Low Income Legislation LIOB – 2nd June, 2010 San Diego, CA
Relevant Bills • SB 837 (Author Florez) • AB 2207 (Author Fong) • SB 1154 (Author Cedillo)
SB 837 • This bill would require the CPUC to evaluate the impact of advanced metering infrastructure technology on the frequency of utility disconnections, and adopt policies to minimize any adverse impacts. • The CPUC would have to consider requiring utilities to evaluate their customer communication policies relative to disconnections of service and share unsuccessful and successful practices in their creation of best practices.
SB 837- perspective • The February OIR initiated by the Commission, amongst other things, launched an investigation into how the IOUs can maintain direct customer communication while transitioning to remote disconnections. • Additionally, the proposed decision may provide guidelines or directives for the IOUs on the remote disconnection of vulnerable populations
AB 2207 • The utilities must extend a payment plan to customers who are at a risk of utility service disconnection. The payment plan should be for a minimum of three months and may exceed twelve months. • A customer with established credit may not have to pay towards reestablishment of credit deposits following a utility service disconnection. • The utilities would have to file a Tier 1 Advice Letter to open a memorandum account to track any significant additional costs associated with complying with the above practices.
AB 2207- perspective • AB 2207 is almost identical to provisions in the OIR. • The OIR instituted interim practices, which this bill would put into statute. • The bill proposes to extend the payment plan for customers subject to disconnection to exceed twelve months, without an upper limit. • Filing Tier 1 Advice Letters is an internal Commission procedure.The utilities have already done so.
SB 1154 • This bill would require the Commission to ensure that all applications for the CARE and the Universal Lifeline Telephone Service (ULTS) programs include information about the applicant’s eligibility to qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). • The bill would require LIOB to recommend as to whether the CARE program and the ULTS program could assist with outreach regarding federal EITC.
SB 1154- perspective • Promoting federal tax programs like the EITC though outreach methods is outside the Commission’s jurisdiction. • Advising the Commission on matters other than low-income utility and water corporation issues is outside the scope of the LIOB’s charter. • CARE is a program funded by California ratepayers, where as EITC is a federal program.