Background

The Utility Audits Branch (UAB) performs a variety of external audits and attestation engagements of energy, telecommunication, and water and sewer utility companies under the general authority outlined in the Public Utilities (PU) Code Sections 314, 314.5, and 314.6. The UAB performs most of its audit services for purposes of assisting the CPUC in safeguarding various ratepayer funded programs and protecting ratepayer's interests.  The UAB performs most of its audits and attestation engagements in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS) which requires that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for any findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. The UAB staff have diverse backgrounds, professional certifications, and auditing and technological expertise, which allows us to deliver high-quality auditing services to the CPUC and various stakeholders. The UAB's auditing services bring transparency and accountability of all utility programs that the CPUC regulates.  

Mission

The UAB delivers professional auditing services and effective solutions that enhance the transparency, accountability, and performance of California's regulated utilities.

Vision

Be a trusted and reliable resource to the Commission and California ratepayers.

Audit Reports

As required by PU Code 314.6(d), UAB's Standard Auditing Manual can be viewed here.  UAB audit reports are available in our report pages listed by Industry and by year.

 

Audit Types

The CPUC requires reviews of Quarterly Compliance Report (QCR) filings to determine whether the Investor Owned Utilities’ (IOU) energy procurement transactions are compliant with relevant laws and CPUC directives. The UAB conducts the agreed-upon procedure engagements of the regulated energy utilities on a quarterly basis.

Balancing accounts ensure that a utility recovers its authorized revenue requirement from ratepayers for a given program or function.  Balancing accounts track the difference between actual expenditures, revenue authorized for recovery, and the actual revenues collected within customer rates to cover those specific expenditures. The UAB conducts balancing account audits to ensure that ratepayers do not pay more than they should.

Energy Efficiency (EE) programs help California increase its energy efficiency and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To meet the electricity and natural gas energy efficiency goals, the CPUC authorizes budgets to the EE programs annually, which are funded by a portion of electricity and gas rates included in ratepayer bills.  The UAB’s responsibility is to ensure that the EE funding is properly spent.

The UAB performs reviews of financial statements for water and sewer utilities to either 1) provide an independent assessment of whether an entity’s reported financial information is presented fairly; or 2) to express a conclusion about whether any material modification should be made to these companies’ financial statements.

The CPUC mandates and administers various Public Purpose Programs (PPPs) for the purpose of making basic communication services affordable to California customers.  These programs provide subsidized telephone and broadband services and special equipment to qualified carriers and individuals. UAB conducts audits of program-related costs and activities to ensure utilities carryout their program responsibilities in accordance with applicable guidelines and regulations.

Utility Supplier Diversity Program General Order (GO) 156 program outlines various benchmarks and encourages energy, telephone, and water companies to procure goods and services from Woman, Minority or Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise (WMDVBE) and lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender business enterprises (LGBTBE).  Utilities file an annual report to the CPUC on procurement performance and specific contract amounts awarded to WMDVBE and LGBTBE.  UAB conducts audits to determine compliance of reported diverse procurement with GO 156 requirements.