(a) This section applies if there is a landlord-tenant relationship between the residential occupants and the owner, manager, or operator of the dwelling.
(b) If a public utility furnishes individually metered residential light, heat, water, or power to residential occupants in a detached single-family dwelling, a multiunit residential structure, mobilehome park, or a 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 public utility 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 in 10 days. The written notice shall further inform the residential occupants that they have the right to become customers of the public utility without being required to pay the amount due on the delinquent account. The notice shall be in English and in the languages listed in Section 1632 of the Civil Code.
(c) The public utility 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 public utility’s rules. 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 public utility, or if there is a physical means, legally available to the public utility, of selectively terminating service to those residential occupants who have not met the requirements of the public utility’s rules, the public utility shall make service available to the residential occupants who have met those requirements.
(d) If prior service for a period of time is a condition for establishing credit with the public utility, residence and proof of prompt payment of rent or other obligation acceptable to the public utility for that period of time is a satisfactory equivalent.
(e) Any residential occupant who becomes a customer of the public utility pursuant to this section whose periodic payments, such as rental payments, include charges for residential light, heat, water, or power, where these charges are not separately stated, may deduct from the periodic payment each payment period all reasonable charges paid to the public utility for those services during the preceding payment period.
(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 560, Sec. 4. (SB 120) Effective January 1, 2010.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018