EPIC monitors and conducts analysis on key energy-related legislation in California. EPIC's Legislative Center provides a listing and summary of energy-related legislation.
2013 California Energy-Related Legislation
- Green Building
- Greenhouse Gas/Climate Change
- Hydraulic Fracturing
- Natural Gas
- Proposition 39
- Rates and Tariffs
- Renewable Energy
Alternative Fuels and Vehicles
AB 217 (Bradford) Electricity: solar electricity: low-income households.
This bill would, upon the expenditure or reservation of those funds reserved for low-income residential housing, authorize the surcharge collected by the electrical corporations for the California Solar Initiative to continue to provide funding for the administration of the SASH and MASH programs. The bill would require the commission to ensure the total amount resulting from the continued collection of the charge does not exceed $108,000,000. The bill would extend the operation of the SASH and MASH programs to December 31, 2021, or until the exhaustion of that amount, whichever occurs sooner. The bill would require the SASH and MASH programs to meet specified requirements. The bill would make legislative findings and declarations that it is the goal of the state to install solar energy systems that have a generating capacity equivalent to 50 megawatts for low-income residential housing and that the commission designs a program that maximizes the overall benefit to ratepayers. Because a violation of any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program by extending the application of a crime. This bill would incorporate additional changes in Section 2851 of the Public Utilities Code proposed in AB 102, SB 72, SB 84, and SB 96, to become operative if either AB 102, SB 72, SB 84, or SB 96, or any combination of those bills, and this bill become effective on or before January 1, 2014, and this bill is enacted last. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
AB 792 (Mullin) Utility user tax: exemption: distributed generation systems.
This bill would, until January 1, 2020, exempt from any utility user tax imposed by a local jurisdiction, as defined, the consumption of electricity generated by a clean energy resource, as defined, for the use of a single customer or the customer’s tenants.
SB 459 (Pavley) Financial Incentives for Middle-Income Households to Adopt Fuel Efficiency Vehicles
This bill would require instead a motor vehicle to have been registered without substantial lapse, as determined by the department, in the state for at least 2 years prior to vehicle retirement and to have failed any type of smog check inspection lawfully performed in the state to qualify to receive a specified vehicle retirement payment. The bill would authorize, rather than require, the department to permit vehicle retirement for any motor vehicle that has been registered without substantial lapse in the state for at least 2 years prior to vehicle retirement and that fails any type of smog check inspection lawfully performed in the state. This bill would require the state board, in consultation with the bureau and no later than June 30, 2015, to update the guidelines for the enhanced fleet modernization program to include specified elements and to study and consider specified elements. The bill would make various findings and declarations. The bill, in addition, would establish compensation for replacement vehicles for low-income vehicle owners at not less than $2,500, would make replacement an option for all motor vehicle owners, and would make this compensation available to an owner in addition to the compensation for a retired vehicle. The bill would prohibit this compensation for all other motor vehicle owners from exceeding the compensation for low-income motor vehicle owners. The bill would authorize instead an increase in the compensation under these programs for either retired or replacement vehicles for only low-income motor vehicle owners as necessary to balance maximizing air quality benefits of the program while ensuring participation by low-income motor vehicle owners, as specified.
AB 1092 (Levine) Electric Charge Station Requirement for New Construction Projects
This bill would (1) require the commission, commencing with the next triennial edition of the California Building Standards Code adopted after January 1, 2014, to adopt, approve, codify, and publish mandatory building standards for the installation of future electric vehicle charging infrastructure for parking spaces in multifamily dwellings and nonresidential development, (2) require the Department of Housing and Community Development to propose mandatory building standards for the installation of future electric vehicle charging infrastructure for parking spaces in multifamily dwellings and submit the proposed mandatory building standards to the commission for consideration, (3) require the department and the commission, in proposing and adopting the mandatory building standards, to use specified sections of the California Green Building Standards Code as the starting point for the mandatory building standards and to actively consult with interested parties.
