California Public Utilities Commission

IN HEATED CPUC HEARING, PUBLIC SPEAKS OUT ON SDG&E PROPOSAL TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR 2007 WILDFIRE COSTS

 

By Rachel Williams

January 12, 2017 (Escondido) -- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) hosted public hearings on Monday covering SDG&E’s second attempt to charge ratepayers for the utility’s unrecovered losses from California’s 2007 wildfires.

SDG&E PLAN TO RECOVER 2007 WILDFIRE COSTS SET FOR CPUC HEARING JAN. 9 IN ESCONDIDO

 

East County News Service

November 16, 2016 (Escondido) — The California Public Utilities Commission will hold public hearings January 9, 2017 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s application for authorization to recover costs related to the 2007 Southern California wildfires recorded in the Wildfire Expense Memorandum Account (WEBA). 

JUDGE ORDERS CPUC PRESIDENT TO REVEAL SECRET DOCUMENTS

 

Ballot initiative proposed to break up CPUC

East County News Service

February 12, 2016 (San Diego)--A San Francisco Superior Court Judge has ruled that secret e-mails between Michael Picker, the President of the California Public Utilities Commission, the Governor's Office and Southern California Edison must be made public.(Read the order.)

CPUC TO HOLD SAN DIEGO UTILITY RATE DESIGN FORUM: FEB. 2 EVENT WILL DISCUSS NEW STRUCTURE THAT REFLECTS ACTUAL COSTS

 

 

East County News Service

 

January 20, 2016 (San Diego) -- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold a community forum in San Diego on Tuesday, February 2 at 6 p.m. to discuss and answer questions about the CPUC’s July 2015 decision to significantly change residential electricity rates, including the requirement that starting in 2019 all residential customers will be offered time of use rates as a default.  The event will be held at the Jacobs Center, 404 Euclid Avenue, San Diego 92114.

LEGISLATORS GRILL CPUC OVER HIRING OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Michael Picker, CPUC Chairman

March 4, 2015 (Sacramento)--The California Public Utilities Commission needs criminal defense lawyers amid state and federal investigations of corruption allegations, the Commissions new chairman, Michael Picker told a legislative panel this week.

FEES TO READ NON-SMART METERS TO END AFTER 3 YEARS

 

East Count Magazine News Service

February 28, 2015 (San Diego) – Utility ratepayers who have been paying a monthly fee for opting out of having a smart meter will soon get a reprieve.

LAST BIG LAWSUIT FROM 2007 WILDFIRES ON VERGE OF SETTLING WITH SDG&E

 

East County News Service

December 9, 2014 (San Diego)--Over 2,600 lawsuits were filed against San Diego Gas & Electric Company over damages from the 2007 firestorms that devastated our region.

SAN ONOFRE SETTLEMENT APPROVED, LOCAL GROUP PLEDGES COURT BATTLE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 2, 2014 (San Onofre) - By a unanimous vote, the California Public Utilities Commission has approved the $3.3 billion San Onofre settlement. No public comment was allowed at the hearing, which was held in San Francisco despite the fact that the ratepayers impacted all live in Southern California.

E-MAILS SHOW PG&E HAD UNDUE INFLUENCE WITH STATE REGULATORS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CPUC Chair Michael Peevey

September 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –Thousands of e-mails released this week reveal unethical back-channel communications between PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission, the agency that is supposed to regular public utilities. The e-mails reveal that PG&E was calling the shots as the public agency investigated PG&E mistakes leading up to the San Bruno gas pipeline explosion, which killed 8 people and destroyed 38 homes.

SIERRA CLUB: CHAMBER PROMOTING “SHAM” SITE THAT MISLEADS CONSUMERS ON UTILITY RATE PROPOSAL

 

CPUC holds public hearings Thursday, Sept. 18 in El Cajon on controversial utility rate change proposals

East County News Service

September 11,2014 (El Cajon) – Sierra Club’s San Diego chapter is warning consumers about deceptive claims made by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce regarding proposed changes in utility bills, including links to a utility-backed website debunked by media for its efforts to dupe the public into supporting anti-consumer measures.

