State of California California Department of Consumer Affairs

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is a California State agency. By law CPUC sets the rates and standards of safety and service for all privately owned utilities as well as freight and passenger carriers in the state. It has the authority from the State Constitution to carry out investigations and to conduct hearings on requests for rate changes, specific complaints, or broad policy matters. It regulates more than 58,000 transportation companies and 655 utilities.

Complaint jurisdiction: By law a utility company cannot charge customers whatever it wants; it must ask CPUC for approval of its rates. CPUC's role is to protect the consumer where competition does not.

Regulation: includes railroads, bus firms, and marine vessels transporting passengers and/or freight within the state; gas, electric, water, steam, sewer, pipeline, cellular, and telephone companies (phone services, including public and privately owned pay phones) and telegraph companies; safety standards procedures for overhead power and communication lines, gas facilities, rapid transit systems, light rail transit systems, and common carrier railroads. See trucking information below.

Complaints outside jurisdiction: Phone equipment complaints.

California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 2003
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 703-1170
(800) 649-7570

California Public Utilities Commission
320 West 4th, Suite500
(800) 6497570
(213) 5767000


Universal Lifeline Telephone Service: Eligibility for program is based on household size and income. Qualified subscribers pay low flat rate for regular services.

California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE): Consumers who qualify are given a 15% discount on their monthly gas and electric bill. Group homes, women's and homeless shelters, and certain agricultural worker housing can also qualify for the discount.


For general information on transportation matters: (800) 877-8867

To find out whether a trucking or moving company operating within California has the required CPUC permit, call (800) 894-9444.

Certain classifications of the trucking industry have been deregulated as to what transporters may charge. The CPUC has the authority to grant carriers the right to do business within the state of California (licensing/ permitting); however, safety issues should be referred to the California Highway Patrol's Commercial Vehicle Section.

California Highway Patrol
Commercial Vehicle Section
601 N 7th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

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