Public Power in California

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The Power of Public Investment with John Chiang State Treasurer of California

The Public Utilities Commission consists of 5 members appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate, a majority of the membership concurring, for staggered 6-year terms. A vacancy is filled for the remainder of the term. The Legislature may remove a member for incompetence, neglect of duty, or corruption, two thirds of the membership of each house concurring. Subject to statute and due process, the commission may establish its own procedures.

Any commissioner as designated by the commission may hold a hearing or investigation or issue an order subject to commission approval. Private corporations and persons that own, operate, control, or manage a line, plant, or system for the transportation of people or property, the transmission of telephone and telegraph messages, or the production, generation, transmission, or furnishing of heat, light, water, power, storage, or wharfage directly or indirectly to or for the public, and common carriers, are public utilities subject to control by the Legislature.

A new type of public power is growing in California, and raising alarms

The Legislature may prescribe that additional classes of private corporations or other persons are public utilities. The commission may fix rates and establish rules for the transportation of passengers and property by transportation companies, prohibit discrimination, and award reparation for the exaction of unreasonable, excessive, or discriminatory charges.

LSE Peak Loads

A transportation company may not raise a rate or incidental charge except after a showing to and a decision by the commission that the increase is justified, and this decision shall not be subject to judicial review except as to whether confiscation of property will result. The Legislature has plenary power, unlimited by the other provisions of this constitution but consistent with this article, to confer additional authority and jurisdiction upon the commission, to establish the manner and scope of review of commission action in a court of record, and to enable it to fix just compensation for utility property taken by eminent domain.

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The commission may fix rates, establish rules, examine records, issue subpenas, administer oaths, take testimony, punish for contempt, and prescribe a uniform system of accounts for all public utilities subject to its jurisdiction. These may include, but are not limited to:. Power will remain out for as long as extreme and dangerous weather conditions pose a potential fire risk. After a Public Safety Power Shutoff event, your energy company will inspect and repair power lines and equipment so that power can be safely restored.

Skip to content. The Power of Being Prepared. What is a Public Safety Power Shutoff? In order to keep communities safe, your local energy company may need to turn off power during extreme weather or wildfire conditions. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff. Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin.


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Have a personal safety plan in place for every member of your household including pets. Plan for any medical needs like medications that need to be refrigerated or devices that require power. Build or restock your emergency supply kit, including food, water, flashlights, a radio, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash. Identify backup charging methods for phones.


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Learn how to manually open your garage door. If you own a backup generator, ensure it is ready to safely operate. To learn more ways to prepare, download our fact sheet.

California wildfire rating risks spread to public utilities | Bond Buyer

Your plan should include the following:. Make sure your energy company is aware of your medical device. Consider a safe backup power source, such as a generator or uninterruptible power supply.

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