CA Pub Util Code Section 841


An electrical corporation shall, by June 1, 1997, and may from time to time thereafter apply to the commission for a determination that certain transition costs may be recovered through fixed transition amounts, which would therefore constitute transition property under this article. An electrical corporation may request this determination by the commission in separate proceedings or in an order instituting investigation or order instituting rulemaking, or both. The electrical corporation shall in its application specify that the residential and small commercial customers as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 331 would benefit from reduced rates through the issuance of rate reduction bonds. The commission shall designate fixed transition amounts as recoverable in one or more financing orders if the commission determines, as part of its findings in connection with the financing order, that the designation of the fixed transition amounts, and issuance of rate reduction bonds in connection with some or all of the fixed transition amounts would reduce rates that residential and small commercial customers would have paid if the financing order were not adopted. These customers shall continue to pay fixed transition amounts after December 31, 2001, until the bonds are paid in full by the financing entity. No electrical corporation shall be found to have acted imprudently or unreasonably for failing to amend a power purchase contract where the amendment would modify or waive an existing requirement that the seller be a qualifying facility pursuant to federal law.


The commission may issue financing orders in accordance with this article to facilitate the provision, recovery, financing, or refinancing of transition costs. A financing order may be adopted only upon the application of an electrical corporation and shall become effective in accordance with its terms only after the electrical corporation files with the commission the electrical corporation’s written consent to all terms and conditions of the financing order. A financing order may specify how amounts collected from a customer shall be allocated between fixed transition amounts and other charges.


Notwithstanding Section 455.5, Section 1708, or any other provision of law, except as otherwise provided in this subdivision with respect to transition property that has been made the basis for the issuance of rate reduction bonds, the financing orders and the fixed transition amounts shall be irrevocable and the commission shall not have authority either by rescinding, altering, or amending the financing order or otherwise, to revalue or revise for ratemaking purposes the transition costs, or the costs of providing, recovering, financing, or refinancing the transition costs, determine that the fixed transition amounts or rates are unjust or unreasonable, or in any way reduce or impair the value of transition property either directly or indirectly by taking fixed transition amounts into account when setting other rates for the electrical corporation; nor shall the amount of revenues arising with respect thereto be subject to reduction, impairment, postponement, or termination. Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, the State of California does hereby pledge and agree with the owners of transition property and holders of rate reduction bonds that the state shall neither limit nor alter the fixed transition amounts, transition property, financing orders, and all rights thereunder until the obligations, together with the interest thereon, are fully met and discharged, provided nothing contained in this section shall preclude the limitation or alteration if and when adequate provision shall be made by law for the protection of the owners and holders. The bank as agent for the state is authorized to include this pledge and undertaking for the state in these obligations. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the commission shall approve the adjustments to the fixed transition amounts as may be necessary to ensure timely recovery of all transition costs that are the subject of the pertinent financing order, and the costs of capital associated with the provision, recovery, financing, or refinancing thereof, including the costs of issuing, servicing, and retiring the rate reduction bonds contemplated by the financing order. The adjustments shall not impose fixed transition amounts upon classes of customers who were not subject to the fixed transition amounts in the pertinent financing order.


(1)Financing orders issued under this article do not constitute a debt or liability of the state or of any political subdivision thereof, other than the financing entity, and do not constitute a pledge of the full faith and credit of the state or any of its political subdivisions, other than the financing entity, but are payable solely from the funds provided therefor under this article and shall be consistent with Sections 1 and 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution. This subdivision shall in no way preclude bond guarantees or enhancements pursuant to this article. All the bonds shall contain on the face thereof a statement to the following effect: “Neither the full faith and credit nor the taxing power of the State of California is pledged to the payment of the principal of, or interest on, this bond.”


The issuance of bonds under this article shall not directly, indirectly, or contingently obligate the state or any political subdivision thereof to levy or to pledge any form of taxation therefor or to make any appropriation for their payment. Nothing in this section shall prevent, or be construed to prevent, the financing entity from pledging the full faith and credit of the infrastructure bank fund to the payment of bonds or issuance of bonds authorized pursuant to this article.


The commission shall establish procedures for the expeditious processing of applications for financing orders, including the approval or disapproval thereof within 120 days of the electrical corporation’s making application therefor. The commission shall provide in any financing order for a procedure for the expeditious approval by the commission of periodic adjustments to the fixed transition amounts that are the subject of the pertinent financing order, as required by subdivision (c). The procedure shall require the commission to determine whether the adjustments are required on each anniversary of the issuance of the financing order, and at the additional intervals as may be provided for in the financing order, and for the adjustments, if required, to be approved within 90 days of each anniversary of the issuance of the financing order, or of each additional interval provided for in the financing order.


Fixed transition amounts shall constitute transition property when, and to the extent that, a financing order authorizing the fixed transition amounts has become effective in accordance with this article, and the transition property shall thereafter continuously exist as property for all purposes with all of the rights and privileges of this article for the period and to the extent provided in the financing order, but in any event until the rate reduction bonds are paid in full, including all principal, interest, premium, costs, and arrearages thereon.


Any surplus fixed transition amounts in excess of the amounts necessary to pay principal, premium, if any, interest and expenses of the issuance of the rate reduction bonds shall be remitted to the financing entity and may be used to benefit residential and small commercial customers if this would not result in a recharacterization of the tax, accounting, and other intended characteristics of the financing, including, but not limited to, the following:


Avoiding the recognition of debt on the electrical corporation’s balance sheet for financial accounting and regulatory purposes.


Treating the rate reduction bonds as debt of the electrical corporation or its affiliates for federal income tax purposes.


Treating the transfer of the transition property by the electrical corporation as a true sale for bankruptcy purposes.


Avoiding any adverse impact of the financing on the electrical corporation’s credit rating.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 841’s source at ca​.gov