CA Pub Util Code Section 739.9


“Fixed charge” means any fixed customer charge, basic service fee, demand differentiated basic service fee, demand charge, or other charge not based upon the volume of electricity consumed.


Increases to electrical rates and charges in rate design proceedings, including any reduction in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) discount, shall be reasonable and subject to a reasonable phase-in schedule relative to the rates and charges in effect prior to January 1, 2014.


Except as provided in subdivision (c) of Section 745, the commission shall require each electrical corporation to offer default rates to residential customers with at least two usage tiers. The first tier shall include electricity usage of no less than the baseline quantity established pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 739.


Consistent with the requirements of Section 739, the commission may modify the seasonal definitions and applicable percentage of average consumption for one or more climatic zones.


The commission may adopt new, or expand existing, fixed charges for the purpose of collecting a reasonable portion of the fixed costs of providing electric service to residential customers. The commission shall ensure that any approved charges do all of the following:


Reasonably reflect an appropriate portion of the different costs of serving small and large customers.


Not unreasonably impair incentives for conservation and energy efficiency.


Not overburden low-income customers.


For the purposes of this section and Section 739.1, the commission may, beginning January 1, 2015, authorize fixed charges that do not exceed ten dollars ($10) per residential customer account per month for customers not enrolled in the CARE program and five dollars ($5) per residential customer account per month for customers enrolled in the CARE program. Beginning January 1, 2016, the maximum allowable fixed charge may be adjusted by no more than the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for the prior calendar year. This subdivision applies to any default rate schedule, at least one optional tiered rate schedule, and at least one optional time variant rate schedule.


This section does not require the commission to approve any new or expanded fixed charge.


The commission may consider whether minimum bills are appropriate as a substitute for any fixed charges.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 739.9’s source at ca​.gov