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In The News

PG&E Urges CPUC to Provide Resources Necessary for 21st Century Infrastructure While Keeping Bills Below National Average

PG&E is urging the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to provide the resources necessary to maintain safe and reliable gas and electric service while still keeping customer bills below the national average.

Today (June 18), a proposed decision was issued in PG&E’s General Rate Case pending before the CPUC. This case, filed in 2012, covers the revenue PG&E needs to safely and reliably operate, maintain and modernize its gas distribution, electric distribution and electric generation systems and provide customer service for years 2014 to 2016. PG&E’s proposal, if accepted in full, would still keep average residential gas and electric bills well below the national average.

PG&E requested a 17.5 percent increase ($1.16 billion) over the currently approved revenue requirement. The proposed decision reduces PG&E’s revenue increase request by $707 million, authorizing an increase of $453 million, which is an increase of 6.8 percent over the currently authorized revenue requirement.  The proposed decision approves post test-year attrition increases of 4.5 percent for 2015 and 5 percent for 2016.  PG&E requested attrition increases of 5.9 percent for 2015 and 6.1 percent for 2016.

The company will file detailed comments with the Commission within 20 days.  The CPUC may issue a final decision after 30 days.

PG&E President Chris Johns issued the following statement regarding the proposed decision:

“It is important to provide affordable energy to hard-working families while making investments to create a safer and more reliable energy infrastructure for the 21st century. The proposed decision advocates significant reductions to our proposed investments. We respectfully urge the Commission in its final decision to support responsible infrastructure investment so we can fulfill our mission to provide safe, reliable, affordable energy.”

PG&E’s General Rate Case, detailed in 3,500 pages of testimony, provides a roadmap of proposed system improvements for customers over the next three years. Proposed investments include:

Gas Distribution

  • PG&E proposes to acquire and deploy new technologies that will dramatically improve safety through better detection of gas leaks. The new leak detection technology is 1,000 times more sensitive than previous tools. PG&E also plans to increase the replacement rate for older gas distribution lines from 30 miles to 180 miles per year.

Electric Distribution

  • PG&E plans to upgrade electric distribution infrastructure to improve safety, reduce outages, and restore service to customers more quickly using new technology, including intelligent switches.

Electric Generation

  • PG&E is proposing a new public safety effort around electric generation facilities and enhanced emergency response preparedness.  Among other items, planned initiatives include safety modifications for hydroelectric facilities to strengthen outlet structures and spill gates.

Customer Service   

  • Planned customer service improvements include increased staffing and expansion of Customer Contact Centers to increase speed in answering customer calls and shorter field response time. Importantly, every customer’s report of a suspicious gas odor would be treated as an emergency response call.

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