CPUC Okays Individual Meters for 10 Percent of Mobile Home Parks

By Published On: March 13, 2014

After more than 17 years of effort, moving trailer home parks from mastered meters to individual trailer meters inched forward. The California Public Utilities Commission March 13 approved a three-year pilot program to covert 10 percent of the homes in California’s approximately 4,000 mobile trailer parks to direct individual gas and electric metered service. Regulators aim to improve gas and electric safety and reliability at the more than 4,000 mobile home parks in the state. “It’s been a long and winding road,” said commissioner Mike Florio, who authored the unanimously approved pilot program. He said the tortured history of gas and electric master meters at mobile home parks was the reason the commission was approving a pilot and not a comprehensive conversion from master meters controlled by mobile park owners to individual meters. Florio noted the safety and reliability of the electric and gas infrastructure at these parks is questionable because it’s aging and its maintenance is questionable. Neither the electric lines nor the gas pipes at mobile home parks are owned or maintained by the investor-owned utilities. Commissioner Catherine Sandoval, who lived in a mobile home park as a child, stressed their importance as an affordable housing option. She did add, however, their power infrastructure is notoriously inadequate and unable to accommodate new appliances. Earlier efforts to convert mobile home parks’ electric and gas systems were largely unsuccessful. After legislation was passed in 1997 to encourage the change, only two dozen mobile home parks swapped out their master meters to utility individual meters. Under this week’s ruling, the investor-owned utilities are to begin accepting applications Jan.1, 2015, for the infrastructure conversions. The utilities are authorized to recover from ratepayers their reasonable costs associated with the meter swaps.

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