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Affordability Workshop #1 (Defining and Measuring Affordability): Public Workshop

When: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 9:00 AM - 4:40 PM

Where: CPUC Auditorium, 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA; call-in 1-866-630-5989, participant #: 33-62-110; also available via webcast


Webcast: http://www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc/


You are invited to participate in the upcoming affordability workshop on January 22. As indicated in the OIR and Scoping Ruling, this workshop aims to develop a common understanding of methods to assess affordability for customers, consistent with the Commission. Please find participation details and the agenda below. We appreciate your continued engagement and are looking forward to valuable and productive discussions on this important topic.



9 - 9:05 a.m. Purpose of the Day & Safety Announcement
9:05 - 9:10 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks (Comm. Rechtschaffen)
9:10 - 10 a.m.  Defining and Measuring Affordability: CPUC's Current Approach
  • CPUC staff presentations on different approaches across proceedings
    • How has the commission previously addressed/measured affordability?
    • What proceedings and types of decisions already rely on assessments of affordability, and how have those assessments been conducted?
    • Which Commission proceedings/decisions might utilize the framework moving forward?
10 - 12:30 p.m. Defining and Measuring Affordability  
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Break
1:30 - 2:00 p.m. The Public Advocates Office presentation
2:00 - 3:30 p.m.  Small Group Discussions (facilitated by CPUC staff)

Participants will be organized into 3 groups and assigned to one of the following breakout groups: Defining Affordability; Metrics, Data Needs etc.,; Use and Application of Affordability Framework. 

If stakeholders wish to participate in more than one group they will need more than one representative as they are happening simultaneously.  


  • Defining affordability and essential service
    • Has the Commission or any public utility operating in California defined affordability of service and/or essential service?
    • What are the factors that determine affordability of service and/or essential service?
    • What socioeconomic groups are most vulnerable to the factors affecting the affordability of essential service?
    • Are there levels of service that must be made affordable for all customers or only specific socioeconomic groups as seems to be the current effort?
    • What decisions are customers that cannot afford utility services forced to make?
  • Identifying metrics and data source to measure affordability and determine essential service
    • What metrics can be used to measure the factors affecting affordability? What are the possible challenges with assessing and measuring affordability using these metrics? Is there any affordability concern that is inherently unquantifiable, and how should the framework address those concerns?
    • What data is readily available to determine affordability and/or set essential service levels? What information do we need that may not be readily available and how can we collect it?
    • What are the processes for collecting, measuring, reporting, and regularly updating data to monitor affordability? How should these processes be incorporated into Commission proceedings?
  • Usefulness/Application of the affordability framework
    • Once affordability metrics and essential service levels are developed how can they be applied to the proceedings of the Commission affecting the rates and services of public utilities operating in California? 
    • Do any utilities operating in California currently evaluate affordability of their rates and if so how?
    • Which proceedings or recurring practices have traditionally included affordability discussions and how was the topic addressed?
3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Small Group Reports
4:30 - 4:40 p.m.  Concluding Remarks

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