What is AB 2143 and PUC §769.2?

Assembly Bill (AB) 2143 (2022, Carillo) established Public Utilities (Pub. Util.) Code §769.2 requiring that, beginning on January 1, 2024, large customer-sited renewable electrical generation (solar) facilities, and any associated battery storage, that enroll in tariffs designed for these projects (e.g., net energy metering or net billing tariffs) must provide, at a minimum, prevailing wages to all construction workers and apprentices. Projects will not apply to AB 2143 if they fall under any of the following categories:

  1. Residential facilities that will have a maximum generating capacity of 15 kilowatts or less of electricity, or that will be installed on a single-family home.
  2. Projects that are already a public work under existing law.
  3. Facilities that serve only a modular home, a modular home community, or multiunit housing that has 2 or fewer stories.

The contractors of eligible projects are required to maintain and verify payroll records, and to submit digital copies of their certified payroll records for workers of projects subject to this statute to the Commission on July 1st and December 31st of each year. The statute states that if a willful wage violation has been enforced against a contractor of an eligible and interconnected project, then the impacted facility will lose service to any net metering or net billing tariff, or subtariff (Section 2827 or 2827.1).

The full text of AB 2143 can be found here.

Decision 23-11-068 stated that since the interconnection application date is likely to be the first point of contact between a customer and a utility, it is the appropriate starting point to determine a project’s eligibility under AB 2143 rules. As part of the interconnection process, properties’ eligibility under the law will be assessed and customers must sign a disclosure form. If qualified construction work occurs before the application is submitted and assessed, the applicant and its project may find itself out of compliance with state law.

Ongoing work that started before January 1, 2024, with an active and open interconnection application before that date, is not considered subject to prevailing wage requirements for purposes of accessing the net energy or net billing tariffs. Loss or rejection of such an application (from before January 1st) may adjust requirements.

Complying with AB 2143 and PUC §769.2

Contractors with work that qualifies under AB 2143 and PUC §769.2 must submit copies of their payroll records to the CPUC. Guidance around the submission process, along with the records collection portal, can be found on the CPUC Solar-Utilities Reporting, Guidance, and Education (SURGE) website (www.cpucsurge.org).

What are Prevailing Wages?

Prevailing wages are set and defined by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Current prevailing wage rates and apprentice prevailing wage rates can be found on the DIR’s website.

Current Activity Around AB 2143

  • Decision 23-11-068 gives further direction on the implementation of AB 2143. This decision was adopted on November 16, 2023.

  • California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has contracted with GCAP Services to help with outreach and education concerning AB 2143, and initiate the records collection process required by the statute.

  • A joint public workshop was held on December 15, 2023 by the utilities and GCAP Services. The utilities discussed the contents of an Advice Letter,  including revised language for impacted net energy or net billing tariffs, and a new Prevailing Wage Disclosure Form and Checklist to be newly included in the interconnection application process. GCAP Services discussed their Outreach and Education Plan designed to inform stakeholders of key information around AB 2143.  Please see below for presentation slides, Outreach and Education Plan draft, and comments submission form.

  • GCAP Services officially launched the CPUC SURGE website in February 2024. 

  • The SURGE team hosted an informational webinar for solar contractors on April 30, 2024. Another informational webinar will be held on May 29, 2024. Please visit the CPUC SURGE Happenings page for more information.

Relevant Links and Documents

  • The CPUC SURGE website provides guidance for contractors working on projects qualifying under AB 2143 and houses the payroll records submission portal.

  • Decision D.23-11-068 (November 2023) provides guidance around implementation of AB 2143 (PUC 769.2).

  • Assembly Bill 2143 establishes prevailing wages for all construction workers and apprentices on eligible renewable electrical generation facilities.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about information on this webpage, please contact the CPUC’s Customer Generation and Storage team.