Dyke Water Co.

56 Cal. 2d 105 (1961), 363 P.2d 326

The Court affirmed a Commission order requiring the water utility to take various steps to improve its service and to require shareholders of the utility, rather than the ratepayers, to bear the expense of such improvements.  Language in this decision (“tariffs filed with the PUC have the force and effect of law”) has on occasion invited utilities to attempt to impose legal obligations on customers through tariff language.  The scope of Dyke is not that broad.  A tariff may impose requirements on customers as a condition of receiving service. A tariff, however, may do no more with respect to a customer.  Dyke relied on California Water and Telephone (Para. 92), which, in turn, relied on § 532 which only governs the conduct of the serving utility.

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