SDG&E challenges UCAN's fee request

Utility has problem with amount asked for Shames's services

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has challenged the request of troubled Utility Consumers' Action Network (UCAN) for intervenor fees related to its role in the general rate case of the utility. UCAN has asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for $1.48 million for its role.

The CPUC pays those who contribute to a discussion so-called "intervenor fees." UCAN has asked $535 an hour for the work of Michael Shames, its former executive director. I reported that sum July 15, noting that the application did not say that Shames had been let go, and is suing UCAN, which is countersuing.

SDG&E doesn't mention those aspects, but does say that the $535 an hour is an excessive increase from the $330 an hour asked in the previous case.

SDG&E also challenges a mileage reimbursement that appears to charge 58 hours for a 500 mile drive. SDG&E also challenges fees to consultants who worked for other consultants and never offered testimony.

Comments

If UCAN actually collects that sum of money, it might be able to settle with Shames. The tangled web that exists here is just too complex for words. One thing is certain, and that is however it all comes out, the ratepayers will be stuck with the bill.

Visduh: Actually, UCAN should not have to settle with Shames. It should be the other way around. But internal politics play a major role. Best, Don Bauder

Oh, I agree fully. But the ineptitude displayed by the new regime(s) at UCAN don't fill me with confidence. In fact, I think UCAN is a totally lost cause, and needs to go away soon. Once it is out of the picture, some new advocacy group might get enough attention and recognition to actually get traction and succeed.

Visduh: It's true that UCAN's current leadership is weak. The organization is also broke. But San Diego needs some organization to monitor SDG&E's predations. Best, Don Bauder

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