Electric Service Providers (known as ESPs) offer electric service to customers within the service territory of a California electric utility. ESPs are required to register with the CPUC, pay an annual fee, and complete annual requirements as part of their rights and responsibilities as a program participant. The CPUC expects that all ESPs fully understand and comply with the Public Utilities Code.

The CPUC has adopted ESP registration guidelines through several decisions, including (D.)99-05-034 and (D.)98-03-072 which apply requirements to ESPs serving residential and small commercial (maximum peak demand less than 20 kilowatts) customers. (D.)03-12-015 extends these requirements to ESPs not previously required to register, as applicable. Pursuant to those decisions, companies wishing to register as an ESP in California must submit the following items to the CPUC for their application: 

Execute an agreement with the Utility Distribution Company (UDC) for the intended service territory and include a copy of the agreement. If the intended service area includes multiple UDCs, include a copy of each UDC agreement.

All ESP Registration Applications must include a copy of the ESP Registration Application Form

All ESP Registration Applications must include a $100.00 certified check. Write "0462-800" on the front of the check.

ESPs must pay a minimum-security deposit of $25,000 in the form of either a cashier's check or a financial guaranteed Bond with the CPUC at the time of registration. If submitting a cashier's check, please fill out and submit the Information Accompanying ESP Cash Deposit form at the time of registration.

All Key Personnel, who are defined as Sole Proprietors, Partners, Corporate Officers, or Members/Managers/Offices of a Limited Liability Company/LLC, must complete a criminal history background check through the California Department of Justice. More information is available from the Fact Sheet

IF YOU ARE A RESIDENT OF CALIFORNIA: Key personnel who are California state residents can complete a fingerprint scan at a Live Scan location. Once you have completed the scan, e-mail ESP_Registration@cpuc.ca.gov to notify the ESP Desk that your fingerprints have been scanned and submitted for the background check.

IF YOU ARE NOT A CALIFORNIA STATE RESIDENT: Any key personnel who do not reside in California must submit their fingerprint hand cards directly to the CPUC following this process:

1. Make an appointment with a local law enforcement agency that provides fingerprinting services.
2. Confirm with the fingerprinting location that they will use fingerprint hand cards (FBI form FD-258) for the appointment. If the facility does not have these cards available, e-mail ESP_Registration@cpuc.ca.gov to request two copies of these cards for each person being fingerprinted, and include the mailing address.
3. Each key personnel member must complete and submit TWO fingerprint hand cards. Failure to submit two hand cards for each key personnel member may delay a background check and the CPUC's ability to process and approve your application.
4. After the two handcards are completed, please enter all additional information following this example template.
5. Fill out and sign the form CJIS 9004, Request For Exemption From Mandatory Electronic Fingerprint Submission Requirement. Select "Option 2, OTHER: Applicant resides outside of California." A completed and signed copy of this form MUST be included with the fingerprint hand cards.

Mail the completed hand cards and Form CJIS 9004 to the ESP Desk:
California Public Utilities Commission
Energy Division, ESP Desk
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco CA 94102
Attn: ESP Registration

ESPs must execute an agreement with a scheduling coordinator (SC) authorized by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and submit copies of all SC Agreements. This requirement is waived for ESPs that have prior authorization as SCs and must be completed before signing up and initiating a Direct Access Service Request.

ESPs offering electric service to residential or small commercial customers must submit a copy of their Section 394.5 Notice to the Energy Division. This notice is due no later than the date when the first customer is signed up OR when the first standard service plan filing is due, whichever event occurs first.

New ESPs are required to report on their planning and activities for the Resource Adequacy, Renewables Portfolio Standard, and Integrated Resource Planning programs. 

List of Registered ESPs, provided pursuant to California Public Utilities Code Section 392.1(a), and PUC Decisions (D).98-03-072 and 03-12-015.

ESP Reminders for registered ESPs 

Customer Complaints about an Electric Service Provider?
Contact the Consumer Affairs Branch at 1-800-649-7570. More information about filing a complaint is available from the CAB webpage