If you are a Current or Former Riverside Public Utilities electric Customer of the City of Riverside (the “City”) from January 1, 2019 to November 4, 2021, you may be entitled to a refund. If you are a Former Customer, you must file a claim to receive a refund.
Your claim must be submitted online or postmarked and mailed by November 30, 2023.
What is this Settlement about?
City of Riverside voters have previously voted to approve a General Fund Transfer ("GFT") from the City's Electric Fund to the City's General Fund. The GFT provides a locally controlled revenue source to the General Fund. Combined with other revenue sources, it funds vital government services including, but not limited to, fire, paramedic, police, street repairs, parks, senior services, homelessness, and other general services. In 2010, California voters passed Proposition 26 which provided that certain fees and charges unrelated to retail electric service must be approved by voters. In 2018, the City was served with a lawsuit titled Parada et al. v. City of Riverside. The plaintiffs in that lawsuit argued that the GFT was an added tax that required voter approval. They alleged that the City violated Proposition 26 by not securing voter approval for the GFT. In May 2021, the parties reached a Conditional Settlement Agreement. Pursuant to the Settlement, the City placed a measure on the November 2021 ballot. The measure asked voters to approve the city’s GFT practices as a general tax. On November 2, 2021, City residents voted and approved the ballot measure. The parties signed an Amendment to Conditional Settlement Agreement and Release in May of 2022. Pursuant to the Amendment, the parties agreed to file a joint request for dismissal of the lawsuit and to be bound by other terms of the Settlement.
What benefits are available?
Pursuant to the Settlement, the City has agreed to refund $24,000,000 to Customers, less the amount awarded to Plaintiffs’ counsel in fees and less the incentive payments to the two named plaintiffs of the lawsuit. Eligible Customers are entitled to a refund of a portion of their electric utility bills for the period of January 1, 2019 through November 4, 2021. For those customers who received aid from CAPP, LiHEAP, or UnitedLift, the refund will be allocated proportionally to the customer and the funding agency based on the percentage of aid received.
The City will distribute refunds to its Current and Former City of Riverside Public Utilities electric Customers in proportion to each Customer’s contribution to the total amount being refunded.