California’s state Senate on Monday confirmed Gov. Jerry Brown‘s selection of the new head of the California Public Utilities Commission‘s (CPUC) independent consumer advocacy branch, the Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA). Elizabeth Echols will be the new ORA director for the unit representing utility ratepayers in safety and rate proceedings at the five-member CPUC. Appointed last year by the governor, Echols was previously administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration‘s Pacific Region office, and before that, director of the U.S. Green Building Council‘s Northern California chapter.