SB 454 (Corbett) Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Open Access Act
This bill would (1) create the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Open Access Act, which would prohibit the charging of a subscription fee on persons desiring to use an electric vehicle charging station, as defined, and would prohibit a requirement for persons to obtain membership in any club, association, or organization as a condition of using the station, except as specified, (2) require the total actual charges for the use of an electric vehicle charging station to be disclosed to the public at the point of sale, (3) require an electric vehicle charging station to provide to the general public 2 specified options of payment, (4) require the service provider of electric vehicle service equipment, as defined, at an electric vehicle charging station, as defined, to disclose to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory the charging station’s geographic location, a schedule of fees, accepted methods of payment, and the amount of network roaming charges for nonmembers, if any, (5) if no interoperability billing standards have been adopted by a national standards organization by January 1, 2015, would authorize the state board to adopt interoperability billing standards, as defined, for network roaming payment methods for electric vehicle charging stations, and would require, if the state board adopts standards, all electric vehicle charging stations that require payment to meet those standards within one year, (6) require the state board to maintain a toll-free telephone number and email address or an Internet Web site to collect consumer complaints regarding violations of these provisions, (7) authorize the state board to respond to consumer complaints and would require the state board to summarize those complaints by number and type of complaint and make the summary available to the public annually.
AB 270 (Bradford) Website for Energy Efficiency Program Information
This bill would (1) require the commission to require the electrical and gas corporations to cooperate in establishing, by June 1, 2014, a publicly available Internet Web site containing specified information regarding ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs, (2) because a violation of this provision is a crime, this bill would create a state-mandated local program, (3) require the commission to include in that annual report information on its effort to identify ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs that are similar programs administered by other specified state agencies and to require revisions to ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs to ensure that those programs complement and do not duplicate the programs of other state agencies.
AB 719 (Roger Hernández) Efficient Street Lighting Requirement for Electric Utilities
This bill would (1) require the commission, on or before March 1, 2014, to order electrical corporations to submit a tariff to be used, at the discretion of local governments, to fund energy efficiency improvements in street light poles owned by the electrical corporations, (2) state the intent of the Legislature that utility-owned street light poles, whose electricity use is paid by local governments, be converted to use cost-effective technology that reduces electricity consumption to achieve lower utility bills.
AB 628 (Gorell) Energy Management Plans for Harbor and Port Districts
This bill would authorize the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation, and Conservation District and specified harbor and port districts, as defined, jointly with an electrical corporation, gas corporation, community choice aggregator established on or before July, 1 2013, or publicly owned electric or gas utility serving the district to prepare one or more energy management plans to reduce air emissions and promote economic development through the addition of new businesses and the retention of existing businesses in the district. The bill would require, if a district prepares an energy management plan pursuant to these provisions, that the plan include specified provisions.
AB 341 (Dickinson) Green Building Standards
This bill would require (1) the commission and state agencies that propose green building standards to allow for input by other state agencies that have expertise in green building subject areas, (2) require the process by which these other state agencies shall submit suggested changes for consideration to be adopted as administrative regulations that include certain elements, (3) expand these provisions to authorize the expenditure of those funds by the commission in performing an analysis of existing green building standards and for carrying out verification protocols relating to building standards, including, but not limited to, training and guidance for local building officials in jurisdictions that have adopted Tier 1 and Tier 2 green building standards, (4) as part of the next triennial update of the California Building Standards Code, that state agencies that propose green building standards, as specified, to the extent that it is feasible, reference or reprint those green building standards in other relevant portions of the California Building Standards Code.
Greenhouse Gas/Climate Change
AB 691 (Muratsuchi) Requirement for Local Land Trustees to Develop Plan for Sea Level Rise
This bill would (1) provide that addressing the impacts from sea level rise for all of its legislatively granted public trust lands shall be among the management priorities of a local trustee, as defined, (2) require a local trustee whose gross public trust revenues average over $250,000 annually between January 1, 2009, and January 1, 2014, to prepare and submit to the commission, no later than July 1, 2019, except as provided, an assessment of how it proposes to address sea level rise, (3) permit, but not require, a local trustee whose gross public trust revenues are $250,000 or less to prepare and submit to the commission an assessment, (4) require a local trustee to consider and use relevant information from specified reports on sea level rise in preparing the assessment and would permit a trustee that has already completed an assessment on the impacts of sea level rise to submit that assessment to the commission, (5) require that the commission make those assessments available to the public on its Internet Web site, and send electronic copies to certain other public entities.
