Gino DiCaro

PG&E Rate Decrease Likely in March

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Jan. 20, 2004 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Pacific Gas & Electric's (PG&E) bundled customers will receive a significant electric rate reduction beginning in March if the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approves a rate design settlement agreement reached by major customer groups, including CMTA.

PG&E's averaged bundled electric rates would go from 13.9 cents per kilowatthour (kWh) to 12.7 cents per kWh, an 8.2 percent decrease. Rates for transmission-level industrial customers (E-20 T), which are presently 10.2 cents per kWh, would drop to 8.6 cents per kWh, a 15.2 percent reduction.

The significantly higher rate reduction for large users is in keeping with the overriding objective of CMTA in the PG&E bankruptcy proceeding: to provide significant rate reductions for industrial customers by the spring of 2004, roughly in proportion to the June, 2001 rate increases, which disproportionately impacted large users.

The proposed rate allocation is supported by a broad array of organizations, including The Utility Reform Network (TURN), the CPUC's Office of Ratepayer Advocates, the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group, the California Retailers Association, and the Building Owners and Managers Association. It is the result of months of discussions between the various parties.

The settlement agreement will be filed at the CPUC next week with a vote by the Commission scheduled for Feb. 22. If approved, customers will see the rate decreases reflected in their March bills.

Rate relief for PG&E's large energy users is much needed and long overdue. Energy costs are often cited by manufacturers as a major problem in California, contributing to a negative business climate and the loss of more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs (16 percent of the state's manufacturing workforce) since December 2000.
Read more Energy articles

Capitol updates archive 989898989