California Public Utilities Commission

  www.cpuc.ca.gov
  www.cpuc.ca.gov
There are newer employer reviews for California Public Utilities Commission

 

Senior Management at CPUC-- Living in a Fantasy World

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Regulatory Analyst in Los Angeles, CA
Former Employee - Regulatory Analyst in Los Angeles, CA

I worked at California Public Utilities Commission

Pros

Medical and Health Benefits are good.

Cons

Senior Management in Community Relations and Education Division had little regard for people performing work on the front lines in consumer-facing roles.

One senior manager, barely looked up from her blackberry long enough to even acknowledge members of the public attending community meetings on contentious matters.

Overall attitude of most senior staff is this: less interaction and input from members of the public, the better.

I personally witnessed the management over inflate the outreach numbers at a number of poorly-advertised, and very poorly attended "We Care Week" events designed to make newly unemployed California residents aware of reduced utility rates. The director claimed several thousand attendees at such events held the week of April 20-24, 2009 throughout the state.

As a former staffer attending events, they were extremely poorly attended. Not enough advertising, using social media, or other innovations in advertising (influential blogs, facebook, targeted media sites).

Advice to ManagementAdvice

CPUC is beyond repair. Of the commissioners on the board, the ones that appear to be the most studied are obvious if you attend one of the twice monthly meetings. There should be a maximum of two-terms on the board including the board president. who was re-appointed by the Governor of California recently.

The employees are civil-service, so it is impossible to change management

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

23 Other Employee Reviews for California Public Utilities Commission (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall combination of pay, work atmosphere, benefits makes this a good place to work despite the lower pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Utilities Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Utilities Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at California Public Utilities Commission

    Pros

    Great place to work for engineers who are policy wonks in areas relating to public utilities. It's a place where someone with the right skills can make huge impacts (hopefully positive) in the daily life of Californians. The flip side is this is also a place where bonehead regulators driven by well-intentioned, but misguided, ill-conceived, and short-sighted regulatory fervor or selfish reasons(for ego, for name recognition, for advancement, you name it) can do a lot of unintended damage that ends up costing ratepayers huge amounts of money for nothing(this happens frequently).

    It's a state government agency, not profit driven as in the private sector, allowing one to do work for a higher purpose for the public good (presumably) instead of for the company's profit (or worse, for the boss' profit) which you don't get to share (I've been there).

    There's little to no risk of layoff after a few years of seniority, decent pension (assuming the state doesn't go broke, a big question mark) and benefits package. Much more friendly and relaxed work atmosphere. Not hire and fire at will, good job security.

    Be forewarned that only those who are capable and are willing to work hard can expect to advance far even in a state government agency with a relaxed work atmosphere.

    Cons

    Someone with a penchant for purely engineering work, in particular design work, coming to the CPUC will be sorely disappointed. This is a regulatory agency whose emphasis is on regulation, not engineering. There are several departments at the PUC with an engineering bent where only engineers are qualified to do the job, i.e. in such areas as inspections and accident/incident investigations. However, many engineers here do regulatory compliance, rate design, or policy work where an engineer's training can occasionally be helpful, but it is not essential and it is only tangential to the job.

    Lower pay compared to city and federal agencies and the private sector, but one has to look at the whole package, i.e. pay, job satisfaction, side benefits, work atmosphere, home/work life balance, etc. When everything is taken into account, it's not too bad, even very good in some ways. State budget woes always translate to lower pay, if not immediately, then eventually when salary adjustments lag behind. Furloughs happen every 5 to 10 years or so when the state's economy gets into a mess, translating to 5-10% temporary but permanent pay cuts. Just bear it and grin.

    P.E. license is needed for advancement as an engineer in this organization.

    As a government agency, its policies can gyrate wildly from one extreme end to the other on the regulatory/ political spectrum as the political wind changes. This can at times be very frustrating, particularly for those with an inflexible, ideological regulatory mindset who can't "go with the flow."

    Forget about things like profit sharing, 401(k) matching, bonuses, stock options etc. Those things are for the private sector and don't exist in the state government. Your compensation is your base pay and nothing more.

    Also, due to the relaxed atmosphere, if you are not a self-starter, you can get bored and lose motivation really fast, but people who are motivated and who have the right attitude can still derive a great deal of job satisfaction at the PUC.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create more senior engineer or senior specialist positions for advancement.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Taxpayers Beware!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Program Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at California Public Utilities Commission

    Pros

    If you have no motivation or skills, would like to sleep at your desk, get 13 paid holidays a year (Cesar Chavez day?) and tons more vacation and sick leave, work 6 or 7 hours a day MAX, and spend most of your time reading a book, this is the place for you. Heck, you don't even have to show up for work. Most of the time no one would even notice.

    Cons

    An agency past its prime that serves no useful purpose. Unbelievable deadwood at every level, working on "programs" that are irrelevant to the people of California. People sleeping at their desks is an insult to the taxpayers. The State no longer has a hand in regulation of utilities (thanks Gov. Schwarzeneggar) so even though that sector could really use strong intervention, the CPUC is not in a place to implement that -- esp. with ultra-conservative, pro-industry GOP appointed leadership. The amount of waste is astonishing and what little work there is, has largely to do with "administrative" tasks of no great value to anyone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Close down this extraneous, unnecessary and outdated agency and distribute the tiny amount of REAL work to other groups.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for California Public Utilities Commission

Work at California Public Utilities Commission? Share Your Experiences

California Public Utilities Commission

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.