CPUC PPH Bakersfield Transcript | Pacific Gas And Electric Company | Anger

BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE AMY YIP-KIKUGAWA, presiding

Application of Pacific Gas and Electric Company for Approval of Modifications to its SmartMeter™ Program and Increased Revenue Requirements to Recover the Costs of the Modifications. (U39M) And Related Matters.

) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION HEARING

Application 11-03-014; A.11-03-015; A.11-07-020

REPORTER'S TRANSCRIPT Bakersfield, California December 13, 2012 Pages 685 - 709 Volume - 6

Reported by:

Alejandrina E. Shori, CSR No. 8856

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 MR. CERDA MR. FREITAS MS. BRETZ MR. FREITAS MS. BASSEY

I N D E X * * * * *

STATEMENTS

696 700 702 704 705

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BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA 13 DECEMBER, 2012 - 6:00 P.M. * * * * *

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE YIP-KIKUGAWA: We'll be on the record. come to order. This is the time and place set for the Commission for a public participation hearing in Applications 11-03-014, 11-03-015, and 11-07-020. These applications address The Commission will

cost and cost allocation issues related to providing an option for gas and electric utility residential customers who do not wish to have the wireless meters installed in their location. Good evening. I'm Administrative And seated to my

Law Judge Amy Yip-Kikugawa.

left is Carol Brown who is chief of staff to Commission president Michael Peevey. And Ms. Brown, would you like to say a few words? MS. BROWN: Yes. On behalf of

President Peevey, he really welcomes all of you, taking time out of your busy evenings especially during the holiday season, to come and talk to us because it's very important that we get out and leave San Francisco occasionally and come out and visit where all

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of the rest of California lives and to hear from you. So on behalf of President Peevey, And I'm here to listen

thank you for coming.

and report back to him, along with the record the court reporter will be creating, and let him know exactly what you have to say this evening. Thank you. Okay, thank you

ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA: Ms. Brown.

Okay, as I said, this is a public participation hearing. And that really is

what we're here to do, is to hear directly from the public and have them speak to the Commission. Everyone who does wish to speak

this evening will have the opportunity to do so. And if you have not yet provided your

name to the Public Advisor's Office, please go to the back and do so now. calling you up one by one. I do have a couple of housekeeping matters before we have begin. That is, as I will be

Ms. Brown mentioned, we do have a court reporter here who will be preparing a transcript. Therefore I do ask that when

I do call your name up, that you speak into the microphone and speak clearly and slowly so that she can take down every word. And I

am going to be asking also the audience to

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please not interrupt the speakers because the reporter can't get a clear and accurate record if that's the case. We are going to be about two hours for these hearings and each person will have about three minutes to speak. And about

halfway through, we are going to take a short break for the reporter maybe about five to ten minutes. And again, we do want to hear from the public your statements. This isn't

a question and answer session so I'm not going to be doing a lot of speaking once we start hearing from all of you. But what I'd like to do is first give a real short overview of the proceeding and how the procedural aspects of the decision will be made here. Earlier this year, the Commission has voted out a series of decisions that had directed the three investor-owned utilities -- Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, and Southern California Edison Company -- to modify their advance metering infrastructure program to include an option for residential customers to opt out of having a wireless SmartMeter at their location. All three of

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the orders adopted AMI fees and opened a second phase of the proceeding to consider the cost that should be recovered by the utilities as well as how those costs would be recouped from customers. where we are at this point. Southern California Gas Company has not had an order yet directing them to modify their advance metering infrastructure program to also include an opt-out option. However, And that's

they do have an application that's pending at this point. And even though that application

hasn't been acted on, SoCalGas is participating in the proceeding and looking at adopting a permanent piece of this point as well. All three utilities have already served testimony on what their cost proposals are, and we did hold evidentiary hearings on the testimony. Witnesses were called up and

they were cross-examined by not only the Commission's Division of Ratepayer Advocates but also by numerous consumer groups. Those

hearings have been completed, but we have as part of the record all of their testimony and the exhibits. Next what's going to be coming in are briefs filed by the utilities and the

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intervenors, the consumer groups.

At the

same time, we're looking at the complete record. So that's going to include input

from ratepayers and customers as well. Letters have been coming in. They

do get circulated among the Commissioners' offices and also to me. We looked at We received

the lot -- we looked at them. numerous e-mails. the record as well.

They're putting those into

In addition to coming here to speak, I have already received a large number of letters from people who weren't able to come to the public participation meetings but did want to express their opinions of the opt-out fees that are under consideration. are being heard. So please understand that you We do read your letters and

we do take them into consideration as we are working toward a decision. In terms of a proposed decision, I will, based on all the evidence that is presented in this proceeding, prepare a proposed decision that I will be putting forward for the Commission to vote on. The

commissioners may vote on that or they may come out with a different outcome, and one of them may have prepared what's called an

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alternate decision.

