Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Consumer Groups Disappointed With Brown’s Picks For Energy Regulators

Consumers had high hopes this year for the regulators who oversee California's power companies, but watchdog groups see little change with Governor Brown's three new appointees.

Consumer advocates had long complained that the PUC gave the power companies too much deference. They cite rate increases to big projects that didn't benefit customers to bonuses. Consumer groups hoped that Brown's three new appointees would restore fairness and place a greater focus on customer needs. But this year, the PUC awarded California utilities energy efficiency bonuses and allowed SDG&E to again hike rates to fund wildfire liability insurance. Local energy engineer Bill Powers said rate increases , bonuses, confidential contracts and SDG&E's request to charge solar operators extra fees are all business as usual.

"And the only reason this is happening is because the investor-owned utilities in the state like SDG&E know the PUC is their friend," Power said. "They are trying to get maximum mileage out of their inappropriately close relationship."

SDG&E Spokeswoman Stephanie Donovan said the PUC makes its decision based on the facts. To suggest any of the commissioners is biased impugns their intelligence, integrity and due diligence.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Photo of Amita Sharma

Amita Sharma
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs an investigative reporter for KPBS, I've helped expose political scandals and dug into intractable issues like sex trafficking. I've raised tough questions about how government treats foster kids. I've spotlighted the problem of pollution in poor neighborhoods. And I've chronicled corporate mistakes and how the public sometimes ends up paying for them.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.