Community Legal Services (CommLegal) advocates on behalf of utility customers to increase the affordability, accountability, and accessibility of essential public services. Working alongside grassroots organizations, we represent the interests of low-income, minority, and disadvantaged consumers, at no charge to them.
Our current programs center on intervening before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which regulates the various utility companies that provide essential services such as energy, water, telecommunications, and transportation. Utility companies have a tremendous impact upon consumers’ lives, as their actions influence public health, safety, finances, mobility, and access to information.
When the CPUC is considering what utility actions to approve or require, it must often review hundreds and thousands of pages of information and evidence. However, the CPUC has many open proceedings and very limited resources. On the other hand, regulated utilities are some of the largest companies in the world, including PG&E, Comcast, and Uber. Their annual revenues far exceed the CPUC’s budget.
As a result, in order to make informed decisions, the CPUC relies upon intervening parties to provide relevant analysis on how utility actions will impact them and their communities. Customers who will be impacted by utility actions have the right to voice their concerns and argue for reasonable provisions in CPUC proceedings.
Low-income, minority, and other vulnerable consumers lack the means to effectively advocate for their needs and develop recommendations before the CPUC. These communities already struggle with the affordability of bills, access to high-speed internet, adopting clean energy technology, and much more.
CommLegal provides experienced and expert advocacy before the CPUC on behalf of underserved communities. Through working closely with numerous nonprofit, faith-based, and community-based organizations, we have gained an intimate understanding of their real needs and are able to provide informed advocacy on their behalf.
The organizations we engage with support underserved communities by providing services in areas such as arts and education, financial and digital literacy, homeownership resources, and small business development.
Utilities must request CPUC approval for new programs that range from building power plants to deploying EV chargers. CommLegal fights for reasonable costs, measurable benefits, and prioritization of marginalized communities.
- billions of dollars in savings for all utility customers
- program designs that prioritize the needs of underserved communities
- policy reforms that hold utility companies accountable to legislative, equity, and environmental mandates