Energy Service Disconnections 

Background 

In November 2009, DRA issued a report on the Status of Energy Utility Service Disconnections in California.  In 2010, the CPUC put in place temporary protections for energy service disconnections as a response to the economic downturn in California.  Subsequently, the CPUC approved utility best practice strategies to keep energy service disconnections low. In 2010 the CPUC issued a Decision approving a voluntary Settlement among SDG&E, SoCalGas, DRA, TURN, The Greenlining Institute, the National Consumer Law Center, and the Center for Accessible Technology that set best practices to keep energy service disconnections low. In 2012 the CPUC issued another Decision extending best practice protections to customers of PG&E and Edison. These protections are a combination of limits on the overall number of disconnections, waivers for deposit requirements to restore service, and extensions to pay past-due bills. 

  • See Summary of CPUC-approved utility energy service disconnection practices. 

DRA Policy Position 

DRA supports Disconnection policy, practices, and rules that require the utilities to make reasonable attempts to collect payment for service, and that disconnect service only as a last resort. DRA successfully advocated for:  

  • Adequate customer notice of remote (and automatic) disconnection of electric service.
  • In-person premise visits prior to disconnection for customers for whom electric service disconnection could be life-threatening.

DRA also asserts that the consistently higher rate of disconnections of low-income customers is a symptom of unaffordable bills, and urges the CPUC to better tailor utility assistance programs to improve bill affordability. 

See DRA’s May 31, 2011 Reply Comments on billing improvements, remote disconnection protections, and disconnection benchmarks for PG&E and SCE.

See DRA’s May 20, 2011 Comments on billing improvements, remote disconnection protections, and disconnection benchmarks for PG&E and SCE.

See DRA’s September 24, 2010 Comments on predictable bills, and disconnection benchmarks. 

See DRA’s September 15, 2010 Reply Comments on predictable bills, and disconnection benchmarks.

See DRA’s September 9, 2010 Joint Petition for Modification to Adopt Disconnection Settlement. 

 

Proceeding Status 

The proceeding is closed.

See Proceeding docket.  

 

Other Resources 

DRA REPORT:  Status of Energy Utility Service Disconnections in California Report (Mar 2011)  

DRA REPORT: Status of Energy Utility Service Disconnections in California Report (Nov 2009) 

DRA PRESENTATION:  Low-Income Briefing, April 27, 2011