(a) To ensure that the funding for the programs described in subdivision (b) and Section 382 are not commingled with other revenues, the commission shall require each electrical corporation to identify a separate rate component to collect the revenues used to fund these programs. The rate component shall be a nonbypassable element of the local distribution service and collected on the basis of usage.

(b) The commission shall allocate funds collected pursuant to subdivision (a), and any interest earned on collected funds, to programs that enhance system reliability and provide in-state benefits as follows:

(1) Cost-effective energy efficiency and conservation activities.

(2) Public interest research and development not adequately provided by competitive and regulated markets.

(3) In-state operation and development of existing and new and emerging eligible renewable energy resources, as defined in Section 399.12.

(c) The Public Utilities Commission shall order the respective electrical corporations to collect and spend these funds at the levels and for the purposes required in Section 399.8.

(d) Each electrical corporation shall allow customers to make voluntary contributions through their utility bill payments as either a fixed amount or a variable amount to support programs established pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b). Funds collected by electrical corporations for these purposes shall be forwarded in a timely manner to the appropriate fund as specified by the commission.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 512, Sec. 19. Effective September 27, 2006.)