Once it is voted out,

whatever decision is voted out by the Commission, that is the Commission's decision. And at this point, we probably

won't have a final decision out for consideration until later in the spring. Are there any questions? (No response) ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA: MR. FREITAS: Yes, sir?

Are you the final

authority and it's just your opinion that you submit? Is it just an opinion or a brief

that you do? ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA: I will be writing

a proposed decision for the commissioners to consider and the commissioners, that will have a certain outcome. If the commissioners

agree with my outcome, they will vote on that and that will be the decision of the Commission and that outcome will be adopted. UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: What would you

consider your weight, what's the weight of that outcome? the weight? What is the weight, what is How do you weigh the value of

what you do compared to what they can do to accept it or reject it? input? How valuable is your

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ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA:

I would like to say Of all the

my input is very valuable.

decisions I've written, very few have been voted out as alternates. MR. FREITAS: Okay. I try to come up

ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA:

with a reasoned decision based on the evidence. And I do meet with the

commissioners and explain why I came out with the output I did. So in some respect, they

know I know the record and it is a lot of what does the record say and how have I interpreted the record and weighed it. Anything else? (No response) ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA: Okay. Now, I'd just

like to make a couple of quick introductions before we proceed. I have sitting right in front of me here Varouj Jinbachian who is from our Public Advisor's Office, and Mr. Jinbachian is going to just briefly explain the role of the Public Advisor's Office. MR. JINBACHIAN: Thank you, your Honor. My name

Good evening and welcome.

is Varouj Jinbachian and I'm with the Public Advisor's Office of the Public Utilities Commission.

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First, I would like to say if you have a mobile device, if you could please put it on silent mode. disturb others. The Public Advisor's Office assists the public in participating in PUC proceedings. We facilitate public Our staff is And if you'd That way you do not

proceedings such as this.

outside to sign up speakers.

like to make a comment here tonight, please sign up with them if you haven't done so yet. You can also send in written comments. We

have an agenda outside and on the back of the agenda there's our mailing address and e-mail address. And if you send us written

comments, we will route those to the judge and also the commissioners' offices so they will see your comments. We also have a free subscription service where you could receive updates on this proceeding or any other proceeding you're interested in. Again, on the agenda,

on the back of it, there's a link for the subscription service. And if you have

any questions on how to sign up, please ask one of our staff outside or you could talk to me afterwards. Actually, I should point out that

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the judge said there will be a time limit for the speaks. I wanted to point out that

there's a timer right up there so it will count down how much time you have when you're speaking. Thank you very much for coming. MR. FREITAS: One quick question. How

do you become an intervenor? MR. JINBACHIAN: separately outside. MR. FREITAS: Okay. Okay. The other Let's talk about it

ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA:

thing I'd like to do is just introduce a few other people. Mr. Mendoza. MR. MENDOZA: (Indicating.) And Ms. Barris. Over on this side, I have

ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA: MS. BARRIS:

(Indicating.) They are from

ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA: the Gas Company.

And then over here we have Mr. Bayless who is from PG&E. MR. BAYLESS: (Indicating.) They are directly

ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA:

involved with the advanced metering infrastructure program. So if you have any

questions, you may speak with them and they will attempt to address all of them. If they

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can't, they can always refer to the appropriate person at PG&E as necessary. We also have, as you came into this meeting room, the customer service representatives from both the Gas Company and PG&E. And if you have any questions about

your bill, if you'd like sign up for the opt-out program or anything else, you can speak with them also after the meeting. Okay, so now I'd like to proceed with our public comment period, and first person is Lionel Cerda. come up Mr. Cerda. by Keith Freitas. STATEMENT OF MR. CERDA MR. CERDA: My name is Lionel Cerda. If you can please

And that will be followed

And how should I address you, "your Honor"? ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA: MR. CERDA: Okay. That's fine. Well, my comment is

why bother, why I came, but I just want my voice to be heard. Why did they even begin with the SmartMeter when people have to pay an extra additional charge? And what if -- my self-research was that it was an ex-CEO that was part of PG&E that just wanted to invest and make money.

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And it seemed like it's going to be a double effort on the public just to opt-out. Because he was an ex-CEO, he had connections to PG&E, if I'm right on that. So, you know, my question is why bother, because why did they even begin to do that? You know, with all this high-tech stuff, the more the public has to -- they encounter a lot of problems with these SmartMeters. And me myself, I'm going to

keep it because, you know, it's just to me a waste of time. And you know, these

higher -- these higher-ups profit off the public. I see it. That's what I -- that's the way They're profiting off the public,

the small person. And like I said, my comment was why bother. I was -- why bother? Why bother?

