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78EDBEF61C46156A8725896B007AE860 Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For PRESENTATION FROM THE OFFICE OF THE UTILITY CONSUMER ADVOCATE, DEPARTMENT OF REGULATORY AGENCIES

OTHER COMMITTEE COMMITTEE ON JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE ON RISING UTILITY RATES
Date Mar 7, 2023      
Location Old State Library



Presentation from the Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate, Department of Regulatory Agencies - Committee Discussion Only


03:22:30 PM  
Joseph Pereira, the
Deputy Director of the Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate (UCA) within
the Department of Regulatory Agencies. introduced himself and began his
presentation.  Mr. Pereira gave an overview of his role within the
UCA and the UCA's role and statutory authority.  Mr. Pereira's presentation
is included as Attachment B.
03:27:54 PM  
Mr. Pereira gave
an overview of the causes of recent high utility costs.  Mr. Pereira
discussed the development of monopoly energy utilities and the "regulatory
compact."  Mr. Pereira described what the UCA considers to be
the "public interest." He gave an overview on the return on equity
(ROE) that utilities are allowed to collect, which is how utilities attract
capital investments. Mr. Pereira responded to questions from the committee
on rate-making and recovery costs and projections versus reality of costs.
 Mr. Pereira went over common customer misconceptions about regulation.
 Mr. Pereira answered questions about legal costs for rate cases.
03:59:19 PM  
Mr. Pereira answered
questions about the UCA budget and funding and explained that ratepayers
pay for the PUC, UCA, and the utility's legal counsel and consultants.
 Mr. Pereira answered questions about the UCA's legal counsel and
why it is part of DORA.  Mr. Pereira responded to a question about
the UCA's outreach to consumers.  Mr. Pereira went over risks to the
"public interest" approach, in the UCA's view.  Mr. Pereira
went over the main complaints they have received from consumers.  Mr.
Pereira closed by discussing strategies to return public interest to the
center of the discussion.
04:21:33 PM  
Mr. Pereira answered additional questions from the committee about the main focus of the UCA's advocacy work. Mr. Pereira answered additional questions about the areas of focus for rate cases. Mr. Pereira answered questions about what constitutes commensurate value.






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