Rate Increase

By David R. Baker
September 1, 2015
Updated: September 1, 2015 5:17pm

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Tuesday asked state regulators for permission to collect an extra $2.7 billion from its customers over the course of three years, using the money for technology upgrades and improved disaster response.

The request covers the years 2017 through 2019. If the California Public Utilities Commission approves it, monthly bills for a typical PG&E residential customer would rise about $4 in 2017. The company did not immedately offer an estimate of how much bills would climb through 2019.

“Our customers want us to be the safest and most reliable energy provider in the country while also supporting California’s goals to be the leader in renewable energy and emerging energy technologies,” said Tony Earley, chief executive officer of the utility’s parent company, PG&E Corp. “This proposal supports these goals while also balancing the need to keep customer bills as low as possible.”

California utilities regularly file three-year revenue requests, formally known as general rate cases, with the commission. They rarely get all the money they seek. PG&E asked for a revenue boost of $5.25 billion during its last three-year rate case, covering 2014 through 2016. The utilities commission approved $2.4 billion.

The new request comes as utility rates in California are about to undergo their biggest changes since the electricity crisis of 2000 and 2001.

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