ACTION ALERT: Roll Back the CPUC Attack on Our Communities!

California’s devastating wildfires set the stage for the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to provide Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) an initial $6 billion bailout assist. Next, the CPUC will pass billions in fire liability costs onto the public.
At the same time, the CPUC is also attacking Community Choice energy, the state's expanding alternative to the monopoly utility model. This latest attack comes in the form of a dramatic fee hike impacting all ratepayers, to cover losses incurred through the utilities’ mismanagement of their electricity procurement obligations.

Question: What do the following things have in common?
  • A multi-billion-dollar bailout of PG&E for wildfire damages;
  • Monopoly utility leadership that prioritizes shareholder returns over customer and community safety;
  • Avoidable higher costs of electricity for all California ratepayers;
  • A consistent and pervasive bias against California's successful, innovative Community Choice energy programs;
  • Policies that prop up an outmoded, centralized electricity system against a decentralized renewable energy model.
Answer: The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
These failures all rest at the doors of regulators not doing their job. The job of the CPUC is to serve our communities, not the monopoly utilities.
The CPUC's model of socializing losses and privatizing profits rewards the state’s three monopoly utilities, while attacking the 19 public, not-for-profit Community Choice programs, which are leading California’s transition to a renewable energy economy.
Click here to write your legislators to roll back the CPUC attack on our communities!
High Stakes
When the CPUC attacks Community Choice, our communities are the losers. This latest attack is contrary to law. It obstructs achievement of the state’s climate goals and is in conflict with the public interest.
Call for a new kind of deal for California -- a Green New Deal that strengthens our communities and invests in Community Choice, to provide environmental, economic and social justice benefits. Click here.  


The CPUC recently approved a huge increase in a fee charged to the 11 million customers of Community Choice energy programs. The fee, called the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA), makes Community Choice customers pay for “departing load” costs incurred by the monopoly utilities. These costs are due to above-market prices the utilities have voluntarily and unnecessarily paid for electricity, which they then sell at a loss whenever customers switch to more attractive Community Choice programs.

Because the PCIA covers these shortfalls, the utilities have no incentive to do better. In other words, the PCIA effectively shields the utilities from having to compete with Community Choice programs, The result: Community Choice customers are saddled with PCIA charges, and utility customers get over-priced electricity. This is the kind of mismanagement the CPUC is supposed to prevent, not promote.

Both the fire liability bailout and the PCIA fee hike reflect the CPUC’s regulatory approach: socializing losses and privatizing profits. This approach rewards the state’s three private monopoly utilities, raises rates for all ratepayers, and attacks the state’s public, not-for-profit Community Choice programs – programs that are in the forefront of combating climate change. 

Click here to write your legislators to roll back the CPUC attack on our communities and on Community Choice!

Time to Take Action

California’s 19 Community Choice energy programs provide important economic and environmental benefits to our communities. They lead the state and nation in demonstrating a successful decentralized alternative to the state’s faltering private monopoly utilities.  Not to mention that they are way out in front in meeting climate objectives and developing innovative community-based renewable energy initiatives.

The CPUC’s dramatic fee hike is a handout to the monopoly utilities at the expense of all ratepayers.  The damage to our communities has already begun, as Community Choice programs have had to put off launch, raise rates, and/or curb local investments.  Make no mistake –the CPUC’s attack on Community Choice is contrary to law, obstructs progress toward the state’s climate goals, and fails to protect all electricity ratepayers.

Through all these attacks, the CPUC is propping up an outmoded, centralized, private monopoly electricity model, based on derelict and now exposed corporations. It is obstructing the innovative, decentralized, public alternative energy model California is building to achieve a sustainable energy future.

Join us in calling on California legislators to demand a rollback of the CPUC’s attack:

  • Demand that the CPUC immediately suspend the October PCIA hike, pending resolution of the procedural and legal deficiencies in the PCIA decision.
  • Demand that Governor Newsom hold the monopoly utilities accountable and appoint new CPUC commissioners and top staffers who support Community Choice and prioritize community interests.

Defeating the CPUC attack is essential to promoting a public alternative to the state’s monopoly utilities.  For a more in-depth analysis of this issue—the CPUC’s decision, the impact, what’s at stake, and the response—see our Backgrounder: Roll Back the Attack.

Learn More about Local Clean Energy Alliance's statewide work -- California Alliance for Community Energy
PS - if you belong to an organization, please forward to them this Petition to "Roll Back the CPUC Attack". Together, our many voices can be very powerful.