Utility Watchdog in San Diego

Energy Archive

Utility Assistance Funds Available from CUI

CUI (Campesinos Unidos)

Energy assistance for your gas and electric bill.

No appointment necessary. You must have all of the necessary documents in order to get assistance.  

Date: Saturday January 11, 2014
Time: 8:00 am-1:00pm
Location: 885 Gateway Center Way, Suite 103
San Diego, CA 92102

Must bring:

• Proof of income for all household members for the last 30 days, any family members with no income must be present to sign an affidavit
• Complete copy of Current SDGE bill with 22 billing days or more (no incomplete bills accepted, we need all pages)
• CA picture ID or license
• Social Security Card for applicant
• Current disconnect notice if one in effect

We will not be able to assist anyone missing or with outdated documents. There are no guarantees until you have been approved by a CUI, intake clerk.   

For more information you may call 1 (800) 371-1380

For weatherization call 1 (800) 371-3771 free services and appliance replacement if you qualify and funding is available. This program will help you conserve energy and lower your SDG&E bill.

There is only street parking. No parking inside property.

Per property management




Scammers Use Utility Companies

Have you had to hang up on aggressive callers from the ‘electric utility’'?

Here is a warning to consumers about calls from scammers who claim to be representatives of the utility company. Callers say power bills are overdue and threaten to shut off the electricity unless an immediate payment is made. These callers are aggressive, calling repeatedly and demanding immediate payment.
The scammers may demand a credit card number immediately over the phone, ask you to call a special number with payment information or instruct you to buy a prepaid credit card and give them the account number. Do not engage such callers or provide any payment information. Instead, hang up quickly and contact your electric provider. Never give personal and/or financial information to strangers or people who call you.

SDG&E does not proactively contact consumers and ask for credit card information over the phone.

SDG&E customers should not provide any financial information by phone unless they have initiated the conversation. If any customers receives a phone call that makes them feel uncomfortable, and they know they have an outstanding balance that needs to be resolved, they should hang up and call SDG&E directly at 1-800-411-7343.

Politifest 2013

On Saturday August 3rd, UCAN will be attending Politifest 2013, at Liberty Station’s Central Promenade. Politifest is an opportunity to celebrate the diverse neighborhoods that connect San Diego.  There will be neighborhood groups and nonprofits showcasing their interaction within our community. Stop by our booth from 10am-2pm, as we kickoff our new website, provide insight into the utility arena, and distribute information on the activities we have been engaged in for the past year.
We look forward to seeing you there to share stories and join our organization.

Nation's Top Ten Consumer Complaints

Washington, DC (July 31, 2013) – Consumer problems related to the recession persist, according to the latest report from the annual survey of state and local consumer protection agencies conducted by Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI). Forty agencies from twenty states responded to the survey about the most common, fastest-growing and worst complaints they received in 2012.

“Foreclosure rescue scams, dirty debt collection tactics, sudden store closings, and landlords skimping on the heat and ignoring needed repairs are just some of the issues that confront consumers in these difficult economic times,” said Susan Grant, Director of Consumer Protection at CFA. “In addition to those problems, new types of scams and new payment methods that are being exploited by fraudsters pose challenges for consumers and consumer agencies.”

“Whether it’s an offer on the Internet or meat being sold door-to-door out of the back of a truck, consumers need to be careful in today’s marketplace,” noted Amber Capoun, NACPI President and a Legal Assistant in the Office of the State Banking Commission in Kansas. “This survey report illustrates the wide range of problems that state and local consumer protection agencies handle every day and why it’s so important to ensure that they have the resources and training they need to protect the public.”

The survey respondents are general-purpose consumer protection agencies that deal with a variety of complaints; CFA and NACPI did not survey federal agencies or state agencies that focus only on one area such as insurance or banking.

