Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2013
Natural Gas Surcharge Law
890. Natural gas surcharge. (a) On and after January 1, 2001, there shall be imposed a surcharge on all natural gas consumed in this state. The commission shall establish a surcharge to fund low-income assistance programs required by Sections 739.1, 739.2, and 2790 and cost-effective energy efficiency and conservation activities and public interest research and development authorized by Section 740 and not adequately provided by the competitive and regulated markets. Upon implementation of this article, funding for those programs shall be removed from the rates of gas utilities.
(b) (1) Except as specified in Section 898, a public utility gas corporation, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 891, shall collect the surcharge imposed pursuant to subdivision (a) from any person consuming natural gas in this state who receives gas service from the public utility gas corporation.
(2) A public utility gas corporation is relieved from liability to collect the surcharge insofar as the base upon which the surcharge is imposed is represented by accounts which have been found to be worthless and charged off in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. If the public utility gas corporation has previously paid the amount of the surcharge it may, under regulations prescribed by the State Board of Equalization, take as a deduction on its return the amount found to be worthless and charged off. If any accounts are thereafter collected in whole or in part, the surcharge so collected shall be paid with the first return filed after that collection. The commission may by regulation promulgate other rules with respect to uncollected or worthless accounts as it determines to be necessary to the fair and efficient administration of this part.
(c) Except as specified in Section 898, all persons consuming natural gas in this state that has been transported by an interstate pipeline, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 891, shall be liable for the surcharge imposed pursuant to subdivision (a).
(d) The commission shall annually determine the amount of money required for the following year to administer this chapter and fund the natural gas related programs described in subdivision (a) for the service territory of each public utility gas corporation.
(e) The commission shall annually establish a surcharge rate for each class of customer for the service territory of each public utility gas corporation. A customer of an interstate gas pipeline, as defined in Section 891, shall pay the same surcharge rate as the customer would pay if the customer received service from the public utility gas corporation in whose service territory the customer is located. The commission shall determine the total volume of retail natural gas transported within the service territory of a utility gas provider, that is not subject to exemption pursuant to Section 896, for the purpose of establishing the surcharge rate.
(f) The commission shall allocate the surcharge for gas used by all customers, including those customers who were not subject to the surcharge prior to January 1, 2001.
(g) The commission shall notify the State Board of Equalization of the surcharge rate for each class of customer served by an interstate pipeline in the service territory of a public utility gas corporation.
(h) The State Board of Equalization shall notify each person who consumes natural gas delivered by an interstate pipeline of the surcharge rate for each class of customer within the service territory of a public utility gas corporation.
(i) The surcharge imposed pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be in addition to any other charges for natural gas sold or transported for consumption in this state. Effective on July 1, 2001, the surcharge imposed pursuant to this article shall be identified as a separate line item on the bill of a customer of a public utility gas corporation.
(j) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), public utility gas corporations shall continue to collect in rates those costs of programs described in subdivision (a) of Section 890 that are uncollected prior to the operative date of this article.