Recent activity by the California Public Utilities Commission should cause public utility managers and counsel everywhere to take notice.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has the biggest staff of any state utilities commission. It has issued fines and penalties in excess of US$1 billion; it has enforced the state’s renewable energy mandate; and it has even found ways to exert substantial regulatory control over disruptive innovators in transportation.
Because of the CPUC’s outsized influence on commissioners, staff, and public advocates in other states, public utility management and counsel should be aware of five of the CPUC’s most recent regulatory innovations:
- Wildfire liability and cost recovery
- Identifying risk and quantifying mitigation costs
- Transportation network regulation
- Community choice aggregation
- Expanded public access to utility and commission records