Utility Operations Accountant Expert Witness

Provides Opinion & Testimony In:

Certified Public Accountant, Regulatory Accountant, Water Utility Operations, Wastewater Utility Operations, Water Supply Economics,
Water Rights Valuation, Recycled Water Economics, Energy Utility Operations, Power Production, Transmission Services Performance, Wholesale Power, Natural Gas Markets, Power Plant Business Interruption Damages, Alternative Power Fuels, Geothermal, Waste, Hydro,


Expert No. 1173, is a Certified Public Accountant and Forensic Accounting Consultant specializing in forensic and regulatory assistance.  An expert in public utility accounting and cost based rate-making, he has testified extensively on the subject, including appearances before regulatory bodies in California, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Utah, West Virginia, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and County Superior Courts of Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Santa Clara.  Appearances have also been made in the United States Court of Federal Claims, and arbitration hearings

Examples of the types of engagements Expert No. 1173 has performed include:



Imperial Irrigation District. California  Expert witness engagement for this Water and Power utility.  Engagement consisted of evaluation of the power generation compensation arrangement between District and Coachella Valley Water District (a water district).  Other aspects of engagement included evaluation of entitlements of water-power compensation and the water rights attributed to each entity through Federal Contracts for the construction and operation of the All-American Canal Project and the Boulder Dam Project.  The analysis also required development of a cost apportionment of common use facilities between water and power activities consistent with Federal guidelines for joint use facilities.  This engagement represented a complex study of the historical intent of contracting parties after the passage of seventy years.

Insurance Claim Arbitration. Expert consultation of insurance claim of damages regarding business outage and step-up transformer replacement for a large scale public/private hydroelectric power facility situated in California.  Evaluation included examination of facts regarding replacement equipment, lost power revenues, and upgrades of existing equipment capabilities. 

Large Scale Power Plant, Business Interruption Evaluation, Oregon.  Expert witness engagement for a large scale power generation plant forced to delay power supply service due to failure of a step-up transformer used in converting plant output to transmission voltage for grid deliveries.  Project included development of economic conditions of pro forma operations including lost profits analysis due to extended delays caused by lead-time for replacement transformer fabrication.  Expert deposition presented, followed by settlement of claim by the parties.

City of Santa Clara, Electric Department.  Development of accounting and financial reporting controls for the power brokerage activities of this municipally owned electric utility.  Expert No. 1173 directed the search for integrated risk management, transaction control documentation, and credit positions of power brokerage transactions. He was also responsible for development of accounting policies employed in financial reporting of power brokerage activities.

City of Riverside Utility Department (California) Management Audit of Water and Electric utility department.  Expert No. 1173 directed a key subject area review, as part of a multi-skilled audit team, including water and power supply evaluations of long-term resource management planning activity and resources portfolio holdings of this southern California city.

Southern California Gas Company/California Public Utilities Commission.  Engagement included regulatory audit of the Affiliated Company Transactions, Demand Side Management Programs, Natural Gas Vehicle Program, Non-regulated Business Programs and other select areas of the operations of this large natural gas company for the California Public Utilities Commission.  The audit was part of the litigation of Company’s application for a performance based ratemaking system allowing greater flexibility to the utility in conducting its business.  Expert No. 1173 served as a manager of the selected issue areas that included; direction of the analysis, production of a technical report and presentation of testimony at hearings before the Commission.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company Holding Company Audit.  Expert No. 1173 assisted in the California Public Utilities Commission ordered audit of the holding company formation and related regulatory oversight issues identified as conditions imposed on PG&E for authority to transfer public shareholder control ownership of the utility to a holding company.  Areas of issue directed by Expert No. 1173 included capital structure, capital requirements of the utility and utility/holding company dividend policies. 

Huntington Beach City (California)
Testimony on behalf of City of Huntington Beach before Superior Court regarding the business operations of an independent electric power generation business as compared to the utility system operations of a regulated power Plant.  Testimony provided in regards to the taxability of natural gas consumed at the power plant and application of City’s Utility Users Tax and potential tax liability of power generation taxation of natural gas fuels.

