CPUC Commissioner from January 2014 - August 2019


California Customer Choice Project  

On August 7, 2018, the California Customer Choice Project issued its final paper titled California Customer Choice: An Evaluation of Regulatory Framework Options for an Evolving Electricity Market. The report is designed to initiate a policy conversation among a wide range of stakeholders and interests about the future of California's electricity market, rather than make specific recommendations. The CPUC held several public events to discuss the topic of customer choice and the draft report. Find out about upcoming events and other information about the Customer Choice Project here.

Utility Poles 

There are about 4.2 million of utility poles throughout California, connecting virtually ev­ery business, building, and home in the state.  These ubiquitous poles carry electricity, various forms of telecommu­nications, and a lot of the wires and fiber that link us together through the Internet and all forms of communication that help make our lives work. If the poles are too old or decrepit, not well maintained, or encroached upon by tree limbs or other vegetation, the electric lines they support can be an extreme hazard. That is especially true when we have high winds, conditions that are becoming far more common due to climate change. Poorly maintained poles, in fact, have caused substantial property dam­age and repeated loss of life in our state.

Safety is a priority for the California Public Utilities Commis­sion (CPUC). We have used our rulemaking author­ity to promulgate a number of regula­tions related to safety of overhead and underground electric and communica­tions facilities. Additionally, the CPUC recently opened a pole proceeding to study the feasibility of creating a shared data depository to track where the poles are located, what's on them and their condition. If we know the location of a pole, its age, its condition, and whether the potential for high winds exceeds design standards and is creating a fire hazard, we can also employ some preventive strategies to minimize or eliminate that risk.

To understand the creation and evolution of the utility pole, the CPUC Policy and Planning Division published an informative, interesting and short piece of reading entitled: A Natural History of the Wooden Utility Pole.

Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Action Plan

In 2016, the Commission endorsed the DER Action Plan to align the organization's vision and actions in shaping California's distributed energy resources future. The plan outlines a vision of DERs over the next several years, and serves as a roadmap in coordinating activities across multiple proceedings as California continues its commitment to greenhouse gas emission reduction and reform of utility distribution planning, investment, and operations. The plan serves as a guide for decision-makers, staff, and stakeholders as they facilitate proactive and forward-thinking DER policy.

For more information about the DER Action Plan, please click here.

Concurrences and Dissents of President Picker

Dissent of President Michael Picker on Item 28 on the Commission Voting Meeting Agenda on December 13, 2018, Decision Approving San Joaquin Valley Disadvantaged Communities Pilot Projects

Concurrence of President and Commissioner Michael Picker and Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves on SDGE's Application for Authorization to Recover Costs Related to the 2008 Southern California Wildfires Records in the WEMA (A.15-19-010, D.17-11-033)

Concurrence of President Michael Picker on Item 5 on the Commission Voting Meeting Agenda of July 13, 2017, Decision Regarding Joint Petition For Modification of Decisions 12-12-034 and 13-03-015 (A.12-04-015, D.17-07-005) 

In the News

03/22/19: California utilities are embracing technology to stop fires. Is it enough?

03/20/19: California wildfire season looms: How can technology help?

03/11/19: Calif.: CCAs, Decarbonization Pose Reliability Challenges

02/27/19: California's review of wildfire mitigation plans will be a sprint

02/07/19: California's biggest utilities are losing their monopolies. Is that a good thing?

CPUC Actions on SB 901 and Wildfires

2018 Wildfire Information

President Michael J Picker