How To Appeal a CPUC Decision on Your Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the California Public Utilities Commissions’ decision on your complaint, don’t hesitate to appeal.


If you are dissatisfied with the CPUC’s decision on your complaint, don’t hesitate to appeal. Your case will be reviewed and another attempt made to find a solution acceptable to all parties. CAB does not have the power to make a determination against a utility company, only to negotiate with them.

Formal Complaint

You can only file a formal complaint if you have already gone through the informal complaint process. You can file your informal complaint here.  A formal complaint must be filed on a form printed by the CPUC. These are available from the Public Advisor’s office (in SF, 415-703-2074, in LA, 213-576-7055), or through the CPUC’s website,

If You File a Formal Complaint

The burden is on you to prove your case. You must follow all the technical rules, which will be included in the formal complaint package you receive from the CPUC. An attorney is not necessary, although the utility company may have one. The Public Advisor’s office assists consumers in preparing their formal complaints. For disputes involving less than $5000, an expedited hearing process is available that takes 30 days and does not involve attorneys.

A Formal Complaint Hearing

is similar to a trial but is presided over by an Administrative law Judge (ALJ). You will be required to present sworn testimony, documents and other evidence as well as an opportunity to cross-examine the utility company’s witnesses, and they will have an opportunity to cross- examine you. The CPUC Commissioners must approve the ALJ’s decision.