On September 14th, California State Senator Tom Umberg announced that — at the request of six members of the Orange County State Legislative Delegation — the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) has agreed to conduct an emergency audit of the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA).
News of the audit comes on the heels of two years of allegations of mismanagement, cronyism, inaction, hidden rate hikes, and a lack of transparency on the part of OCPA.
Beginning in October, all Irvine residents will be transferred from their current provider of electricity — Southern California Edison (SCE) — and enrolled in the new OCPA electricity plan, at a significantly higher monthly rate.
California State Senators Dave Min and Josh Newman joined Umberg and State Assemblymembers Tom Daly, Cottie Petrie-Norris, and Sharon Quirk-Silva to request the audit of OCPA’s business practices.
According to Umberg, the legislators have heightened concerns of corruption, Brown Act violations, and questionable electricity procurement practices.
In a letter to the Chairman of the JLAC, the Orange County delegation noted that: “There is deep concern, at this point, about the long-term viability of OCPA. It has failed to disclose actual revenues and expenses as measured against projections. Many public records requests from individuals and City Councilmembers have been ignored or denied. Many complaints from local businesses have also been received regarding a lack of notice regarding the process to opt-out of OCPA’s services.”
Senator Umberg issued the following statement: “It’s clear that OCPA has had little oversight. With the federal investigations in Anaheim and Irvine concerning public corruption, we owe it to the taxpayers to explain why their energy costs are going up — and who or what is responsible.”
Since its inception, OCPA has been mired in controversy. Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan, her appointed Vice Mayor Anthony Kuo and Councilman Mike Carroll established the OCPA using millions of Irvine taxpayer dollars, falsely telling Irvine residents and businesses that they would be receiving greener energy at a lower monthly rate than what is provided by SCE.
Mayor Khan and Councilman Carroll are paid to sit on the six-member OCPA board. The two voted to hire one of their political cronies to run the agency — at an annual salary of $239,000 — and to oversee multi-million dollar energy purchasing contracts … even though he has zero experience in the electricity field.
Residents who wish to opt-out of OCPA before the October automatic enrollment date can do so by following the instructions listed below.
To opt-out of OCPA by phone, follow these steps:
- Have your SCE bill with you. (You will need your SCE account number.)
- Call (866) 262-7693 and select “4” to opt-out.
- Select “2” to continue opting-out.
- Enter your 12-digit SCE customer number followed by the pound sign (#).
- Enter your zip code followed by the pound sign (#).
- Hang up after receiving confirmation you have opted-out.
You will need to scroll down to the bottom of the webpage where you will see an opt-out form (located along the right side of the page).
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