California Utility Companies Caught Falsifying Energy Efficiency Reports
According to an independent consumer advocacy study by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), four major utility providers reported false information regarding their success in achieving energy efficiency goals between 2006 and 2008. The four investor owned utilities--Sempra Energy's San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Southern California Gas -- all reported they had achieved up to 160 percent of their goals, but the Commission's review revealed that they had only reached 70 percent of their established benchmarks.
The utility companies used the falsified information not only to qualify for bonus payments of $82 million from the state, but spent an additional $2 billion of their customer's money on programs that were supposed to generate $2.7 billion in customer benefits, but only returned $426 million in energy-saving benefits to the consumers.
The Division of Ratepayer Advocates said that these companies should not receive any shareholder benefits or further bonuses. Director Dana Appling remarked that "the report shows that customers didn't get what they paid for, yet the utilities earn massive bonuses while customer energy rates continue to increase."