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The California Regulator Has Approved a Rate Increase for PG&E to Fund Wildfire Mitigation Efforts

California Regulator Has Approved a Rate Increase for PG&E

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously voted in favor of the alternate proposed decision (APD), which would result in a nearly 13% increase in customer bills as part of Pacific Gas and Electric's (PCG.N) General Rate Case.

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As part of its General Rate Case review, the company has proposed a revenue increase of approximately 26% for the 2023 test year for PG&E, in order to meet its financial requirements for the period of 2023-2026. PG&E, the largest utility in the state, provides electricity to over 16 million individuals across Northern and Central California, covering an area of 70,000 square miles.

The APD set the 2023 revenue requirement at $13.52 billion, reflecting an 11% increase from 2022.

According to the regulator, customers would see an increase of $32.62 on their bills, compared with PG&E's request of $38.73.

PG&E had requested a near 15% increase in customer bills, saying it would invest more than half of the requested revenue requirement for its wildfire risk management plans.

CPUC judges had earlier suggested raising revenue by 11% or 13% from 2022.


In October of this year, PG&E expressed dissatisfaction with the decisions proposed by the CPUC, stating that they did not consider them to be adequate. Furthermore, the company acknowledged that it was not meeting the funding requirements necessary to carry out the safety measures it had proposed for the benefit of its customers.

PG&E has been actively engaged in various measures to mitigate wildfires, with one of the primary efforts being the undergrounding or burial of power lines. This approach significantly reduces the necessity for public safety power shutoffs, which are only implemented as a final option during dry and windy weather conditions to minimize the potential of igniting a wildfire.

As of October 30, 2023, PG&E has reported that they have successfully buried and energized 197 miles of power lines in high-risk fire zones. Their goal for the end of the year is to reach a total of 350 miles. The APD has granted authorization for a total of 1,230 miles of undergrounding.

In Summary

The proposed rate increase, which goes into effect Jan. 1, will result in an average monthly increase of $22.20 for electric-only customers, $10.43 for natural gas-only customers, and $32.62 for electric and gas customers.

The commissioners acknowledged the financial hardships of struggling Californians, and urged low-income ratepayers to apply for aid to reduce their monthly costs, but added that inflation and supply chain issues have led to hardship for the investor-owned utility as well.

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