I bothered to come up here just to air my grievance against the Pub- -- why did they even begin to do that? So as I see my time, I'm just trying to be real brief as possible. And you know with the CPUC, the California Public Utilities Commission, I've said it before and I'll say it again, they've been in bed with PG&E for years. And

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that's the way I see it, you know.

And

that's just my frustration and my anger that I want to air out because it's the people that are paying the rates. affecting them. So I'd just like to, I'd like to see some kind of, I would say -- trying to grasp for the right words -- some positive outcome for the public. And before I finish my addressing, this is a public hearing to address our comments but I just don't want to seem like I'm angry or frustrated but, you know, it just goes back to people are just -- they're already in and they want to get more deep into it. It's not who you know -- what's that -- there's some words I'm trying to grasp. I guess it's part of my dementia. It's going to be

There's some short-term memory loss. I'm just trying to voice my opinion and my comments to that effect, you know. It affects me, it affects the public, it affects the state of California and nationwide. it's a nationwide thing. I don't know if There's so many I've

things that I read, so many materials.

come to a point where I don't know who to

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believe, you know.

It's what you make of it.

It's what I would say when it gets out in the media whether it's print, electronic, Internet, just don't know who to believe because they throw so much, their take, their take on the situation. But I don't know.

The self-research I've done like in the past, the first meeting that I attended, there was a CEO, if my memory serves me right, Peter Darbee. That was when he got Was this one

$12.9 million for one year. year? there?

Like I said in the past, why stop Just give him triple that. But that just goes to the effect of

the SmartMeters, why the public has to opt-out and pay when you guys started -I mean, not you guys, but the people that I see that you guys are in bed with. You

guys have a strange political bedfellows that you guys lie with. And there's where my,

once again, my frustration, my anger, where I have to voice -Did I pass my three minutes? So I'm just going to finish right there because it's the same thing that I'm going to be saying over and over. So I just

want to thank you for your time and patience and hearing my, I guess, one still voice.

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Thank you very much. ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA: Mr. Freitas. STATEMENT OF MR. FREITAS MR. FREITAS: Okay, your Honor, first Thank you very much.

of all, I wanted to object to the three-minute limitation. very offensive. Second of all, if I was to title this little comment I'm going to make I would call it the Consumer Liabilities Act and the Consumer Liberties Act. Utilities assume responsibility for what's best for the consumer whether their motives are profit-based. The utility I find that

seeks utilitarian-type control over its own markets. This creates an environment for

the lack of proper protective checks and balances that would work under normal capitalistic standards similar to self-policing. If the public puts its trust in its methodology and corporate madness, it risks losing power over its own destiny. Self-absorbing, more profit-driven utilities will be left unchecked and would hold control over that golden goose that lays the golden egg.

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Plunging one's -- this is what PG&E Plunging one's own assets headlong and

head forward into a campaign to replace equipment in a totalitarian style in a manner that includes the immediate destruction of existing equipment is in fact evidence of a dysfunctional and out-of-control management. I'd like to make some direct And I have to preface this with the

fact that I'm preparing a complaint that's going to be filed and PG&E and its executives will be named in the complaint, members of the consumer protection agency, and CPUC. I have to relent back on some facts to disclose to protect that complaint. PG&E has self-inflicted their own damages through its own negligence by destroying old meters, taking that upon themselves. that. We shouldn't have to pay for So

PG&E spent $53 million in a reverse

spin campaign, public campaign and an advertising campaign to try to convince people that they aren't the bad guy, they didn't do this in the wrong way, and everything's okay, they are doing this for our best interest. Well, that number should Why would you want

be taken out of the cost.

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to charge the public for two -- on the basis of two things that they did were self-inflicting caused by their own negligence. They negotiate their way out of negligent cause of disasters constantly. They get out of paying for fires. They They

damaged the public lands, private land.

don't have to pay for the cost of expenses of those damages. And their acts are negligent.

And they also, they also -- I cannot disclose certain facts, but PG&E and their intentional abuse of General Order 95 needs to be examined extremely deep. Thank you. ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA: Maryanne Bretz. STATEMENT OF MS. BRETZ MS. BRETZ: My name is Maryanne Bretz. Thank you.

I drove 100 miles to come here tonight to talk to you because this is that important to me. You don't have very many people here.

But in my talking to people about this SmartMeter installation in our area -- that's in Visalia -- people are -- people hate these things. They don't want them because of lots

of reasons. And it seems to me that this

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increase in the opt-out fees is simply to make it to that less people can afford to opt-out. So I believe that this meeting was called on being on the 13th of December, I'm in retail, there's no way that I should be here. I also have a mail order house.

