Welcome to the December 2011 edition of the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) eNewsletter, where you'll find information on our outreach to senior citizens, solar projects, and more!


CPUC Reaches Out to Seniors

In November the CPUC participated in the 24th Annual Senior Citizens Conference, Seniors on the Move…Staying Connected at the South San Francisco Conference Center.  Considered the largest gathering of seniors in the Bay Area, this annual event attracted more than 700 senior attendees and was sponsored by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco, San Mateo) in conjunction with San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne J. Tissier (Fifth District).  Special guests included former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and U.S. Health and Human Services Regional Director Herb Schultz. 

The CPUC joined more than 50 exhibitors to discuss how the CPUC can help consumers and to offer information on Smart Meters, the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program, and other programs and policies.

Also in November, the CPUC participated in a senior fraud workshop at the Millbrae Senior Center sponsored by the Office of Assemblymember Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo).

The event drew more than 250 seniors who were provided tips on how to protect themselves from financial fraud. The CPUC discussed how to avoid telecommunications slamming and cramming, and offered tips on managing energy bills.

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CPUC Begins Penalty Consideration Case Regarding Alleged PG&E Pipeline Classification Violations

The CPUC has opened a penalty consideration case into whether Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) violated CPUC or federal rules regarding pipeline classification. If proven, the allegations would constitute a violation of federal and state pipeline safety regulations.

The CPUC will review and determine whether PG&E has failed to classify its pipelines correctly and whether PG&E failed to comply with federal standards requiring that it regularly study, patrol, and survey these locations for increased population density.

During the penalty consideration phase, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will be assigned to the case and will hear testimony from parties. Based on the record that will be developed, the ALJ will prepare a recommendation for consideration by the CPUC’s Commissioners, which could include statutory fines and penalties against PG&E, if warranted.

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CPUC Moves State Closer to Renewable Power Goals

The CPUC approved solar contracts for Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), furthering the state’s progress towards its renewable energy goals.

In November the CPUC approved a PG&E renewable energy contract with Mojave Solar, LLC., an affiliate of Abengoa Solar, Inc., which is developing a 250 megawatt concentrating solar power parabolic trough renewable energy generation facility in San Bernardino County.

Also in November the CPUC approved five 25-year power purchase agreements for SDG&E with LanEast Solar Farm, LLC; LanWest Solar Farm, LLC; Desert Green Solar Farm, LLC; Rugged Solar, LLC; and Tierra Del Sol Solar Farm, LLC. The projects will be located in Boulevard and Borrego Springs, Calif. Energy deliveries from the projects are anticipated to begin in 2014. The power purchase agreements are for five solar concentrating photovoltaic facilities that will provide a combined 114 megawatts of new renewable capacity and an estimated 280 gigawatt-hours of energy annually.

California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) is the most ambitious in the country, requiring investor-owned utilities, electric service providers, and community choice aggregators to procure 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2010. Senate Bill 2 (First Extraordinary Session), signed into law in April 2011, extends the 20 percent renewable energy goal by 2010 to a 33 percent target by December 31, 2020.

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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
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