SB 4 (Pavley) Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation
(1) This bill would define, among other things, the terms well stimulation treatment, hydraulic fracturing, and hydraulic fracturing fluid. The bill would require the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, on or before January 1, 2015, to cause to be conducted, and completed, an independent scientific study on well stimulation treatments, including acid well stimulation and hydraulic fracturing treatments. The bill would require an owner or operator of a well to record and include all data on acid treatments and well stimulation treatments, as specified. The bill would require the division, in consultation with the Department of Toxic Substances Control, the State Air Resources Board, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, and any local air districts and regional water quality control boards in areas where well stimulation treatments may occur, on or before January 1, 2015, to adopt rules and regulations specific to well stimulation, including governing the construction of wells and well casings and full disclosure of the composition and disposition of well stimulation fluids, and would authorize the division to allow well stimulation treatments if specific conditions are met. The bill would require an operator to apply for a permit, as specified, with the supervisor or district deputy, prior to performing a well stimulation treatment of a well and would prohibit the operator from either conducting a new well stimulation treatment or repeating a well stimulation treatment without a valid, approved permit. The bill would prohibit the approval of a permit application that is incomplete. The bill would require the division, within 5 business days of issuing a permit to commence a well stimulation treatment, to provide a copy to specific boards and entities and to post the permit on a publicly accessible portion of its Internet Web site. The bill would provide that the well stimulation treatment permit expires one year from the date that a permit is issued. The bill would require the division to perform random periodic spot check inspections during well stimulation treatments, as specified. The bill would require the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to notify various legislative committees on the progress of the independent scientific study on well stimulation and related activities, as specified, until the study is completed and peer reviewed by independent scientific experts. The bill would require the operator to provide a copy of the approved well stimulation treatment permit to specified tenants and property owners at least 30 days prior to commencing a well stimulation treatment. The bill would require the operator to provide notice to the division at least 72 hours prior to the actual start of a well stimulation treatment in order for the division to witness the treatment. The bill would require the supplier, as defined, of the well stimulation treatment to provide to the operator, within 30 days following the conclusion of the treatment, certain information regarding the well stimulation fluid. The bill would require the operator, within 60 days of the cessation of a well stimulation treatment, to post or cause to have posted on an Internet Web site accessible to the public specified information on the well stimulation fluid, as specified. The bill would require the division to commence a process to develop an Internet Web site for operators to report specific information related to well stimulation treatments and would require the Internet Web site to be operational no later than January 1, 2016. The bill would authorize the division to direct reporting to an alternative Internet Web site, as prescribed, and would require the division to obtain the data reported to the alternative Internet Web site and make it available to the public, as specified. The bill would provide that where the division shares jurisdiction over a well with a federal entity, the division’s rules and regulations apply in addition to all applicable federal law and regulations. The bill would require a supplier claiming trade secret protection for the chemical composition of additives used in a well stimulation treatment to disclose the composition to the division, in conjunction with a well stimulation treatment permit application, as specified, but would, with certain exceptions, prohibit those with access to the trade secret from disclosing it. Because this bill would create a new crime, it would impose a state-mandated local program. (2) This bill would make persons who violate specified provisions relating to well stimulation treatments subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not to exceed $25,000 per day per violation. (3) This bill would allow the moneys described above to be used for all costs associated with (A) well stimulation treatments, including scientific studies required to evaluate the treatment, inspections, and any air and water quality sampling, monitoring, and testing performed by public entities, and (B) the costs of the State Water Resources Control Board and the regional water quality control boards in carrying out specific responsibilities relating to well stimulation and groundwater monitoring, as specified. (4) This bill would require the supervisor, on or before January 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, to transmit to the Legislature and make available publicly a comprehensive report on well stimulation in the exploration and production of oil and gas resources in the state. (5) This bill would require the state board, on or before July 1, 2015, to develop a groundwater monitoring model criteria, as specified, to be implemented either on a well-by-well basis or on a regional scale, on how to conduct appropriate monitoring on individual oil and gas wells subject to a well stimulation treatment in order to protect all waters designated for beneficial uses and prioritize the monitoring of groundwater that is or has the potential to be a source of drinking water. (6) This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
AB 1257 (Bocanegra) California Energy Commission Natural Gas Report
This bill would require the Energy Commission, beginning November 1, 2015, and every 4 years thereafter, concurrent with the preparation of the integrated energy policy report, to identify strategies to maximize the benefits obtained from natural gas as an energy source, as specified.
SB 39 (De León) Proposition 39: Clean Energy Employment and Student Advancement Act of 2013
This bill would require the forfeiture of a contractual, common law, constitutional, or statutory claim against a local public agency employer to retirement or pension rights or benefits, as specified, by a local public officer who exercised discretionary authority and who was convicted of a felony for conduct arising out of, or in the performance of, his or her official duties. The bill would also make a statement of findings.