The California Public Utilities Commission will hold two hearings  on the utility-backed proposed rate changes on September 18 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in El Cajon City Council chambers,200 Civic Center Way in El Cajon. The public is invited to attend and testify.

The Chamber sought to persuade members to testify in favor of proposed utility rate changes, suggesting they would save money for most. But those changes  would actually “raise energy costs for low and middle income customers, those who can least afford to pay more on their energy bill,” says Pete Hasapopoulos with the Sierra Club My Generation Campaign. In addition, he warns, “the proposed changes by utilities are unacceptable and threaten our energy efficiency and rooftop solar programs. As a result, they are deeply out of line with state and public priorities on energy and climate.”

READER'S EDITORIAL: HELICOPTERS FLYING TOO LOW

 

Photo: View of Oak Creek/Boulder Creek area taken by Cynthia Burnham from her home, where she reports seeing an SDG&E helicopter hovering "very low" for at least 10 minutes.

An open letter sent to the California Public Utilities Commission,  U.S. Forest Service/Cleveland National Forest, Congressman Duncan Hunter and Supervisor Dianne Jacob:

By Cindy Buxton

Dear CPUC, Foresters, Congressmen, and Supervisors:  

August 31, 2014 (Boulder Creek)--Several residences and visitors to the Cleveland National Forest lately between Descanso and Julian in the Boulder Creek area have complained about low flying helicopters.  These were seen hovering over people's back yards by only a few hundred feet. Subsequently we are to learn in the East County Magazine that several other residences identified the helicopters belonging to SDG&E, also experienced this to the point that horses were so frightened that they were injured.  One of the helicopters seen by several residences along Boulder Creek Road had a visible camera on the front  and apparently was not necessarily  in line with the ROW (right of way) for the TL626 line.

IS PG&E MAKING A MOCKERY OF CALIFORNIA SENATE BILL 790?

 

 

Originally published in the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales

May 22, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - California Senate Bill 790 (SB 790) bans utility companies from using ratepayer funds for negative publicity campaigns against local community utilities ( community choice aggregators, or CCA). They are now required to file the details of any anti-CCA marketing with the California Public Utilities Commission. Only PG&E has not filed in the case of AB 2145 (popularly known as the “Monopoly Protection Act” ) because the marketing is being done by associated third parties.

IS CALIFORNIA'S 'MONOPOLY PROTECTION ACT' A RESURRECTION OF PROP 16?

HUGE WIN FOR SOLAR HOMES

 

A surge in solar growth is expected after today's announcement

March 27, 2014 (San Diego)-- The California Public Utilities Commission made a final decision today that has solar homeowners celebrating. The Commission unanimously voted to protect California’s solar customers’ net energy metering contracts for 20 years. Net energy metering allows the meter to spin backwards, giving customers full credit for electricity produced by solar panels that is not used in the building. The highly anticipated decision is a part of Assembly Bill 327 (AB327).

READER'S EDITORIAL: END OF DEBATE, LOCAL CLEAN ENERGY WILL KEEP THE LIGHTS ON

 

By Kathleen Connell

March 8, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will soon make a decision on how to replace the power from San Onofre.  This is a decision with consequences for generations to come.  The choice is local clean energy such as rooftop solar, energy efficiency, and conservation or natural gas power plants, i.e., fossil fuel generation.  Local clean energy fights climate change, doesn’t pollute our air, already supports hundreds of well-paying local jobs, and lowers electricity bills.  Natural gas power plants ramp up greenhouse gases, worsen air quality, average only 10-20 permanent employees, and raise electricity bills for all of us because they are funded by ratepayers and cost anywhere from $1 billion to $5 billion each.  And we are shackled to these monuments of the past for decades.

