February 02, 2023 - 

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold remote public forums to provide an opportunity for residents of the Santa Nella community to offer comment about their future options for natural gas and/or electricity services, as follows:

WHEN: February 15, 2023, 2 p.m. AND 6 p.m.

WHERE: Access both public forums remotely via webcast or phone:

  • Live video broadcast with English or Spanish captions via webcast: www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc
    • Participants who choose to participate via webcast will only have audio and video capabilities but will not be able to make verbal comments. If you would like to make a comment during the forum, the phone-in information is below.
    • For captions, after clicking on the name of the forum, click the green button at the bottom of the video for captions. Then select captions by clicking on the white icon next to the word “live” at the bottom of the video.
    • The forums will also be recorded and archived for future viewing.
  • Public participation phone comment line:
    • English: 800-857-1917, passcode: 1767567#
    • Spanish: 800-857-1917, passcode: 3799627#
    • Participants will have audio and will be able to make comments. (To make a comment, after entering the passcode, when prompted press *1, unmute your phone, and record your name.)
    • Wait times depend on the number of speakers in the public comment queue. During times of high call volumes, wait times will be longer. The operator will call on you when it is your turn to speak.

The residents of the impacted community in Santa Nella are encouraged to participate in the public forums.

An additional public meeting is also being held in-person in Santa Nella on February 9, 2023, to discuss the proceeding and the future options for energy service under consideration for Santa Nella. This meeting is intended to be informational and serve as an open forum for residents to ask questions. However, residents are still encouraged to attend a public forum, where their opinions and concerns will be formally recorded as part of the proceeding. The community meeting will be held from 6-7 p.m. at Romero Elementary School, 13500 W. Luis Rd., Santa Nella, CA 95322.

You can also make your voice heard in this proceeding, and read the comments of others, on our online Docket Card comment section for the proceeding at apps.cpuc.ca.gov/c/I2209011.

The public forums (also formally known as a Public Participation Hearing) will not have in-person attendance. Members of the public can view the public forums via the Internet or listen by phone. Those who would like to make public comment must participate by telephone and make comment through the toll-free phone line.

WHAT: The public forums will begin with a brief overview of the proceeding, then public comments will be heard via phone. At least one representative from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will be available to customers during the public forums for questions.

WHY: On May 19, 2022, SNME, Inc., which provides sub-metered natural gas service to 280 lots in a subdivision of Santa Nella, Calif., informed the CPUC and PG&E that SNME is on the verge of bankruptcy and intends to cease operations. The CPUC opened this proceeding to explore safe and reliable energy options for Santa Nella residents who may lose natural gas service.

BACKGROUND: Santa Nella is an unincorporated community of 1,981 people located on the western edge of Merced County within PG&E’s service territory. The community’s electricity is provided directly by PG&E. SNME is a private corporation that owns the underground gas pipelines and customer meters that serve sub-metered gas to all 280 lots in the affected subdivision, on which 270 manufactured homes are located, in addition to 10 vacant lots. Currently, 47 of the manufactured homes belong to a mobile home park, while the remaining 233 parcels are individually owned. SNME receives gas from a PG&E master meter located in the center of the subdivision in the area that is not part of the officially registered mobile home park lots. SNME believes that most community members typically use natural gas as opposed to electricity for cooking, water heating, space heating, and clothes drying.

Santa Nella falls within Census Tract 6047002100 and is designated as a Disadvantaged Community in the 85th percentile under CalEnviroScreen 4.0. More than half of all homes in the subdivision currently participate in either the California Alternative Rates for Energy or Family Electric Rate Assistance programs, though more may qualify who are unaware of their eligibility.

The CPUC welcomes attendance and comments at the public forums, as public comments help the CPUC reach an informed decision. The Administrative Law Judge assigned to the proceeding is scheduled to issue a Proposed Decision in the case for consideration by the CPUC within a year.

While a quorum of Commissioners and/or their staff may attend the remote public forums, no official action will be taken on this matter.

If special accommodations are needed to attend, such as non-English or sign language interpreters, please contact the CPUC’s Public Advisor’s Office at public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov or toll-free at 866-849-8390 at least five business days in advance of the public forum.

Further information on public forums is available at www.cpuc.ca.gov/pph.

The Ruling setting the public forums is available at docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M501/K533/501533136.PDF.

Documents related to this proceeding are available at apps.cpuc.ca.gov/p/I2209011.

To receive electronic updates on CPUC proceedings, sign-up for the CPUC’s free subscription service at subscribecpuc.cpuc.ca.gov.

The CPUC regulates services and utilities, protects consumers, safeguards the environment, and assures Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services. For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.


Press Release