California Public Utilities Commission

From Open Energy Information

California Public Utilities Commission is an organization based in San Francisco, California: Energy Resources.

The CPUC regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies, in addition to authorizing video franchises. Our five Governor-appointed Commissioners, as well as our staff, are dedicated to ensuring that consumers have safe, reliable utility service at reasonable rates, protecting against fraud, and promoting the health of California's economy.

The CPUC plays a key role in making California a national and international leader on a number of clean energy related initiatives and policies designed to benefit consumers, the environment, and the economy. The CPUC is also at the forefront of communications issues and has developed a Consumer Protection Initiative to empower consumers and prevent fraud in the rapidly changing telecommunications industry.


“The California Public Utilities Commission serves the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure at reasonable rates, with a commitment to environmental enhancement and a healthy California economy. We regulate utility services, stimulate innovation, and promote competitive markets, where possible, in the communications, energy, transportation, and water industries.”


“The California Public Utilities Commission betters the lives of all Californians through our recognized leadership in innovative communications, energy, transportation, and water policies and regulation.”


“The CPUC’s success depends on our individual and organizational commitment to these core values, to our fellow employees, and to the public interest. The values apply to all CPUC employees, volunteers, and commissioners.”

CPUC takes pride in a functional workplace. The following values mobilize the mission goals and vision statement.

  • Integrity: Place public interest above personal interest, uphold positive ethical standards, and demonstrate fairness to others.
  • Excellence: “Produce well-reasoned, evidence-based decisions, resolutions, and other work products.”
  • Accountability: Provide transparency to enable public scrutiny. Admit mistakes and evaluate projects objectively to look for areas of improvement. Promote agency and inter-agency collaboration
  • Open Communication: Listen to others and ask for assistance when needed. Respect stakeholder and colleague time; respond accordingly.
  • Stewardship: Act with a commitment to Californian’s health and safety and the natural environment’s preservation through identifying “high-priority resource objectives.” Seek and employ contributions from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

Safety Sector Programs


All “state natural gas and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) pipeline systems are designed, constructed, operated, and maintained to comply with federal regulations.” Routine inspections take place in risk management and public safety programs regulated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Natural Gas and Utilities

“The CPUC oversees the operation and safety of the five major investor-owned utilities who serve natural gas and LPG to the bulk of California residents and businesses." Regular inspections include reports, audits, practices and procedures; and issue history. Businesses include:

  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
  • Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas)
  • San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)
  • Southwest Gas Corporation
  • Southern California Edison (Avalon LPG).

Electric Generation and Reliability

The Electric Safety and Reliability Branch (EGSRB), “…performs comprehensive audit, outage inspection, and incident investigation of electric generation facilities in an effort to ensure they are maintained and operated in a safe and reliable manner.”

Electric and Communication Facility

This section, “has jurisdiction over the safety of overhead and underground electric and communications line construction of all investor-owned utilities, co-ops, and municipalities.” Programs include safety audits and incident and complaint investigations.

Risk Assessment

Agency engineers,

  • “Identify, analyze, mitigate present and potential risks in the natural gas & electric systems;
  • Promote risk-informed decision making in Commission proceedings, particularly General Rate Cases;
  • Identify safety concerns and issues that should be considered in new applications, rulemakings or investigations and provide recommendations to Commission decision makers;
  • Suggest improvements in audits and inspections performed by SED;
  • Coordinate with other Commission divisions and/or State agencies to promote safety in regulated utility operations and research expenditures;
  • Identify and promote new approaches to Risk Assessment and energy policy development through whitepapers, reports and presentations at relevant industry conferences.”

Rail Safety

“The CPUC has safety and security regulatory authority over all rail transit agencies (RTAs) in California, and works in cooperation with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the RTAs to enhance public safety and security.” The Railroad Operations and Safety Branch (ROSB) is a subset of the CPUC to ensure employee and public safety through rules, regulations and infrastructure. Routine inspections investigate accidents, complaints and suggest program or system recommendations to the Commissioner. All actions must abide by the,"System Safety Program Plan, System Security Plans, and Safety Certification Plans of each RTA to ensure that these plans meet all state and federal rules and regulations."

Programs include:

  • Oil by Rail Safety
  • Railroad Bridge Evaluation
  • Positive Train Control (PTC)
  • Operation Lifesaver


  1.  "CPUC Website"

General Counsel

Arocles Aguilar

Policy & Planning Division Director


Water & Audits Division Director

Raminder Kahlon

Energy Division Director

Edward Randolph