Megan J. Somogyi

Partner

Megan Somogyi specializes in the California Public Utilities Commission and California regulated utilities. She assists clients in a broad array of utility-related matters, including wildfires and power shutoff proceedings, utility certification and ratemaking, nuclear power plant decommissioning, tariff filings, energy industry rulemakings, administrative litigation, and regulatory compliance.

The CPUC is unique among California regulatory agencies due to its expansive authority over the energy, water, telecommunications, and transportation industries. CPUC regulations and policies impact virtually every sector of the economy and can have significant effects on financial markets. Having an advocate who understands the CPUC’s authority, operations, rules, and the institutional history that guides its current decision-making is invaluable.

Megan represents utility and market-participant clients in utility ratemaking proceedings; entities seeking certification to provide utility services; regulated utilities seeking to expand existing service offerings, build new infrastructure; or decommission facilities; and cities and counties in matters relating to utility operations, rates, infrastructure, land use, and permitting. Megan also advises clients on California regulatory issues as part of due diligence inquiries and counsels clients in the financial services industry on issues relating to California’s energy markets.

Megan is well-known for her work on behalf of local governments to improve the manner in which electric utilities conduct wildfire mitigation activities and de-energize their power lines to reduce wildfire risk. The CPUC and the large investor-owned utilities have adopted a number of the local governments’ recommended policy and operational initiatives. As a result of this work, Megan is one of the foremost experts in California on the CPUC’s regulation of utility wildfire prevention and proactive de-energization of power lines as it relates to local government emergency management and response.

 


Professional, Community And Pro Bono Involvement

  • Power Association of Northern California, Member
  • Women in Public Utilities, Co-Founder, 2017-present
  • Conference of California Public Utility Counsel, Board of Directors, 2019-present; Secretary, 2021-present
  • Conference of California Public Utility Counsel, Young Utility Lawyers Section, Co-Chair, 2016-2017

Honors & Rankings

  • Best Lawyers® 2023 Administrative/Regulatory Law “Lawyer of the Year” in San Francisco
  • Best Lawyers in America©, Administrative/Regulatory Law, 2022-2023
  • Best Lawyers in America©, Energy Regulatory Law, 2021-2023
  • Super Lawyers, Northern California Rising Star, 2015-2021

Utility Safety

  • Represents a coalition of local governments working to improve the manner in which Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Southern California Edison Company de-energize their electric lines to reduce wildfire risk.
  • Represents local governments in matters relating to electric utility wildfire mitigation activities.

Utility Ratemaking

  • Represents investor-owned utilities, oil pipelines, and independent natural gas and electric service providers in utility general rate cases and other CPUC proceedings addressing utility rates and costs borne by market participants.

Utility Certification

  • Represents entities seeking certification to provide vehicle and vessel transportation services, and regulated utilities seeking to expand existing services offerings or build new infrastructure.
  • Represents entities seeking California RPS Certification of renewable generation facilities located outside the U.S.

Utility Property and Due Diligence Review

  • Represents utilities and non-regulated entities in CPUC proceedings to sell, lease, encumber, transfer, or purchase utility property; and finance, refinance, or issue debt secured by utility property.
  • Performs due diligence and transmission interconnection review in connection with the purchase and development of utility-scale renewable energy projects.

CPUC Compliance and Enforcement Proceedings

  • Represents independent electric service providers in appeals of CPUC citations
  • Counsels clients on statutory and regulatory compliance obligations for utilities and non-utility energy market participants. Clients include utilities, market participants, financial institutions, local governments, and other stakeholders.
  • Represents clients in CPUC enforcement proceedings for regulated utilities.

Local Governments

  • Represents cities, counties, and other government entities in regulatory matters relating to utility operations, rates, and infrastructure. These matters include the closure of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, regulatory enforcement proceedings that address the recent California wildfires, the siting and construction of electric transmission lines, and permitting and construction of railroad crossings.

Appellate Matters

  • Represents clients in appeals from CPUC decisions. Megan was part of the team that successfully obtained from the California Supreme Court the first grant of review of a CPUC decision in almost 20 years.

Announcements

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In the News

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Speaking Engagements / Events

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  • August 5, 2022
    Navigating California’s Unique Legal, Permitting, and Environmental Risks for Offshore Wind
    Joint Webinar Presentation
  • May 2, 2022
    Energy, Interrupted: A Discussion of the Impact of Climate Change on the California Energy Market and Practical Solutions
    Panelist, CCPUC Annual Meeting
  • May 2, 2022
    Energy, Water, and Drought
    Moderator, Conference of California Public Utility Counsel Annual Meeting
  • April 29, 2022
    Administrative Litigation before the California Public Utilities Commission
    Speaker, County Counsels’ Association Spring Civil Law & Litigation Conference
  • April 25, 2022
    California Water Rights, Supply and Quality Webinar
    Speaker, HalfMoon Education Live Webinars
  • May 2021
    Public Safety Power Shutoffs: The New Dark Age for California?
    Panelist, 2021 Civil Law & Litigation Conference
  • September 2018
    New CPUC Regulation of Community Choice Aggregators
    Speaker, League of California Cities 2018 Annual Conference
  • September 2018
    Californians Know How to Conserve Water During a Crisis, But Can We Be Efficient Without One
    Moderator, Women in Public Utilities (MCLE)
  • January 2018
    “Can you bring me some coffee, hon?” Breaking the Silence on Gender Bias in the Utility Industry
    Moderator, Co-Presented by Women In Public Utilities and the Conference of California Public Utility Counsel (MCLE)
  • 2015
    Petitions for Review in the California Supreme Court
    Panelist, 88th Annual State Bar of California


Legal Alerts

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Publications

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Megan spends most of her free time fixing up the long-neglected 140-year-old Victorian house that she and her husband own. Megan is an art collector (mostly paintings), supports the ballet, bakes a loaf of bread once a week for morning toast, and spends a lot of time scolding the cats for trying to destroy everything in the house.


Professional, Community And Pro Bono Involvement

  • Power Association of Northern California, Member
  • Women in Public Utilities, Co-Founder, 2017-present
  • Conference of California Public Utility Counsel, Board of Directors, 2019-present; Secretary, 2021-present
  • Conference of California Public Utility Counsel, Young Utility Lawyers Section, Co-Chair, 2016-2017

Honors & Rankings

  • Best Lawyers® 2023 Administrative/Regulatory Law “Lawyer of the Year” in San Francisco
  • Best Lawyers in America©, Administrative/Regulatory Law, 2022-2023
  • Best Lawyers in America©, Energy Regulatory Law, 2021-2023
  • Super Lawyers, Northern California Rising Star, 2015-2021