Our Work

California is pressing forward on dual, uncharted energy frontiers. On one end, the state is leading on many fronts in the global, clean energy transition. On the other, we are already dealing with more intense drought, heatwaves, and other climate change impacts that are stressing our energy system in unprecedented ways. Simultaneously achieving the state’s climate targets and adapting to the physical strains of a warming world require strategic investments in the immediate future and across the next several decades. The state needs billions in investments each year to build out the necessary power plants, transmission lines, and other accompanying infrastructure. Given the sheer magnitude and potential bill impacts on Californians, we seek to help plot a realistic and equitable decarbonization course. 

The Public Advocates Office rigorously evaluates policy and specific project proposals by considering the state’s climate goals, household bill impacts, and the need for safe and reliable service. Our team of over 100 energy specialists strives to ensure that policies and regulations regarding energy utility services create efficient and equitable outcomes. We are entirely publicly funded and primarily focus on electricity and natural gas policy and ratemaking issues.  Our independent analyses and recommendations provide a counterweight to those from utilities, trade organizations or other special interests that regularly lobby the Commission.

Our Focus Areas

A female consumer holding a lightbulb and calculating savings in front of the computer.

Rate Design and Cost Allocation

How much should energy utility companies recoup from their investments and how should those costs be distributed across ratepayers?

A power line in the sunset.

Transmission Lines

How do we build needed transmission lines faster and more affordably?

An Indian couple checking their utility bill in the kitchen.

Distributed Energy Resources

How should the Commission design “behind the meter” programs that can reduce bills and emissions?

A power plant worker climbing ladder to the top of a giant metal chimney.

Natural Gas Decarbonization

How should investments be made to reduce the environmental footprint of natural gas use?

A detail of the EV charging plug.

Zero-Emission Vehicles

How should the grid accommodate new electric vehicles and scale charging stations?

Binders and notebooks on a crowded desk. One of the binders’s spine reads Procurement Plans.

Reliability and Long-Term Resource Planning

How many power plants will be needed in the future with warmer temperatures and more electrification?


Learn about our positions on the main proceedings we have engaged on at the California Public Utilities Commission.


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