California has numerous formal acts in statute. Public Utilities Code Division 1, Part 1, Chapter 2.3, Article 15 provides the Reliable Electric Service Investments Act, which is contained in Sections 399 to 399.9. Article 15 was added in 2000 by Chapter 1050. Section 399 names the act.
In addition, is sets forth several legislative findings and declarations, including that safe, reliable electric service is of utmost importance to the citizens of this state, and its economy, and that it is essential that prudent investments continue to be made in specified areas.
Moreover, there are seven legislative findings and declarations made, including that the Public Utilities Commission and the boards of local publicly owned electric utilities have included in regulated electricity prices, investments that are essential to maintaining system reliability, reducing California electricity users’ bills, and mitigating environmental costs of California users’ electricity consumption.
Section 399.2 sets forth the policy of this state, and the intent of the Legislature, to reaffirm that each electrical corporation is to continue to operate its electric distribution grid in its service territory and to do so in a safe, reliable, efficient, and cost-effective manner.
In addition, the commission must require every electrical corporation operating an electric distribution grid to inform all customers who request residential service connections via telephone of the availability of the California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) program and how they may qualify for and obtain these services and must accept applications for the CARE program according to procedures specified by the commission. Electrical corporations are to recover the reasonable costs of implementing this subdivision.
Section 399.2.5 provides that an application of an electrical corporation for a certificate authorizing the construction of new transmission facilities is necessary to the provision of electric service if the commission finds that the new facility is necessary to facilitate achievement of the renewables portfolio standard.
The commission is required to take all feasible actions to ensure that the transmission rates established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are fully reflected in any retail rates established by the commission. These actions are to include specified tasks.
Section 399.3 provides that the prior section is not to be construed to preclude any of California’s local publicly owned electric utilities from exercising authority to operate their electric distribution grid as provided under law.
Section 399.4 provides that, in order to ensure that prudent investments in energy efficiency continue to be made that produce cost-effective energy savings, reduce customer demand, and contribute to the safe and reliable operation of the electrical distribution grid, it is the policy of this state and the intent of the Legislature that the commission is to supervise the administration of cost-effective energy efficiency programs authorized pursuant to its statutory authority.
The commission, in evaluating energy efficiency investments under its statutory authority, is also required to ensure that local and regional interests, multifamily dwellings, and energy service industry capabilities are incorporated into program portfolio design and that local governments, community-based organizations, and energy efficiency service providers are encouraged to participate in program implementation where appropriate.
Section 399.8 provides that, in order to ensure that the citizens of this state continue to receive safe, reliable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable electric service, it is the policy of this state and the intent of the Legislature that prudent investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and research, development and demonstration are to continue to be made.
Section 399.9 prohibits any part of this article to be construed to alter or affect the low-income funding provisions. Programs provided to low-income electricity customers, including but not limited to, targeted energy efficiency services and the California Alternative Rates for Energy Program are to continue to be funded. Finally, nothing in this article is to be construed to affect the jurisdiction of the commission over electric distribution service.
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