City of San Francisco, Hetch Hetchy Water and Power.  Review of the billing process between this client and its power supplier, PG&E.  Expert No. 1173 served as rate contract authority and overall technical specialist to evaluate the measurement and estimation of energy and capacity billing determinants of power supply.  Following the billing review, development and implementation of a direct access power supply procurement process was commenced to produce substantial power cost savings for client operations.  Direct access efforts included development of bill aggregation methodologies and metering strategies for control of loads with significant load fluctuations and billing determinant characteristics.  Other efforts including serving as technical advisor on transmission ratemaking and local distribution wheeling services rate computations.  Following the direct access efforts client’s internal billing processes were modified to assure a seamless flow of load data from meter reading, through power supply scheduling and ultimately power supply billing for approximately 2000 captive City customers.

City of San Francisco, Hetch Hetchy Water and Power.  Expert No. 1173 assisted this client as technical expert for a review of rate contracts.  Engagement consisted of providing cost and contract analysis in this dispute over the pricing of firm and as-available power from hydroelectric project.  City was hydro project owner and power supplier. Two independent irrigation districts were long-term contract holders as market for substantial portions of power project output.  Analysis consisted of costing particulars of dependable project capacity and as-available project output.  Expert No. 1173 presented testimony during arbitration hearings about accounting principles at work regarding issues of firm and as available power deliveries from a multi-use facility.

KPL Gas Service (now subsidiary of ONEOK) combined natural gas transmission and distribution company, operating principally in Kansas and Missouri.  Expert No. 1173 assisted in the development of a marginal cost of service study of the client’s Kansas operations.

KPL Gas Service.  Expert No. 1173 developed the rate economics and regulatory rationale for this client’s application to the Kansas Corporation Commission of a safety surcharge cost recovery system that funded substantial modifications of customer owned connections to utility distribution system.

Southwest Gas Corporation.  Expert No. 1173 coordinated the regulatory affairs oversight relating to gas matters affecting this client’s California supply and distribution operations.  Negotiated rate settlements, accounting orders and business practice issues with the California Public Utilities Commission senior staff, Commissioner assistant and responsible administrative law judge as appropriate.

Southern Union Gas Company.  An interstate gas pipeline and gas distribution company.  For a FERC regulated interstate pipeline operations rate increase, Expert No. 1173 prepared the overall cost of service portion of the case, including evidence, rebuttal and settlement negotiations.

Gulf States Utilities Company (business now included in the Entergy group of companies.)   Company operates as a wholesale power and retail supplier of electric power in Texas and Louisiana.  For a wholesale operations rate increase application, Expert No. 1173 developed the overall cost of service case which was tendered as evidence to the FERC and sponsored by company witnesses.

Northern Michigan Electric and Wolverine Electric Cooperatives merged to become Wolverine Power Cooperative.  A comprehensive management appraisal and merger cost/benefit review of the two generation and transmission cooperatives. Expert No. 1173 was responsible for analyzing the support activities of each cooperative and the combined operations savings under merger.

Colorado-Ute Electric Association, Inc.  A management appraisal implementing specific recommendations as a result of a management audit.  Expert No. 1173 performed a cost/benefit analysis of the Association’s travel and aircraft operational expenses and retirement plan expenses.

British Columbia Hydro Authority.  Performed a review of the accounting system requirements of this Canadian power authority that became a regulated entity.  Assisted with the conceptual framework of the Authority’s future information requirements necessary to compile rate case information consistent with cost based ratemaking.

Western Fuels Association, Inc.  Company is a not-for-profit coal supply cooperative that develops and operates coal mines in Wyoming and Colorado.  Expert No. 1173 developed a comprehensive Chart of Accounts and a financial reporting and management system for coal shipment cost, quality and contract compliance features of coal supplied from mines to customer delivery points.


Cases Available Upon Request


Cases Available Upon Request


City of Fresno, CA.  Expert No. 1173 served as leader of a negotiation team for this client to contractually secure the delivery of landfill sourced methane gas from two landfills for gas supplies to this client’s expanded co-generation facility.

Sofati, Ltee.  Expert No. 1173 identified and negotiated procurement of independent natural gas supplies.  These negotiations proved the financial viability of a planned 50 MW combined Biomass/Natural Gas Cogeneration plant in Sanger, California and supported efforts to obtain construction financing.

