Tax Guide for Energy Resources (Electrical Energy) Surcharge

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) administers the Energy Resources Surcharge Law. For purposes of this tax guide, the energy resources surcharge is referred to as the electrical energy surcharge.

We created this guide to provide you with easily accessible information to assist you in understanding your obligations related to the electrical energy surcharge.

Electrical Energy Surcharge

The surcharge is imposed upon the consumption in California of electrical energy purchased from an electric utility on and after January 1, 1975. Every electric utility in California making energy sales to consumers must collect and remit to the state the amount of surcharge applicable to its consumers.

When a California consumer purchases electrical energy from a utility which is not subject to the electrical energy surcharge (such as an out-of-state utility or the Bureau of Reclamation) or a utility which has not collected and paid the surcharge to the state, the consumer must report and pay the amount of the surcharge directly to the CDTFA.

How the Revenue is Used

The revenue collected through the electrical energy surcharge is deposited in the Energy Resources Programs Account of the General Fund and is used for ongoing energy programs and projects deemed appropriate by the Legislature, including but not limited to, activities of the California Energy Commission (CEC).

How to Use This Guide

Each section of this guide contains information important to your business.

The Getting Started section provides key resources related to registration, filing returns, making payments, account maintenance, and other important information you need.

The Industry Topics section contains specific topics important to the electrical energy surcharge, including information about exemptions and refunds.

The Resources section provides links to useful information, including special notices, publications, and applicable statutes/regulations.

Please note The general information provided in this Tax Guide does not supersede any law or regulation. This guide summarizes the law and applicable regulations in effect when it was published. However, changes in the law or regulations may have occurred. If there is a conflict between this guide and current law, the current law governs.

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