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California Public Utilities Code Section 216

216. (a) Public utility includes every common carrier, toll bridge corporation, pipeline corporation, gas corporation, electrical corporation, telephone corporation, telegraph corporation, water corporation, sewer system corporation, and heat corporation, where the service is performed for, or the commodity is delivered to, the public or any portion thereof.

(b) Whenever any common carrier, toll bridge corporation, pipeline corporation, gas corporation, electrical corporation, telephone corporation, telegraph corporation, water corporation, sewer system corporation, or heat corporation performs a service for, or delivers a commodity to, the public or any portion thereof for which any compensation or payment whatsoever is received, that common carrier, toll bridge corporation, pipeline corporation, gas corporation, electrical corporation, telephone corporation, telegraph corporation, water corporation, sewer system corporation, or heat corporation, is a public utility subject to the jurisdiction, control, and regulation of the commission and the provisions of this part.

(c) When any person or corporation performs any service for, or delivers any commodity to, any person, private corporation, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state, that in turn either directly or indirectly, mediately or immediately, performs that service for, or delivers that commodity to, the public or any portion thereof, that person or corporation is a public utility subject to the jurisdiction, control, and regulation of the commission and the provisions of this part.

(d) Ownership or operation of a facility that employs cogeneration technology or produces power from other than a conventional power source or the ownership or operation of a facility which employs landfill gas technology does not make a corporation or person a public utility within the meaning of this section solely because of the ownership or operation of that facility.

(e) Any corporation or person engaged directly or indirectly in developing, producing, transmitting, distributing, delivering, or selling any form of heat derived from geothermal or solar resources or from cogeneration technology to any privately owned or publicly owned public utility, or to the public or any portion thereof, is not a public utility within the meaning of this section solely by reason of engaging in any of those activities.

(f) The ownership or operation of a facility that sells compressed natural gas or hydrogen at retail to the public for use only as a motor vehicle fuel, and the selling of compressed natural gas or hydrogen at retail from that facility to the public for use only as a motor vehicle fuel, does not make the corporation or person a public utility within the meaning of this section solely because of that ownership, operation, or sale.

(g) Ownership or operation of a facility that is an exempt wholesale generator, as defined in the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 16451(6)), does not make a corporation or person a public utility within the meaning of this section, solely due to the ownership or operation of that facility.

(h) The ownership, control, operation, or management of an electric plant used for direct transactions or participation directly or indirectly in direct transactions, as permitted by subdivision (b) of Section 365, sales into a market established and operated by the Independent System Operator or any other wholesale electricity market, or the use or sale as permitted under subdivisions (b) to (d), inclusive, of Section 218, shall not make a corporation or person a public utility within the meaning of this section solely because of that ownership, participation, or sale.

(i) The ownership, control, operation, or management of a facility that supplies electricity to the public only for use to charge light duty plug-in electric vehicles does not make the corporation or person a public utility within the meaning of this section solely because of that ownership, control, operation, or management. For purposes of this subdivision, light duty plug-in electric vehicles includes light duty battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. This subdivision does not affect the commission s authority under Section 454 or 740.2 or any other applicable statute.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 109, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2016.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016