Privatization of Geothermal Mineral Resources.  Expert No. 1173 was the project leader of a third party development of a Geothermal Steam Right held by a Northern California joint action agency of utility systems.  The project consisted of planning, structuring and negotiating for both developer and financier requirements to effectuate the project completion.

Applied Power Technology.  A developer of energy projects using alternative technologies.  Expert No. 1173 assisted in the negotiation and financial structuring of co-generation projects fueled by gas and wood waste.  Additionally, several acquisition studies were performed on likely candidates, two of which developed into negotiated agreements and operating businesses.

Heber Geothermal Landowners’ Association (California)  Directed evaluation of contract rights and related development conditions of the geothermal water resource contracts and royalty provisions of the heat recovery and power development arrangements for the Heber KGRA, of California.  Analysis contributed to the settlement by project developers of underpayment of royalty payments spanning several years.  Settlement agreements enacted closing of the dispute with substantial payments made to Landowners.

S.A.I. Geothermal Inc.  A subsidiary of an engineering company that developed Geothermal leases through the use of well site power plants, with the resulting generation sold to a local utility.  Expert No. 1173 was instrumental in procuring the steam field leases, power sales contracts, and development.  All projects have been sold.

Wind Energy Company.  Expert No. 1173 assisted this independent wind power developer in the development of special power contracts with Southern California Edison Company on this client’s behalf, evaluated equipment potential, and developed project structures.


City of Watsonville.  Expert No. 1173 performed an economic and regulatory review of power and gas supply contracts for service to the City’s Co-generation Facility located at its wastewater treatment plant.  In addition, a preliminary analysis was performed of the City’s future power and gas supply options.

City of San Francisco, Hetch Hetchy Water and Power. Analysis of the combined City-wide economics of a Wastewater treatment plant based co-generation facility and the alternatives for the project given the City owned power system, the profit interests of the power system and the needs of the wastewater system to moderate the cost of service incurred by the ratepayers of the wastewater operations.  Expert No. 1173 directed the analysis that was presented to both the power department and the wastewater department.

City of Watsonville.  Expert No. 1173 performed an economic analysis of importing landfill gas from two landfills, blending these gases with digester gas from waste treatment and augment the supplies with natural gas for the installation of additional electric capacity to serve the increasing electrical loads of the City’s plant.

City of Fresno
.  Expert No. 1173 directed a power costs/benefits study of plant operating and expansion options for the City of Fresno’s Dual Fuel Cogeneration Facility.  The City’s Facility is fueled by biogas produced by sewage digesters during the wastewater treatment process, supplemented by purchases of diesel fuel.

Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency
.  Expert No. 1173 directed a Power Moderation Study consisting of development of an operating plan and financial feasibility analysis of operating stand by generators as a means to reduce overall power costs.  This effort included negotiations with the client’s power supplier and environmental regulatory authorities.

Prior to heading a Private Company, Expert No. 1173 was associated with the firm of Ernst & Young in its Washington D.C. and San Francisco offices for an extended period.

Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Expert No. 1173 was a member of the California Public Utilities Commission staff.  While in that capacity, he conducted audits and financial reviews of a variety of utility companies.  Specifically, the engagements included:

  • American Telephone and Telegraph Company.  Conducted a comprehensive examination of the parent and general staff operations.  The examination was the first of its kind and has been introduced in various jurisdictions involving telephone regulations.
  • Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company.  Conducted examinations of the financial reports and financial systems for two rate proceedings requiring the development of evidentiary materials that were presented to the Commission during formal rate proceedings.
  • Continental Telephone Corporation (now a part of Verizon)  Conducted several examinations of the parent or holding company operations that required evaluation of both financial data and operational procedures.
  • Southern California Gas Company.  Participated in the financial audit of the gas operation and the evaluation and reporting procedures of the Company’s property, plant, and equipment investment.

Expert No. 1173 authored significant portions of Manuel of Practice MFD-2 Energy Conservation in Wastewater Treatment Facilities, for the Water Environment Federation a leading educational organization in the Wastewater Industry.

Expert No. 1173 graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts and is a Certified Public Accountant (in renewal) California .