There's also no way that I should be here. So this is -- and other people that feel the same way I do, have not come because of the day that you chose to have this meeting. And what the CPUC will say, well, nobody came and nobody cared. Well, it's

probably because of the date that you chose. So in my business and with my contacts in talking to people, what we would like to see happen is that customers should be allowed to opt-out of SmartMeters before and after deployment. Customers should not

be charged any set-up fee or monthly charges for SmartMeter refusal. There should be no

differentiation for businesses versus person household customers on SmartMeter policies. Why does a business not have the opportunity to opt out? We would ask that you prohibit SCE and other utility providers from shutting off utility service to customers who refuse

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SmartMeter installations, and allow customers to keep analog meters on their homes and businesses without penalties or up-charges. That's my request. ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA: Thank you.

Okay, those are all the speakers who had signed up. Is there anyone else in

the audience who would like to say a few words or make a comment? (No response) MR. FREITAS: If I could have some

extra time, I'd like to say something else. ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA: All right.

STATEMENT OF MR. FREITAS MR. FREITAS: I would just like to And add to my

ditto what the lady just said.

speech that one of the conclusions of it was that, yeah, this is the reason I'm bringing that point up is that PG&E self-inflicted their own pain and to try to take it out of the skin of the consumer now for their decision, their sole decision to invent that meter, they're going to save labor costs. They got rid of a ton of labor. They fired

people so we lost jobs because of that meter. They fired people. They used that equation

to spend $53 million in advertising and they get out of paying for fires and other

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disasters like San Bruno, and they negotiate discounts and their way out with the dollar bill and they pay out CPUC. So my bottom line is that they should not only be dismantled and taken over by the state and become a public entity. The executives should all go to prison. And

then also you should not charge people any fee whatsoever. As a matter of fact, PG&E

should pay the consumer for the damages they caused for coming out to their property and putting the SmartMeter in in the first place. ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA: there -MS. BROWN: We're not that scary. If Thank you. Are

you came all the way out here, we'd love to hear you. You don't have to prepare anything Just stand up and tell us

ahead of time.

what you'd like to say. Good. Thank you for being brave.

STATEMENT OF MS. BASSEY MS. BASSEY: Katie Bassey. Good evening. My name is

My last name is spelled B-a-s

as in Sam, s-e-y. I came here with my children because I've always been concerned about the monopoly of PG&E. I strongly feel that if

there was competition, that part of our

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capitalist movement, if you will, that prices would be down. And I do think it's a result

of the monopoly that we have the SmartMeter issue. I do recall when it was first installed in my home back in 2007-2008, that it was an issue as far as controversy. There

was a lot of concern, fear of the unknown, people not knowing what it would entail, what the cost would be, fluctuation in their bill, which is pretty much everyone's concern. I'd just disagree with the move to have -again, a reiteration of what was already said -- a fee for an opt-out. And I do believe that there should be competition encouraged as far as monitoring usage is concerned. I'm not sure that I really have much to put in besides that. I actually came And

here to learn more about what the situation was but, you can see, participation was pretty low. I just wanted to put in my say. Thank you for listening. ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA: Okay. Thank you very much.

I was going to say we have

some students here from Ridgeview High School for a class and I was wondering if any of you

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had any thoughts that you would like to share with us. No? Well, we do appreciate that all of you did take the time to come out here. I realize that for many people it is an inconvenient time. And I want to encourage, Ms. Bretz, the people that you were saying who could not show up, I do encourage them to write letters to me in care of the Public Advisor's Office or even addressed directly to me. I read

the letters and I do like to make sure that I do hear from the public. So if we do have

anybody who felt couldn't make it today, tell them that they still have an opportunity to participate. The public participation hearing, it's for us to hear your voices but we also hear your voices through letters and e-mails, so I encourage that as well. Is there anything else before we conclude? (No response) ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA: Okay. Then there

being nothing further, then we are concluded at this point, and we are off the record. /// ///

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PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION, STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Application of Pacific Gas and Electric Company for Approval of Modifications to its SmartMeter™ Program and Increased Revenue Requirements to Recover the Costs of the Modifications. (U39M) And Related Matters.

) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

Application 11-03-014; A.11-03-015; A.11-07-020

CERTIFICATION OF TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDING I, Alejandrina E. Shori, Certified Shorthand Reporter No. 8856, in and for the State of California do hereby certify that the pages of this transcript prepared by me comprise a full, true and correct transcript of the testimony and proceedings held in the above-captioned matter on December 13, 2012. I further certify that I have no interest in the events of the matter or the outcome of the proceeding. EXECUTED this 13th day of December, 2012.

_________________________ Alejandrina E. Shori CSR No. 8856

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