What is the California Public Utilities Commission?
The California Public Utilities Commission or CPUC is a state regulatory body tasked with regulating and monitoring investor owned (for profit) utilities in the state of California. Some of these include providers of electricity, water, and some telecommunications services, such as land line telephone services. The CPUC is made up of five Commissioners who are appointed by the Governor to staggered six year terms.
Why does the CPUC regulate investor owned (for profit) utilities?
In California our utility companies operate as monopolies which are regulated by the state legislature through the CPUC. The CPUC protects the public by making sure that Californians receive safe, affordable and reliable utility service. To accomplish this goal the CPUC sets the rates the utilities can charge for their services and policies which govern their operations. Since the investor owned utilities are monopolies, the CPUC is tasked with making sure that the public receives safe, reliable and affordable service while allowing the utilities to make a reasonable profit.
What is UCAN’s role with the CPUC?
UCAN is a nonprofit organization which represents the interests of utility consumers in proceedings before the CPUC. On energy matters, UCAN closely follows proposals and requests from SDG&E. UCAN also participates in a number of wide reaching rulemakings at the CPUC which sets utility policy and often have a statewide impact.
UCAN, as an advocate on behalf of the public interest, believes:
- Every household and business has a right to expect safe, affordable and reliable energy.
- Limited-income households, in particular, should not have to choose between energy and other necessities of life.
- Utility companies’ shareholders – not the public – should bear the costs of negligence and mismanagement.
- Utility companies should only be permitted to pass through to the public those expenses that are necessary, reasonable and prudent.
Advocating for these energy rights is a core mission at UCAN. We represent San Diego energy ratepayers by participating in legislative and regulatory proceedings, as well as by helping individual ratepayers in matters involving their utility service.