Your Voice at the CPUC

If you want to save $50 a year on your utility bill (and who doesn’t!) there’s never been a better time to tell a friend about TURN, and encourage them to join!

Dear Friends,

TURN is expanding our statewide outreach efforts with our PolicyVoice Organizing Project and our campaign for Fair Utility Profits, which could mean lower bills for every customer of SDG&E, SoCal Gas, Edison, and PG&E.

As I write this, TURN’s partners and allies in San Diego, San Bernardino and Fresno are organizing customers to speak out at CPUC hearings on utility profit rates. TURN demanded and won these hearings, the first-ever where the CPUC will hear on-the-ground consumer testimony on the impact of high utility profits on customers’ families and communities.

TURN’s legal staff has provided the CPUC with a proposal that would reduce bills by $50 a year by lowering utility profits for SDG&E, SoCal Gas, Edison, and PG&E to a more reasonable level without impacting safety or reliability. Customers may not realize that California utilities collect profits from investing in utility capital projects like smart meters and pipelines—not from selling energy. And you guessed right, they collect those profits—which at 11% are some of the highest in the U.S.—from customers. That means profits, not customer service or safety, are driving bills up.

In this economy, $50 can mean a lot to California families. Our PolicyVoice partners know all too well the impact on high bills in their communities, where many low-income consumers are making difficult choices between essentials like medicine, food, or lights, and are adding important new voices to the debate at the CPUC.

After our recent PolicyVoice training in Oakland (see photo on page), advocates from around the state spoke out eloquently and passionately in support of keeping basic phone service affordable and available at a CPUC meeting. Their comments supported a proposal by Commissioner Mike Florio that incorporates many of TURN’s recommendations.

At a public hearing in San Diego in April, scores of consumers challenged SDG&E’s plan to cut back on customer rights with pre-paid service. And hundreds more consumers are making their voices heard through our online actions, and learning about their rights through our website and PolicyVoice consumer education events.

TURN members know that every dollar you give to TURN comes back to you in thousands of dollars in savings. After you read this newsletter, don’t forget to tell your friends about the important work TURN is doing, work that will directly impact their utility bills and service every single day. And don’t hesitate to contact TURN to request a speaker for your community group or agency. Send requests to turn@turn.org. Your support makes us stronger!

Mark Toney's Signature