Utility and Mobile Home Park Meters
Utility meters such as electric, gas, and water meters, when they are used to submeter to residents of a mobile home park, apartment, marina, or similar complex, are routinely tested.
The installation of the meter directly affects performance. Wiring and meter connections are vital to correct metering of electricity, while plumbing and level installations of gas vapor and water meters are important to their accuracy. The computations of bills, using correct rate schedules, are also verified.
Weights and Measures is the only one agency that investigates consumer complaints. Check other listings for agencies dealing with specific issues.
The Nevada County Department of Weights and Measures has jurisdiction over certain types of utility submeter complaints. We can review billing statements, verify rate schedules and check for accurate computation of the bill; verify meter readings, examine seals and meter installations for correctness.
Mobile Home Residency Law - California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)
798.44 Liquefied Petroleum Gas Sales
- The management of a park that does not permit mobile home owners or park residents to purchase liquefied petroleum gas for use in the mobile home park from someone other than the mobile home park management shall not sell liquefied petroleum gas to mobile home owners and residents within the park at a cost which exceeds 110 percent of the actual price paid by the management of the park for liquefied petroleum gas.
- The management of a park shall post in a visible location the actual price paid by management for liquefied petroleum gas sold pursuant to subdivision (a).
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) (800-649-7570) regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies. The CPUC serves the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure at reasonable rates, with a commitment to environmental enhancement and a healthy California economy. They can help determine if you are being charged the correct rate for your utility.
CPUC 739.5 Regulation of Submeter Utilities
- The commission shall require that, whenever gas or electric service, or both, is provided by a master-meter customer to users who are tenants of a mobile home park, apartment building, or similar residential complex, the master-meter customer shall charge each user of the service at the same rate that would be applicable if the user were receiving gas or electricity, or both, directly from the gas or electrical corporation. The commission shall require the corporation furnishing service to the master-meter customer to establish uniform rates for master-meter service at a level that will provide a sufficient differential to cover the reasonable average costs to master-meter customers of providing submeter service, except that these costs shall not exceed the average cost that the corporation would have incurred in providing comparable services directly to the users of the service.
- Every master-meter customer of a gas or electrical corporation subject to subdivision (a) who, on or after January 1, 1978, receives any rebate from the corporation shall distribute to, or credit to the account of, each current user served by the master-meter customer that portion of the rebate which the amount of gas or electricity, or both, consumed by the user during the last billing period bears to the total amount furnished by the corporation to the master-meter customer during that period.
- An electrical or gas corporation furnishing service to a master-meter customer shall furnish to each user of the service within a submetered system every public safety customer service which it provides beyond the meter to its other residential customers. The corporation shall furnish a list of those services to the master-meter customer who shall post the list in a conspicuous place accessible to all users. Every corporation shall provide these public safety customer services to each user of electrical or gas service under a submetered system without additional charge unless the corporation has included the average cost of these services in the rate differential provided to the master-meter customer on January 1, 1984, in which case the commission shall deduct the average cost of providing these public safety customer services when approving rate differentials for master-meter customers.
- Every master-meter customer is responsible for maintenance and repair of its submeter facilities beyond the master-meter, and nothing in this section requires an electrical or gas corporation to make repairs to or perform maintenance on the submetering system.
- Every master-meter customer shall provide an itemized billing of charges for electricity or gas, or both, to each individual user generally in accordance with the form and content of bills of the corporation to its residential customers, including, but not limited to, the opening and closing readings for the meter, and the identification of all rates and quantities attributable to each block in the applicable rate structure. The master-meter customer shall also post, in a conspicuous place, the applicable specific current residential gas or electrical rate schedule, as published by the corporation, or the corporation’s Internet website address of the specific current residential gas or electrical rate schedule. If the master-meter customer elects to post the Internet website address where the schedule may be accessed, the master-meter customer shall also: (1) provide a copy of the specific current residential gas or electrical rate schedule, upon request, at no cost; and (2) state in the posting that an individual user may request a copy of the rate schedule from the master-meter customer.
- The commission shall require that every electrical and gas corporation shall notify each master-meter customer of its responsibilities to its users under this section.
- The commission shall accept and respond to complaints concerning the requirements of this section through the consumer affairs branch, in addition to any other staff that the commission deems necessary to assist the complainant. In responding to the complaint, the commission shall consider the role that the office of the county sealer in the complainant’s county of residence may have in helping to resolve the complaint and, where appropriate, coordinate with that office.
- Notwithstanding any other provision of law or decision of the commission, the commission shall not deny eligibility for the California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) program, created pursuant to Section 739.1, for a residential user of gas or electric service who is a submetered resident or tenant served by a master-meter customer on the basis that some residential units in the master-meter customer’s mobile home park, apartment building, or similar residential complex do not receive gas or electric service through a submetered system.
- For purposes of this section, “rebate” does not include the award of a monetary incentive under the California Solar Initiative adopted by the Public Utilities Commission in Decision 05-12-044 and Decision 06-01-024, as modified by Article 1 (commencing with Section 2851) of Chapter 9 of Part 2, for a solar energy system that provides electrical generation to a mobile home park.
Tenants can use other resources if there are issues other than submeter accuracy, submeter installation, incorrectly computed price extension, incorrect meter readings, or California Code of Regulations Section 4090 requirements. Contact the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) at 800-952-5275 for more information.
HCD handles complaints regarding health and safety concerns, park maintenance concerns, and title and registration. Be sure to take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions and What Happens Next Documents for more information about your rights and the complaint process. The Mobile Home and Special Occupancy Parks Program page has links to lots of information, including Mobile Home Residency Laws and Regulations.
The Public Utilities Commission sets utility rates. There are different rates for different circumstances such as all-electric heating, doctors' prescribed health maintenance requirement, low income, and time-of-use meters. Bills should indicate the correct rate code, the zoning code, the number of days in the billing cycle, beginning and ending meter readings and reading dates, the baseline and over-baseline amounts, the charges of each, any adjustments for rebates or surcharges, and the total billing charge. Weights and Measures seals electric, gas, and water utility submeters where PG&E or other utility does not provide direct service.