PREHEARING HELD ON SDG&E PLAN FOR CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST

“Our forest is a delicate ecosystem being attacked by growth...This project will only add to the problems we are facing out here in the forest.” – Duncan McFetridge, founder, Cleveland National Forest Foundation (photo, left)

“We plan to rebuild existing lines in the forest to provide safe, reliable service and fire protection.” – Allen Trial, SDG&E

By Sharon A. Penny

February 6, 2014 (Alpine)--SDG&E submitted a plan to retrofit and update electric line facilities within the Cleveland National Forest into one Master Special Use Permit (MSUP). Currently, SDG&E has over 70 individual special use permits for these facilities. Many organizations and back country citizens are concerned about the need, cost, environmental impacts, and potential harm to the forest of the proposed plan of development.

On February 5, California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Administrative Law Judge Jean Vieth held a formal prehearing conference at the Alpine Community Center regarding the $418.5 million MSUP project. 

CPUC COMMISSIONER RESIGNS, WARNS AGAINST UTILITIES’ EFFORTS TO “STRANGLE” ROOFTOP SOLAR AND KILL NET METERING

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 17, 2014 (Sacramento) – California Public Utilities Commissioner Mark J. Ferron has resigned due to his battle with cancer, the CPUC announced.  In his January 16 final report, Ferron voiced concerns over utility companies’ efforts to quash rooftop solar and pressures placed on commissioners from the utility industry.

Ferron played a key role in major CPUC decisions impacting San Diego County.  He was among two commissioners who recommended denial of the Quail Brush Power Plant application, finding no need for the facility at that time, though the CPUC left the door open for the applicant to resubmit the proposal this year.  Ferron also authored a CPUC decision to deny SDG&E’s request to charge ratepayers for liability costs of wildfires caused by SDG&E lines or equipment.

PUC PROPOSES 7.7% RATE HIKE FOR SDG&E CUSTOMERS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 1, 2013 (San Diego) – On March 29, a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) administrative law judge proposed that SDG&E be allowed to increase rates for its customers by 7.7%.  Ratepayers in San Diego are already paying among the highest utility rates in the nation. View the full decision here.

“The people of San Diego need to stand up and speak out against this unjustifiable and unconscionable increase in electricity rates,” said Mike Aguirre, former San Diego City Attorney.  Public comments should be sent to ALJ Wong at jsw@cpuc.ca.gov and to the assigned commissioner; a current service list for the proceeding is available at www.cpuc.ca.gov.

SUIT FILED TO STOP CLOSED-DOOR PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING WITH ENERGY COMPANIES IN SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2013 (San Diego)—The law firm of former City Attorney Mike Aguirre has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Masada Disenhouse seeking an injunction to halt the California Public Utilities Commission from holding a closed-door , invitation-only meeting with energy industry stakeholders at the Scripps Seaside Forum in San Diego on March 20. Disenhouse asked to attend, but her name was removed from the list. 

“California Government Code section 11123 requires that all meetings of a state body shall be open and public, and  all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of a state body,” the lawsuit states.  The suit further notes that Government Code section 11120  requires that “proceedings of public agencies be conducted openly so that the people may be informed.”

WISING UP AFTER SMART METER ISSUES IN CALIFORNIA, IDAHO UTILITY INSTALLS SMART METERS WITHOUT WIRELESS COMMUNIICATIONS

Devices transmit power over existing power lines

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Smart meters have become a public relations nightmare for utility companies in California. After a flood of complaints by consumers alleging health problems suspecting of being caused by electromagnetic radio frequencies (EJF), the California Public Utilities Commission ordered utilities to allow consumers to opt out, or to have smart meters removed if already installers. Many homeowners have done so, but must pay for removal plus a monthly fee for reading meters.

