CA Pub Util Code Section 777


This section applies if there is a landlord-tenant relationship between the residential occupants and the owner, manager, or operator of the dwelling.


If an electrical, gas, heat, or water corporation furnishes individually metered residential service to residential occupants of a detached single-family dwelling, a multiunit residential structure, mobilehome park, or permanent residential structure in a labor camp, as defined in Section 17008 of the Health and Safety Code, and the owner, manager, or operator of the dwelling, structure, or park is the customer of record, the corporation shall make every good faith effort to inform the residential occupants, by means of written notice, when the account is in arrears, that service will be terminated at least 10 days prior to termination. The written notice shall further inform the residential occupants that they have the right to become customers, to whom the service will then be billed, without being required to pay any amount which may be due on the delinquent account. The notice shall be in English and in the languages listed in Section 1632 of the Civil Code.


The corporation is not required to make service available to the residential occupants unless each residential occupant agrees to the terms and conditions of service and meets the requirements of law and the corporation’s rules and tariffs. However, if one or more of the residential occupants are willing and able to assume responsibility for the subsequent charges to the account to the satisfaction of the corporation, or if there is a physical means, legally available to the corporation, of selectively terminating service to those residential occupants who have not met the requirements of the corporation’s rules and tariffs, the corporation shall make service available to those residential occupants who have met those requirements.


If prior service for a period of time is a condition for establishing credit with the corporation, residence and proof of prompt payment of rent or other credit obligation acceptable to the corporation for that period of time is a satisfactory equivalent.


Any residential occupant who becomes a customer of the corporation pursuant to this section whose periodic payments, such as rental payments, include charges for residential electrical, gas, heat, or water service, where those charges are not separately stated, may deduct from the periodic payment each payment period all reasonable charges paid to the corporation for those services during the preceding payment period.


In the case of a detached single-family dwelling, the corporation may do any of the following:


Give notice of termination at least seven days prior to the proposed termination, notwithstanding the notice period specified in subdivision (a).


In order for the amount due on the delinquent account to be waived, require an occupant who becomes a customer to verify that the delinquent account customer of record is or was the landlord, manager, or agent of the dwelling. Verification may include, but is not limited to, a lease or rental agreement, rent receipts, a government document indicating that the occupant is renting the property, or information disclosed pursuant to Section 1962 of the Civil Code.


This section shall become operative on July 1, 2010.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 777’s source at ca​.gov