Enforcement and Citations
Strong enforcement is critical to ensuring that the CPUC's statutory mandates are carried out and that ratepayers and the public are protected from safety, reliability, service quality, and other violations.
This page last updated on June 15, 2022
The Commission enforces laws and its requirements through a variety of formal and informal means, including the following:
- Formal enforcement investigations (Orders Instituting Investigation), which may include fines and other remedies. Staff investigations precede and establish the scope of formal investigations.
- Citation programs, which delegate authority to staff to issue fines for prescribed violations.
- Audits and Inspections
- Administrative Consent Orders (ACOs) and Administrative Enforcement Orders (AEO)
- Our whistleblower program
In 2020, the Commission adopted an Enforcement Policy that builds on the CPUC’s existing enforcement tools and processes with the goal of better serving Californians through transparent and robust enforcement of rules and regulations over the entities the CPUC regulates. The Enforcement Policy provides guidance on achieving a consistent approach to enforcement, enforcement actions, settlements, and setting penalties. Specifically, the Enforcement Policy:
- Establishes nine guiding enforcement principles: ensuring compliance, consistent enforcement, meaningful deterrence; timely enforcement; progressive enforcement; transparency; environmental justice and disadvantaged communities consideration; adaptive management; and enforcement prioritization;
- Standardizes existing enforcement tools, documents, and procedures to the extent appropriate; and
- Creates two flexible administrative enforcement tools for staff to utilize, an Administrative Consent Order and an Administrative Enforcement Order, subject to CPUC for approval, denial, or modification.
Resolution M-4846, which includes the Enforcement Policy, is available here.
- Citation Penalties Levied Against Energy Utilities: $751,503,697
- Citation Penalties Levied Against Telecommunications Companies: $42,205,727
- Fines and Reparations Levied Against Water Companies: $0
- Fines Levied Against Transportation Companies: $212,500
Citation programs delegate authority to staff to issue fines for prescribed violations. Citations carry fines for non-compliance with state law and Commission orders. The Commission has established numerous citation programs over the years, which cover different specific regulatory programs and authority. Below you can find a list of our citation programs and issued citations.
- Complete List of CPUC Citation Programs
- Electric Citation Program Page
- Core Transport Agent Citation Program Page
- Infrastructure Planning, California Environmental Quality Act and Energy Permitting Citation Program Page
- Gas Citation Program Page
- Renewables Portfolio Standard Citation Program Page
- Resource Adequacy Citation Program Page
- Communications Slamming Citation Program Page
Administrative Consent Orders
- Nov. 2, 2021: ACO for SCE relating to the 2017-2018 SoCal Fires
- Dec. 16, 2021: CPUC Penalizes SCE for 2017 – 2018 Wildfires (CPUC Press Release)
- Resolution Voted on Dec. 16, 2021
- ACO and Settlement Agreement
- SED Investigation Report
- Draft Resolution Comment Letter
- Press Release
- Comment by Organization
Administrative Enforcement Orders