Now Idaho Power has begun offering its customers smart meters that claim to avoid these problems. The company's website states: “Smart meters being deployed in Idaho Power's service territory do not transmit radio frequencies. Our smart meters do not use any wireless communication media or generate any high-frequency signals. Our system uses only wired infrastructure to communicate to and from our smart meters utilizing the low-frequency 60 hertz (Hz) power line signal as the carrier for our communications. This may be of interest because some smart meter deployments in California have raised concerns that radio transmission, wireless transmission or high-frequency transmission may pose health risks. The technology we're deploying is fundamentally different from the technologies in question in California.”

This begs the question: Why aren't these devices available to Califiornia ratepayers?

DOES SDG&E NEED 11% IN PROFITS? CPUC PUBLIC HEARING TONIGHT, OCT. 5

October 5, 2012 (San Diego) – The California Public Utilities Commission will hold a public hearing on SDG&E profits on October 5 at 7 p.m. in the Al Bahr Shriners Hall, 5440 Kearny Mesa Road.

The utility has repeatedly sought rate hikes. But SDG&E already has among the highest profit rates in the United States at 11.1%. Further, a recent study by The Utility Reform Network (TURN) indicates a 9.4% profit would be a fairer rate that would enable energy bills to be reduced by $50 a year for the average family. The public is invited to testify at the hearing.

CALIFORNIA ISO BOARD GREEN LIGHTS GRID UPGRADES

May 21, 2012 (San Diego) – Five San Diego County transmission projects are among 30 identified transmission projects needed to maintain grid reliability that were approved by the California Independent System Operator Corporation Board of Governors in the 2011/2012 Transmission Plan. The local projects are:

READERS EDITORIAL: SOMEBODY IS AFRAID OF YOU

 
By Diane Conklin
 
Speak out at Thursday’s CPUC hearing on SDG&E scheme to make you pay for wildfires that it caused
 
April 4, 2012 (San Diego) -- As you are probably by now aware, SDG&E is trying to get the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to make you pay for their future uninsured wildfire costs for fires they start, and including the past 2007 fires:  Witch, Guejito and Rice.  For those fires they want $594 million from their customer’s collective pocket, which works out to about $350 a meter.

CPUC TO HOLD HEARING IN JACUMBA JAN. 24 ON ECO SUBSTATION AND NEW TRANSMISSION LINES PLANNED FOR BOULEVARD

 

January 19, 2012 (Jacumba) – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and assigned Administrative Law Judge Hallie Yacknin will hold a hearing in Jacumba on January 24. The public may testify with comments on SDG&E's proposed $285 million 60-85 acre ECO Substation and 13 miles of new 138kV transmission lines planned for Boulevard.

READER’S EDITORIAL: AN OPEN LETTER TO COUNTY SUPERVISORS—PROTECT THE PUBLIC FROM SMART METERS

 
By Robin Davis, Lakeside

 
December 18, 2011 (Lakeside)--I am one of the people who has experience health issues from what I can only believe are the smart meters.   I have lived in my home since January 1973 and it's never been like this.  In the last year and a half (since May 2010 when my smart meter was installed on my home), my husband and I have developed issues that when it comes down to it, the common denominator has been the smart meter.  I could go on but if you have questions, feel free to email me.   I know other people who live here in Lakeside that are suffering. 

SDG&E WANTS TO RAISE YOUR RATES: CPUC SETS 4 HEARINGS OCT.10-13 IN SAN DIEGO & EAST COUNTY

 

“SDG&E has asked ratepayers to overpay for service, including funding long-term stock options and incentive programs in excess of what is reasonable,” Joe Como, acting director, Division of Ratepayer Advocates at the California Public Utilities Commission

 

 

September 21, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Consumers opening their bills in a month that saw the worst power outage in California history got another unpleasant surprise: a notice that San Diego Gas & Electric Company seeks a rate increase of $1.5 billion over the next four years.

The California Utilities Commission has scheduled several meetings in San Diego County on the proposed rate hike between October 10 and 13, including two hearings Oct. 12 in East County (El Cajon). Public Participation Hearings will be held at 2.p.m. and 7 p.m. at each of the following locations: