electricity procurement
market with the need to protect small consumers against deceptive,
unfair, or abusive business practices, or insolvency of the entity
offering retail electric service.
(h) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to
further the policies of AB 1890 (Chapter 854, Statutes of 1996)
relating to electric industry restructuring.
(a) (1) Electrical corporations shall disclose each component
of the electrical bill as follows:
(A) The total charges associated with transmission and
distribution, including that portion comprising the research,
environmental, and low-income funds.
(B) The total charges associated with generation, including the
competition transition charge.
(2) Electrical corporations shall provide conspicuous notice that
if the customer elects to purchase electricity from another provider
that customer will continue to be liable for payment of the
competition transition charge. This paragraph does not prohibit the
commission from requiring additional information.
(b) Prior to the implementation of the competition transition
charge, electric corporations, in conjunction with the commission,
shall devise and implement a customer education program informing
customers of the changes to the electric industry. The program shall
provide customers with information necessary to help them make
appropriate choices as to their electric service. The education
program shall be subject to approval by the commission.
(c) The standard bill format developed by the commission pursuant
to subdivision (e) of Section 394.4 shall also apply to electrical
(a) The commission shall compile and regularly update the
names and contact numbers of registered providers.
(b) (1) The commission shall also compile and regularly update
information to assist consumers in making service choices and the
number of customer complaints against specific providers in relation
to the number of customers served by those providers and the
disposition of those complaints. To facilitate this function,
registered entities shall file with the commission information
describing the terms and conditions of any standard service plan made
available to residential and small commercial customers. The
commission shall adopt a standard format for this filing. The
commission shall maintain and make generally available a list of
entities offering electrical services operating in California. This
list shall include all registered providers and those providers not
required to be registered who request the commission to be included
in the list. The commission shall, upon request, make this
information available at no charge. Notwithstanding any other
provision of law, public agencies that are registered entities shall
be required to disclose their terms and conditions of service
contracts only to the same extent that other registered entities
would be required to disclose the same or similar service contracts.
(2) The commission shall issue public alerts about companies
attempting to provide electric service in the state in an
unauthorized or fraudulent manner as defined in subdivision (b) of
(3) (A) This subdivision is inoperative except for time periods in
which providers are authorized to offer service to residential
customers and the combined enrollments in competitive retail electric
service in the service territories of the Pacific Gas and Electric
Company, Southern California Edison Company, and San Diego Gas and
Electric Company increase at a rate of more than 5 percent per month.
(B) The commission shall notify, in writing, the Secretary of
State at the beginning and end of any time period described in