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Electric Restructuring in California

Meter Service Provider Certification Information



Decision 97-12-048, the Commission's Opinion Regarding The Meter And Data Communications Standards Workshop Report, determined that due to the safety hazards that electricity and electrical meters pose, the adoption of certification procedures for Meter Service Providers (MSPs) is necessary. Certification is intended to ensure that only qualified persons may install, remove, repair or maintain direct access meters. The certification process essentially "grandfathers-in" the existing UDC's meter installation services, but requires all non-utility MSPs to submit a formal written application to the Commission requesting "Provisional MSP Certification".

The unbundling of revenue cycle services in D.97-05-039 created opportunities for new market participants. These new opportunities include the role of the meter service provider, the entity that installs, validates, registers, and maintains the physical meter required on a premise to measure customer usage.

In D. 97-10-087 the Commission adopted the approach that meter services must be provided by either the UDC or an ESP. By having the UDC or the ESP remain responsible for meter installations, the Commission can ensure that certain meter installation standards are adhered to, and that the direct access tariffs are followed. If these standards are not adhered to, the Commission can institute proceedings to revoke the registration of the ESP and take other corrective measures as provided for in Public Utilities Code Section 394.25. The UDC, as an entity regulated by the Commission, would face similar actions.

With respect to electrical safety, the Commission will require during the interim period that all MSPs meet the local UDC's safety standards, Cal OSHA rules for safe work practices, and any applicable electrical codes pertaining to safety that may apply in the local jurisdiction.


The existing regulated utilities who perform their own electric meter installation and removal, and meter maintenance and repair, shall be given permanent MSP certification.

All non-utility MSPs shall be required to submit a written application to the Commission requesting "Provisional MSP Certification". The Provisional MSP Certification will be granted to persons or entities who possess a general electrical contractor's license (C10) issued by the Contractors State License Board. As required by D.97-12-048, the written application shall include the following information:

  • name of person or entity; business address and telephone number
  • the name of the person in which the general electrical contractor's license (C10) is issued; the license number and expiration date;
  • a description of the applicant's electric meter installation, maintenance, repair and removal experience, as well as the applicant's training and experience regarding electrical safety;
  • a description of the educational and training requirements in electrical work and electrical safety that the MSP will require of its employees before they are allowed to install, maintain, repair, or remove electric meters or metering devices.

In addition to the written application, the MSP shall either arrange for a bond in favor of the State of California in the amount of $100,000 or provide the Energy Division with proof that the MSP has commercial general liability insurance with coverage no less than $1 million for each occurrence for bodily injury, property damage and personal injury, and with a general aggregate limit not less than $2 million.  The application shall be submitted to the CPUC, MSP Certification Unit, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102. Applications will not be accepted via fax or electronic submission.

Before submitting your application, make a copy of the completed application form for your records. It is your responsibility to ensure that your application is completed accurately before you return it to the CPUC. Submission of an incomplete application and/or incorrect information will delay the approval of your application for provisional certification.


For questions or comments, please contact Kathryn Auriemma of the Energy Division of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by e-mail at, by telephone at (415) 703-2072 or by postal mail at California Public Utilities Commission, MSP Certification Unit, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102


Last Modified: 10/26/2011

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