Welcome to the March 2012 edition of the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) eNewsletter, where you'll find information on community events, renewable energy success, and more.


CPUC Participates in Women's Health Forum

The CPUC was an exhibitor at the Women’s Health Forum: Health Starts with You in Sunnyvale. 

Sponsored by Senator Elaine Alquist (D – San Jose) this free annual event celebrates women and senior care by providing precautionary and chronic care information to this target audience.

Information to the nearly 500 attendees was presented not only in the form of informational booths representing city, state, county, and health and wellness agencies, but also presentations by speakers.

Those who visited the CPUC’s booth were primarily interested in the energy and telecommunications discount programs and the specialty phones.

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CPUC Joins the Fun at Winter Walk

The CPUC participated in the Fifth Annual Westfield Oakridge Winter Walk (WOWW) and Senior Resource Fair in San Jose.  This free public event was sponsored by City of San Jose Councilmembers Nancy Pyle (District 10), Donald Rocha (District 9), and Ash Kalra (District 2). 

The annual event attracted nearly 500 individuals and more than 60 exhibitors. 

The CPUC spoke to attendees about helpful consumer programs and services, how to recognize and avoid phone scams, and how to get involved in the CPUC’s proceedings. 

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CPUC Sponsors Legislative Bills to Obtain Needed Safety and Enforcement Tools

The CPUC is sponsoring four legislative proposals designed to better ensure that the CPUC is able to proactively address safety concerns by expanding and expediting its enforcement authority.

Three of the legislative proposals would improve the safety of the state’s natural gas pipeline system and are in response to recommendations made by the Independent Review Panel that examined the Pacific Gas and Electric Company pipeline rupture in San Bruno in 2010. The fourth proposal would ensure the CPUC’s ability to expeditiously close unsafe railroad crossings.

  • Assembly Bill 1514 (Lowenthal) would authorize the CPUC to enforce and issue civil penalties for a utility company’s or an excavator’s failure to comply with the state’s One-Call law and call 811 prior to beginning a digging project.
  • Assembly Bill 1694 (Fuentes) would allow the CPUC to employ a risk-based approach in determining the frequency of inspections for master-metered natural gas and propane systems.
  • The third safety proposal would provide the state’s gas utilities with the right to expedited permitting by counties and municipalities for pipeline inspection, remediation, and replacement work.
  • Assembly Bill 1665 (Galgiani) would clarify existing law and confirm the CPUC’s authority over rail crossings in California.

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Renewable Energy Report Highlights Program's Success

In 2011 the state’s renewable energy efforts resulted in the greatest increase in renewable generation since the beginning of the program.

In its Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 4th Quarter 2011 report to the state Legislature, the CPUC said that more than 830 megawatts of new renewable capacity came online in 2011, all of which was wind and solar photovoltaic projects. And, collectively, the state’s large investor-owned utilities served 17 percent of their electricity with renewable energy in 2010.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • In 2010, Pacific Gas and Electric Company served 15.9 percent of its electricity with renewable energy; Southern California Edison 19.3 percent; and San Diego Gas and Electric Company 11.9 percent. Per the compliance requirement the utilities are required to average 20 percent RPS between 2011-2013, which all three utilities are projected to attain.
  • The investor-owned utilities submitted 68 contracts representing 4,525 megawatts of renewable generation in 2011. In the same time period, the CPUC approved 44 contracts representing 2,461 megawatts of renewable generation.
New to the report this year, per Senate Bill 836 (Padilla), is a section on the costs of electricity procurement contracts for eligible renewable energy resources and costs for utility-owned generation approved by the CPUC.

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Visit our Consumer Information Center for more assistance. Consumers with utility complaints can call our Consumer Affairs Branch at 1-800-649-7570.

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CPUC Meetings, Hearing and Events

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Produced by the CPUC's News and Public Information Office and Business and Community Outreach, 415-703-1366, news@cpuc.ca.gov
505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102.

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