PG&E Seeks to Recover Range of Costs, Higher Monthly Bills Looming – Silicon Valley

PG&E clients face the daunting prospect of higher monthly bills due to demands for additional revenue from the utility to ensure it can cope with a range of events including wildfires, coronavirus and other disasters.

The combined effect of the two rate requests would increase PG&E’s average monthly bill beyond $ 200 per month for the typical customer who receives both electricity and gas service from the utility.

Currently, the average bill for the typical customer who receives both electricity and gas services from PG&E is just under $ 200 per month.

The two applications combined would produce an average monthly bill of $ 209.08 if the State Utilities Board approves the two revenue increases as filed by PG&E.

In one filing, PG&E outlined a request to recover $ 1.47 billion in expenses related to forest fire mitigation, certain catastrophic events and a number of other activities, according to documents filed Thursday with of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“In the face of the complex threat of forest fires facing our state, PG&E is taking steps to build a more climate-resilient energy grid,” said Lynsey Paulo, spokesperson for PG&E, explaining the main impetus behind demand for income.

In a prior filing with the SEC, released on August 23, PG&E requested an increase of $ 201.3 million to cover the utility’s cost of capital to fund various operations related to its electricity and gas system. .

“Our cost of deposit of capital addresses the extraordinary impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic and the related government financial response have had on our state, economy and financial markets,” said PG&E spokesperson James Noonan. , explaining the August filing. “Our proposal will ensure that we can continue to fund the investments necessary to safely and reliably meet the energy needs of our customers. “

Currently, PG&E’s average bill is $ 199.95 per month for combined electricity and gas services, or $ 139.68 per month for electricity and $ 59.97 per month for natural gas services.

If the PUC approves the two requests currently proposed by PG&E, the average bill would increase to $ 209.08 per month for combined electricity and gas services. This equates to an increase of $ 9.43 per month, or 4.7%.

“While we understand this is a significant demand, the costs relate to activities critical to improving and maintaining our system, reducing the risk of catastrophic forest fires, and providing safe and reliable service to our customers.” , said Paulo.

The shock caused to customers by these requests could be mitigated somewhat by PG&E’s decision to move out of its San Francisco office complex and move its corporate headquarters to an iconic office tower in downtown Oakland.

PG&E has reached a deal to sell its five-building office campus in San Francisco to developer Hine for $ 800 million, a deal that has been approved by the PUC.

“In addition to driving long-term savings for PG&E, the sale of our San Francisco headquarters will help offset future customer rates as we make significant investments in safety and operations,” said said Patti Poppe, CEO of PG&E. in a prepared version.

The PUC also approved PG&E’s plan to give customers $ 400 million over five years in net savings resulting from a more efficient and smaller footprint of downtown Oakland.

PG&E believes the $ 400 million will help reduce customer pain looming as a result of the utility’s multiple revenue-boosting proposals,

“This compensation will help moderate future rate growth as the company continues to make significant investments in safety and operations,” PG&E said in late August.

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