Newsom appoints CPUC watchdog Matt Baker to commission seat

By Wes Venteicher | 02/20/2024 06:38 AM EST

Baker’s appointment to the California Public Utilities Commission signals an increasing focus on energy affordability amid rising utility bills.

SACRAMENTO, California — Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Matt Baker, the California Public Utilities Commission’s consumer advocate, to a seat on the commission Friday.

Baker will replace Genevieve Shiroma, who announced Jan. 25 that she planned to retire March 1. The five-member commission regulates electricity, water and telecommunications utilities, as well as railroads and ride-hailing companies.

The selection of Baker signals an increasing focus on affordability as the Newsom administration and lawmakers work to balance climate adaptation and mitigation spending against skyrocketing utility bills and a state budget deficit.


Newsom appointed Baker director of the CPUC’s Public Advocates Office in 2022. He had been deputy energy secretary at the California Natural Resources Agency and spent time at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and as an energy commissioner in Colorado.