Program History

In response to Assembly Bill 3678, the Commission issued General Order 156 (GO 156), which outlined program guidelines to promote utility recruitment and use of women and minority-owned business enterprises. GO 156 also required participating utilities to establish a joint clearinghouse. Procurement goals of 5% for women and 15% for minorities were initially established, and later augmented with a 1.5% goal for disabled veteran enterprises.

On June 11, 2015, the CPUC expanded the Supplier Diversity Program to include LGBT-owned businesses.

In October 2019, Senate Bill (SB) 255 (Bradford, Chapter 407, 2019) updated the Utility Supplier Diversity Program by amending Sections 366.2 and 8283 of the Public Utilities Code. The Bill: 

  • Changes the participation requirement threshold from $25,000,000 annual gross revenue to $25,000,000 gross annual California revenues;
  • Extends the requirements to electric service providers;  
  • Requires electrical corporations, gas corporations, water corporations, wireless telecommunications service providers, electric service providers, and telephone corporations with gross annual California revenues exceeding $15,000,000, but not more than $25,000,000, to annually submit data on procurement from women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprises (WMDVLGBTBE);
  • Requires community choice aggregators (CCA) with gross annual revenues exceeding $15,000,000 to annually submit a detailed and verifiable plan for increasing procurement from small, local, and diverse business enterprises; and a report regarding procurement from WMDVLGBTBEs; and
  • Encourages exempt wholesale generators selling electricity to retail sellers, distributed energy resource contractors, energy storage system companies, and exempt community choice aggregators to voluntarily adopt a plan for increasing WMDVLGBTBE procurement and to voluntarily report activity in this area.

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