GO 156 Certification for Businesses
Through the statewide Utility Supplier Diversity Program—established through General Order 156 (GO 156) and facilitated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)—the state aims to connect an increasing portion of these utility expenditures with certified minority-owned, women-owned, disabled veteran-owned, and/or LGBTQ-owned businesses (WMDVLGBTBEs).
In October 2019, Senate Bill 255 amended Public Utilities Code Section 366.2 to include Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) into the Supplier Diversity Program. California Choice Energy Authority (CalChoice) is required to annually report spending from certified businesses, and we encourage all eligible businesses to pursue certification in the Supplier Diversity Program.
The key benefits of certifying your business in the Supplier Diversity Program include:
- Official recognition: your business and certification credentials will be listed in the central, searchable Supplier Clearinghouse database
- Promotion and visibility: many private sector companies—including major utility companies—actively seek business opportunities with WMDVLBGTBEs to meet specific procurement targets and listing in the Supplier Clearinghouse gives your business a valuable platform
- Marketing and solicitation announcements: learn about new contracting opportunities as soon as they come out—many utilities use the Supplier Clearinghouse page to post bid opportunities and source potential certified business contacts.
Any business that meets the eligibility criteria can apply online on The Supplier Clearinghouse website. The system will guide you through the process of completing the application and submission of all required supporting documentation.
- Click “Apply for Certification”
- Review the eligibility requirement
- Select the appropriate option to start the online certification application process
Note you can sign up for a free online training class directly through the Supplier Clearinghouse if you would like live training to walk you through the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost to become certified?
There is no cost to become certified.
How do I find Suppliers that have been verified by the Clearinghouse?
You can search the Certified Directory here.
What business structures can be certified?
Sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and certain non-profit organizations operating in the United States may be certified. If the business is a start-up, it must be operating and conducting business at the time it applies with the Clearinghouse.
Does the business need to be located in California to be certified by the Clearinghouse?
No. The Clearinghouse certifies companies located in the United States.
Does the business need to be doing business in California?
No. Participating companies may operate both inside and outside of California. Clearinghouse certification is also accepted in other states.
How long is the certification valid?
Once granted, the certification is valid for three years.
Important note for disabled veteran-owned business enterprise
The Supplier Clearinghouse automatically recognizes DVBE firms certified by California Department of General Services (CA DGS)—no additional application is required. This is the only way to participate in The Supplier Clearinghouse’s program as a DVBE. If you would also like be certified as a woman, minority, or LGBT-owned business enterprise, you must also submit a WMBE/LGBTBE application to The Supplier Clearinghouse.
For more information about the certification process and a complete list of FAQs, please visit www.thesupplierclearinghouse.com.