2018 Public Advocates Office Annual Report


On January 10, 2019, the Public Advocates Office submitted its 2018 Annual Report to Governor Gavin Newsom and the California State Legislature.


The Public Advocates Office is the independent consumer advocate with in the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) that advocates solely on behalf of investor-owned utility customers. As the only state entity charged with this responsibility, the Public Advocates Office plays a critical role in ensuring 2018 AR coverthat the customers of California’s energy, water, and communications utilities are represented at the CPUC and in other forums that affect customers’ utility bills, environmental benefits, and the reliability and safety of those services.


Public Advocates Office's Mission

To obtain the lowest possible rate for service
consistent with safety, reliability, and
the state’s environmental goals


In 2018, the Public Advocates Office Helped Customers Save More Than $3.3 Billion

In 2018, the Public Advocates Office: 

  • Participated in 168 CPUC Proceedings: where the Office is often the only stakeholder broadly representing customers
  • Filed Approximately 804 Pleadings: representing the ratepayer perspective before the CPUC to develop the formal record from which Commissioners formulate their final decisions
  • 549 Public Outreach Activities: number of public outreach activities includes meetings with Commissioners and their advisors, the press, public participation hearings, workshops, conferences, and email communications

The Public Advocates Office has a staff of 165 professionals consisting of engineers, economists, scientists, and auditors with expertise in regulatory issues related to the electricity, natural gas, water, and communications industries in California. The Public Advocates Office's staff performs in-depth review and analyses of regulatory policy issues and utility proposals, for funding that totals in the tens of billions of dollars, in order to determine whether utility requests are in the interest of the ratepayers who fund utility activities through their utility bills. The Public Advocates Office also supports the state's safety and environmental goals.  


Public Advocates Office in Sacramento

The Public Advocates Office maintains a full-time presence in Sacramento, actively participating in the Legislative and budget processes by working directly with the Governor's office, Legislature, Department of Finance, Legislative Analyst's Office, and other related entities.



The Public Advocates Office is the Voice for ratepayers in Sacramento, providing Analysis & recommendations to benefit customers

In 2018, the Public Advocates Office worked directly with Member offices and testified on many public utility-related legislative bills. The Public Advocates Office achieves its statutory mission to represent the customers of investor owned utilities for energy, natural gas, water, and communications in Sacramento by:

  • Researching complex utility issues and answering questions 
  • Providing fact-based technical legislative assistance and recommendations 
  • Writing new legislation or bill amendments 
  • Taking positions on legislative bills and presenting testimony 
  • Providing educational briefings on complex ratemaking, rate design, and other utility policy issues 
  • Convening or participating in stakeholder meetings to help resolve the most complex or divisive utility issues 
  • Assisting with individual constituent issues to resolve them in a timely manner 
  • Participating in district town hall meetings or other constituent gatherings 
  • Providing timely updates on CPUC and the Public Advocates Office's actions and activities