as amended, Nazarian. Public Utilities Commission:
begin deleteproceedings: intervenor compensation. end delete
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has broad regulatory authority pursuant to the California Constitution and the Public Utilities Act over public utilities, as defined, including common carriers, toll bridge corporations, electrical corporations, gas corporations, pipeline corporations, telephone corporations, telegraph corporations, water corporations, sewer system corporations, and heat corporations. In addition, the commission has more limited authority over certain other corporations, including charter-party carriers of passengers. Existing law provides compensation for reasonable advocate’s fees, reasonable expert witness fees, and other reasonable costs to public utility customers and representatives of customers for participation or intervention in formal proceedings of the commission involving electrical, gas, water, telegraph, and telephone public utilities.end delete
This bill would additionally authorize compensation to be awarded by the commission for reasonable advocate’s fees, reasonable expert witness fees, and other reasonable costs to customers and representatives of customers for participation or intervention in formal proceedings of the commission involving a corporation that is subject to regulation by the commission pursuant to the Passenger Charter-Party Carriers’ Act.end delete
Existing law requires the commission to deny compensation to any customer who attempts to delay or obstruct the orderly and timely fulfillment of the commission’s responsibilities.end delete
This bill would require the commission to deny any claim for compensation for contributions to a closed proceeding unless otherwise specified.end delete
Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program:
begin deleteno end delete.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Section 1801.3 of the Public Utilities Code is
23amended to read:
It is the intent of the Legislature that:
25(a) The provisions of this article shall apply to all formal
26proceedings of the commission involving electrical, gas, water,
27telegraph, and telephone corporations and to corporations that are
28subject to regulation by the commission pursuant to Chapter 8
29(commencing with Section 5351) of Division 2.
30(b) The provisions of this article shall be administered in a
31manner that encourages the effective and efficient participation of
32all groups that have a stake in the public utility regulation process.
33(c) The process for finding eligibility for intervenor
34compensation be streamlined, by simplifying the preliminary
35showing by an intervenor of issues, budget, and costs.
36(d) Intervenors be compensated for making a substantial
37contribution to proceedings of the commission, as determined by
38the commission in its orders and decisions.
39(e) Intervenor compensation be awarded to eligible
40in a timely manner, within a reasonable period after the intervenor
P5 1has made the substantial contribution to a proceeding that is the
2basis for the compensation award.
3(f) This article shall be administered in a manner that avoids
4unproductive or unnecessary participation that duplicates the
5participation of similar interests otherwise adequately represented
6or participation that is not necessary for a fair determination of the
Section 1802 of the Public Utilities Code is amended
As used in this article:
11(a) “Compensation” means payment for all or part, as determined
12by the commission, of reasonable advocate’s fees, reasonable
13expert witness fees, and other reasonable costs of preparation for
14and participation in a proceeding, and includes the fees and costs
15of obtaining an award under this article and of obtaining judicial
16review, if any.
17(b) (1) “Customer” means any of the following:
18(A) A participant representing consumers, customers, or
19subscribers of any electrical, gas, telephone, telegraph, or water
20 corporation or representing consumers, customers, or passengers
21of any corporation subject to regulation by the commission
22pursuant to Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 5351) of Division
24(B) A representative who has been authorized by a customer.
25(C) A representative of a group or organization authorized
26pursuant to its articles of incorporation or bylaws to represent the
27interests of residential customers, or to represent small commercial
28customers who receive bundled electric service from an electrical
30(2) “Customer” does not include any state, federal, or local
31government agency, any publicly owned public utility, or any
32entity that, in the commission’s opinion, was established or formed
33by a local government entity for the purpose of participating in a
34 commission proceeding.
35(c) “Expert witness fees” means recorded or billed costs incurred
36by a customer for an expert witness.
37(d) “Other reasonable costs” means reasonable out-of-pocket
38expenses directly incurred by a customer that are directly related
39to the contentions or recommendations made by the customer that
40resulted in a substantial contribution.
P6 1(e) “Party” means any interested party, respondent public utility,
2or commission staff in a hearing or proceeding.
3(f) “Proceeding” means an application, complaint, or
4investigation, rulemaking, alternative dispute resolution procedures
5in lieu of formal proceedings as may be sponsored or endorsed by
6the commission, or other formal proceeding before the commission.
7(g) “Significant financial hardship” means either that the
8customer cannot afford, without undue hardship, to pay the costs
9of effective participation, including advocate’s fees, expert witness
10fees, and other reasonable costs of participation, or that, in the case
11of a group or organization, the economic interest of the individual
12members of the group or organization is small in comparison to
13the costs of effective participation in the proceeding.
14(h) “Small commercial customer” means any nonresidential
15customer with a maximum peak demand of less than 50 kilowatts.
16The commission may establish rules to modify or change the
17definition of “small commercial customer,” including use of criteria
18other than a peak demand threshold, if the commission determines
19that the modification or change will promote participation in
20proceedings at the commission by organizations representing small
21 businesses, without incorporating large commercial and industrial
23(i) “Substantial contribution” means that, in the judgment of
24the commission, the customer’s presentation has substantially
25assisted the commission in the making of its order or decision
26because the order or decision has adopted in whole or in part one
27or more factual contentions, legal contentions, or specific policy
28or procedural recommendations presented by the customer. Where
29the customer’s participation has resulted in a substantial
30contribution, even if the decision adopts that customer’s contention
31or recommendations only in part, the commission may award the
32customer compensation for all reasonable advocate’s fees,
33reasonable expert fees, and other reasonable costs incurred by the
34customer in preparing or presenting that contention or
Section 1809 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to
The commission shall deny any claim for compensation
2for contributions to a closed proceeding unless otherwise specified
3in this article.