Rates and Tariffs
AB 327 (Perea) CPUC Authority to Change Residential Electric and Natural Gas Rates
This bill would repeal the limitations upon increasing the electric service rates of residential customers, including the rate increase limitations applicable to electric service provided to CARE customers, but would require the commission, in establishing rates for CARE program participants, to ensure that low-income ratepayers are not jeopardized or overburdened by monthly energy expenditures and to adopt CARE rates in which the level of discount for low-income electricity and gas ratepayers correctly reflects their level of need, as determined by a specified needs assessment. The bill would require that this needs assessment be performed not less often than every 3rd year. The bill would revise the CARE program eligibility requirements to provide that for one-person households, program eligibility would be based on 2-person household guideline levels. The bill would require the commission, when establishing the CARE discounts for an electrical corporation with 100,000 or more customer accounts in California, to ensure that the average effective CARE discount be no less than 30% and no more than 35% of the revenues that would have been produced for the same billed usage by non-CARE customers and that the entire discount be provided in the form of a reduction in the overall bill for the eligible CARE customer. The bill would require that increases to rates and charges in rate design proceedings, including any reduction in the CARE discount, be reasonable and subject to a reasonable phase-in schedule relative to the rates and charges in effect prior to January 1, 2014. The bill would authorize the commission to approve new, or expand existing, fixed charges, as defined, for an electrical corporation for the purpose of collecting a reasonable portion of the fixed costs of providing service to residential customers. The bill would require the commission to ensure that any new or expanded fixed charges reasonably reflect an appropriate portion of the different costs of serving small and large customers, do not unreasonably impair incentives for conservation and energy efficiency, and do not overburden low-income and moderate-income customers. The bill would impose a $10 limit per residential customer account per month for customers not enrolled in the CARE program, would impose a $5 per month limit per residential customer account per month for customers enrolled in the CARE program, and would, beginning January 1, 2016, authorize the commission to adjust this maximum allowable fixed charge by no more than the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for the prior calendar year. The bill would authorize the commission to consider whether minimum bills are an appropriate substitute for any fixed charges. This bill would delete these provisions and instead prohibit the commission from requiring or permitting an electrical corporation from employing mandatory or default time-variant pricing, as defined, for any residential customer, except that beginning January 1, 2018, the commission may require or authorize an electrical corporation to employ default time-of-use pricing to residential customers, subject to specified limitations and conditions. The bill would permit the commission to authorize an electrical corporation to offer residential customers the option of receiving service pursuant to time-variant pricing and to participate in other demand response programs. The bill would provide that a residential customer would have the option to not receive service pursuant to time-variant pricing and not incur any additional charge as a result of the exercise of that option. Unless the commission has authorized an electrical corporation to employ default time-of-use pricing, the bill would require the commission to require each electrical corporation to offer default rates to residential customers with at least 2 usage tiers and would require that the first tier include electricity usage of no less than the baseline quantity established by the commission. The bill would authorize the commission to modify the baseline seasonal definitions and applicable percentage of average consumption for one or more climate zones. This bill would require a large electrical corporation, defined as an electrical corporation with more than 100,000 service connections in California, to provide net energy metering to additional eligible customer-generators in its service area through July 1, 2017, or until the corporation reaches its net energy metering program limit, as specified. The bill would require the commission to develop a standard contract or tariff for eligible customer-generators with a renewable electrical generation facility that is a customer of a large electrical corporation no later than December 31, 2015. In developing the standard contract or tariff for large electrical corporations, the commission would be required to take specified actions. The bill would require the large electrical corporation to offer the standard contract or tariff to an eligible customer-generator beginning July 1, 2017, or prior to that date if ordered to do so by the commission because it has reached the net energy metering program limit established for the corporation. The bill would provide that there shall be no limitation on the number of new eligible customer-generators entitled to receive service pursuant to the new standard contract or tariff developed by the commission for a large electrical corporation. This bill would instead provide that a fuel cell electrical generation facility is not eligible for the tariff unless it commences operation before January 1, 2017. This bill would require an electrical corporation, by July 1, 2015, to submit to the commission a distribution resources plan proposal, as specified, to identify optimal locations for the deployment of preferred resources, as defined. The bill would require the commission to review each distribution resources plan proposal submitted by an electrical corporation and approve, or modify and approve, a distribution resources plan for the corporation. The bill would require that any electrical corporation spending on distribution infrastructure necessary to accomplish the distribution resources plan be proposed and considered as part of the next general rate case for the corporation and would authorize the commission to approve this proposed spending if it concludes that ratepayers would realize net benefits and the associated costs are just and reasonable. This bill would authorize the commission to require a retail seller to procure eligible renewable energy resources in excess of the specified quantities. Because portions of this bill are within the act and require action by the commission to implement their requirements, a violation of these provisions would impose a state-mandated local program by creating a new crime or expanding an existing crime.
