General Order 165

I.    Background
This decision is part of an ongoing process of developing prescriptive and performance standards for electric distribution system performance. We initiated this inquiry in Decision (D.) 95-09-043, which recognized the need for measurable standards or benchmarks for assessing the reasonableness of electric utility distribution system performance. Subsequently, the California Legislature enacted Assembly Bill (AB) 1890, which adopted Public Utilities code (PU) Section 364, requiring the Commission to "adopt inspection, maintenance, repair, and replacement standards" no later than March 31, 1997. Following workshops conducted by Commission staff and submittal of utility proposals, we issued D.96-11-021. That decision proposed rules addressing the appropriate inspection cycles for electric utility distribution systems. On December 2, 1996, the parties filed comments on the proposed rules. The parties who filed comments are Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison Company (Edison), Sierra Pacific Power Company (Sierra), San Diego Gas and Electric Company (SDG&E), Pacific Power (Pacific), Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA), The Utility Reform Network (TURN), and California Coalition of Utility Employees (CUE).

In summary, D.96-11-021 set forth the proposals for appropriate inspection intervals, for recording the results of inspections and reporting them to the Commission. We incorporate by reference the discussion in D. 96-11-021 regarding the criteria by which we have considered the rules adopted here, the history of this proceeding, and related matters.