TURN Delivers Savings and Drives Policy

Thirty-seven years after consumer activist Sylvia Seigel founded TURN, we continue to rack up victories for California consumers and are the leading voice for utility customers in the state.

Letter From Our Executive Director-Winter 2010

Your donations and support are essential to our success, and we use every penny effectively. TURN’s advocacy costs customers a fraction of the billions we save you every year.

Last year, TURN won a whopping $3 billion in consumer savings from just three of the cases we worked on. And, in one of those cases, former senior staff attorney and current CPUC Commissioner Mike Florio led a successful fight against a corporate-backed proposal that could have cost consumers $1 billion per year far into the future. In every one of the 117 cases TURN attorneys took on, we beat back unnecessary and excessive rate hikes. In the 3 that saved $3 billion:

  • PG&E asked for permission to raise rates by $2 billion with phony and unnecessary reliability improvements. TURN convinced the CPUC that most of what PG&E proposed would not benefit customers, and the CPUC rejected $1.65 billion of the requested spending.
  • Southern California Edison, SDG&E, SoCal Gas, and PG&E proposed energy efficiency spending of $3.7 billion for 2010–2011. TURN convinced the CPUC to reduce the utilities’ administrative fees and cap the cost at $3.1 billion, saving customers $600 million.
  • A generator/utility effort to expand federal jurisdiction over power procurement would have increased consumer costs and hampered renewable energy development. TURN’s defeat of this effort saved California consumers $1 billion per year far into the future.

TURN saves you more than money. As your watchdog at both the CPUC and the utility companies, we won new rights and defended consumers by:

  • Pressuring the CPUC to give voice to consumers statewide more of a voice, alerting our members and local communities to opportunities to testify at CPUC Public Hearings held at TURN’s request.
  • Defeating Prop 16, PG&E’s attempt to lock in its monopoly by locking out public power and consumer choice.
  • Winning better safeguards for low-income consumers, helping them to keep the lights on and the phone connected.
  • Being a leading voice in California, and in the nation, on vital public policy issues like Smart Meters and gas pipeline safety.

Our members’ support is crucial to our efforts, and is much more than a monthly donation. Close to ten thousand of you have already joined our e mail list, and have made your voices heard on issues ranging from phone company consumer disclosures to accountability for the tragic San Bruno explosion. Many of you have distributed TURN materials and information to friends and neighbors, and invited TURN to speak at meetings or events in your communities.

TURN provides consumer education to our 20,000 members statewide through out newsletter, email alerts, and updated web resources. TURN members receive priority assistance with their customer complaints. As TURN’s reputation grows, more and more consumers seek our help; in FY 2009-2010 TURN helped over 1,000 consumers avert shutoffs, restore utility service, resolve problems, and file complaints with the CPUC.

We are grateful to your support, and look forward to your continuing involvement. Together, we can win the affordable utilities and livable communities we all want and deserve.

Read TURN’s full coverage of the PG&E Pipeline Explosion in San Bruno.

Sincerely,

Mark Toney's Signature