SB 743 (Steinberg) Changes to California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE)
This bill would instead require the Judicial Council, on or before July 1, 2014, to adopt a rule of court to establish procedures applicable to actions or proceedings seeking judicial review of a public agency’s action in certifying the environmental impact report and in granting project approval that requires the actions or proceedings, including any appeals therefrom, be resolved, within 270 days of the certification of the record of proceedings. The bill would extend the operation of the judicial review procedures unless the lead agency fails to certify an environmental impact report for an environmental leadership project on or before January 1, 2016. The bill would provide that the above provisions do not apply to a project if the Governor does not certify the project as an environmental leadership development project prior to January 1, 2016. Because this bill would extend the time period for which a lead agency would be required to concurrently prepare the record of proceeding with the review and consideration of the environmental leadership development projects, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the lead agency, within 10 days of the Governor’s certification, to issue, at the applicant’s expense, a specified public notice, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program. The bill would repeal the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2011 on January 1, 2017. This bill would provide that aesthetic and parking impacts of a residential, mixed-use residential, or employment center project, as defined, on an infill site, as defined, within a transit priority area, as defined, shall not be considered significant impacts on the environment. The bill would require the Office of Planning and Research to prepare and submit to the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, and the secretary to certify and adopt, revisions to the guidelines for the implementation of CEQA establishing thresholds of significance for noise and transportation impacts of projects within transit priority areas. This bill would require the public agency, in certifying the environmental impact report and in granting approvals for a specified entertainment and sports center project located in the City of Sacramento, including the concurrent preparation of the record of proceedings and the certification of the record of proceeding within 5 days of the filing of a specified notice, to comply with specified procedures. Because a public agency would be required to comply with those new procedures, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the Judicial Council, on or before July 1, 2014, to adopt a rule of court to establish procedures applicable to actions or proceedings seeking judicial review of a public agency’s action in certifying the environmental impact report and in granting project approval that requires the actions or proceedings, including any appeals therefrom, be resolved, to the extent feasible, within 270 days of the certification of the record of proceedings. The bill would provide that the above provisions are inoperative and repealed on January 1 of the following year if the applicant fails to notify the lead agency before the release of the draft environmental impact report for public comment that the applicant is electing to proceed pursuant to the above provisions. This bill would revise the definition of “infill opportunity zone,” as specified. The bill would authorize the designation of an infill opportunity zone that is a transit priority area within a sustainable communities strategy or alternative planning strategy adopted by an applicable metropolitan planning organization.
SB 43 (Wolk) Shared Renewable Energy Self-Generation Program
This bill would enact the Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program. The program would require a participating utility, defined as being an electrical corporation with 100,000 or more customers in California, to file with the commission an application requesting approval of a green tariff shared renewables program to implement a program enabling ratepayers to participate directly in offsite electrical generation facilities that use eligible renewable energy resources, consistent with certain legislative findings and statements of intent. The bill would require the commission, by July 1, 2014, to issue a decision concerning the participating utility’s application, determining whether to approve or disapprove the application, with or without modifications. The bill would require the commission, after notice and opportunity for public comment, to approve the application if the commission determines that the proposed program is reasonable and consistent with the legislative findings and statements of intent. The bill would require the commission to require that a participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program be administered in accordance with specified provisions. The bill would repeal the program on January 1, 2019. Because the provisions of the bill would require action by the commission to implement its requirements, a violation of these provisions would impose a state-mandated local program by expanding the definition of a crime. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
SB 591 (Cannella) Role of Hydroelectric Generation in RPS Requirements for Municipal Utilities
This bill would provide that a local publicly owned electric utility is not required to procure additional eligible renewable energy resources in excess of specified levels, if it receives 50% or greater of its annual retail sales from its own hydrodelectric generation meeting specified requirements.