CPUC Website Deadends

By Published On: September 9, 2011

I’m a Southern California Edison customer. I wanted to find out more about the utility’s planned $3.6 billion rate hike I read about in my local newspaper so I went to the California Public Utilities Commission’s website. I started with “Hot Topics.” From there, the logical choice was “Energy Hot Topics.” Surely a $3.6 billion rate hike is a hot topic. But that link took me a page listing several topics, like “Master Meter Mobilehome Park OIR,” not my utility’s rate hike. Back to the front page. “Energy” at the top of the front page leads to “Rates & Tariffs.” No dice. It takes me to a page that’s got links on my current bill, but nothing about what’s being proposed for my future bill. Back to page one. “More Events.” A calendar showing no meetings related to an Edison rate hike. “Energy Regulation.” No luck. Determined, I click “Docket.” I don’t have a case number. The newspaper didn’t report a docket. Last ditch, I click DRA. Now I’m getting somewhere, but how many know what that acronym stands for? I reflect that if the CPUC really wants me to participate in ratemaking cases a good first start would be to put information about rate hike cases right on the front page of its web site. Are other states as cryptic about utility rate hikes? In Colorado, the first thing I saw was a notice about tiered rates taking effect and a link about how they would affect me if I lived there. In Massachusetts, right on the front page I found that if I lived in Fitchburg, the Department of Public Utilities just cut a proposed power rate hike by 54.2 percent. Nevada wasn’t quite as easy, but within a minute I found out that Nevada Power was looking for a rate hike and the details were just one more click away.

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