Two ratepayer advocate groups jointly filed for a rehearing this week of the California Public Utility Commission\u2019s decision granting investor-owned utilities $82.2 million for unverified energy savings. The Division of Ratepayer Advocates and The Utility Reform Network argued that the 4-1 ruling issued by the commission was \u201ca radical departure from previous decisions that awarded incentives only for independently verified energy savings assessments.\u201d The investor-owned utilities pushed for a non-refundable interim payout for their 2006-08 energy efficiency programs by the end of 2008 so they could include them in their end of year earnings reports. Under the December 18 ruling, the CPUC agreed to launch a rule making to provide transparency to the controversial ratepayer mechanism, which could result in minor changes or a new mechanism. The ruling altered the traditional risk reward incentive. A draft report by the CPUC\u2019s Energy Division released four months late\u2014in November of last year\u2014concluded that SoCal Gas should reap $3.6 million, but that Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric were not entitled to interim incentive payments. Southern California Edison was said to owe a $6.9 penalty. Prior to the report\u2019s finalization, the regulators voted to award utilities incentive payments based on their self-reported energy savings. DRA and TURN claimed the CPUC failed to ensure rates were just and reasonable. \u201cIt is unconscionable for the commission to ignore the independent results that it set in place as part of the incentive mechanism in the absence of substantial evidence that such a significant step is warranted,\u201d the two organizations said in their filing.