Top Ten Complaints in 2012

  1. Auto: Misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars, lemons, faulty repairs, leasing and towing disputes
  2. Home Improvement/Construction: Shoddy work, failure to start or complete the job
  3. Credit/Debt: Billing and fee disputes, mortgage modifications and mortgage-related fraud, credit repair, debt relief services, predatory lending, illegal or abusive debt collection tactics
  4. Utilities: Service problems or billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, Internet, electric and gas service
  5. Retail Sales: False advertising and other deceptive practices, defective merchandise, problems with rebates, coupons, gift cards and gift certificates, failure to deliver
  6. Services: Misrepresentations, shoddy work, failure to have required licenses, failure to perform
  7. Home Solicitations: Misrepresentations or failure to deliver in door-to-door, telemarketing or mail solicitations, do-not-call violations
  8. Landlord/Tenant: Unhealthy or unsafe conditions, failure to make repairs or provide promised amenities, deposit and rent disputes, illegal eviction tactics
  9. Internet Sales: Misrepresentations or other deceptive practice, failure to deliver online purchases
  10. Household Goods: Misrepresentations, failure to deliver, faulty repairs in connection with furniture or appliances;

The top five fastest-growing complaints in 2012 were:

  1. Towing disputes
  2. Landlord/Tenant problems
  3. Abusive debt collection practices
  4. Telephone service billing issues
  5. Unlicensed contractors

The agencies were also asked about the worst complaints they received last year, which could be based on the number of complaints, the dollar amount, the vulnerability of the consumers, or just the outrageousness of the situation. The top five worst complaints were:

  1. Foreclosure issues
  2. Problems with home repairs after disasters
  3. Sweepstakes scams and other frauds targeting elderly consumers
  4. Business opportunities and work-at-home offers
  5. Violations of do-not-call and other telemarketing rights

Other Key Survey Findings

Among the most interesting new types of problems reported to agencies were: an offer for a bad credit payday loan that was actually a line of credit to spend at an online shopping mall; mortgage assistance scams perpetrated by individuals who are part of the “sovereign citizenship” movement and claim not to be subject to the law or the courts; charges for disputing bills; a website posting misleading information about individuals’ traffic convictions and offering to remove it, for a fee; third party billing intermediaries holding up deposits of payments and charge-backs for cancelled transactions; rent payments being stolen from drop-boxes at apartment complexes and mobile home parks; door-to-door meat sales out of the back of a truck; and timeshare resale “splinter cells.”
While budget cuts and limited resources continue to squeeze many state and local consumer protection agencies, they faced other challenges as well: dealing with disasters; maintaining and improving services; serving diverse populations; and keeping up with the evolving nature of fraud.

Click here for the survey report

The survey report provides real-life examples of complaints from the agencies’ files and tips for how consumers can protect themselves. CFA also has tips, videos, and other consumer education materials at www.consumerfed.org/fraud and on its identity theft website, www.IDTheftInfo.org.

Contact: Amber Capoun, NACPI, (785) 296-2266 ext. 203; Susan Grant, CFA (202) 939-1003

UCAN Condemns SDG&E's Secret Rate Hike

Posted December 20th, 2012

SDG&E's $1 billion back-door rate hike slated for approval by unelected bureaucrats.  UCAN and consumer attorney Michael Aguirre urge San Diego voters to contact their elected officials in protest
PUC Commissioners at 415.703.2782
Assemblyperson Ben Heso (619) 409-7979
Assembly person Toni Atkins (619) 645-3090
Assembyperson Shirley Weber (916) 319-2079
Senator Marty Block (619) 645-3133

SDG&E customers currently pay the highest rates in the USA, but if a proposed decision by an unelected bureaucrat is approved today, rates will climb even higher. Today, the California Public Utilities Commission could vote to force the SDG&E customers to cover hundreds of millions of dollars in past and future wildfire costs for fires that were started by SDG&E's poorly-maintained powerlines. SDG&E will not be held responsible for its role in starting the firestorms, nor will it have an incentive to prevent fires caused by its own faulty powerlines.
Consumer attorney Mike Aguirre says this proposal is a "secret plan" that "foists $1 billion in new rates onto SDG&E customers." According to Aguirre, who helped expose the full extent of the secret rate hike with UCAN earlier this year, San Diegans are "watching slow motion corruption at a Public Utility Commission that is supposed to protect San Diego ratepayers, not rob them.”
UCAN is urging ratepayers to call their elected officials to demand that CPUC, the California Public Utilities Commission be accountable to the people it is chartered to serve.
SDG&E victims, who are expected to pay between $347 to $700 per meter to cover the costs of the SDGE fire fund known as "WEBA," the Wildfire Expense Balancing Account, are urged to call their elected officials and the California Public Utility Commission. The estimated cost per meter for the SDG&E's corporate welfare program will range from $350 to $700.