PG&E eyes higher monthly bills, rising revenue requirement: new filing

OAKLAND — PG&E customers could soon see their monthly bills jump several dollars.

The company has floated a request for an additional revenue requirement in updated regulatory testimony, according to an official government filing. The PG&E proposal, if state regulators adopt the plan in its present form, would lead to an increase of $7.31 in the average monthly bill for the typical customer who receives combined electricity and gas services and whose bills aren’t subsidized.

Lower-income CARE customers whose bills are subsidized would see an average increase of $4.84 a month for combined electricity and gas services.

Non-subsidized customers now typically pay an average of $233.67 for combined electricity and gas services, according to PG&E spokesperson Lynsey Paulo. The proposed revenue change would bring the projected average monthly bill for combined services to a new total of $240.98.

At present, electricity services alone are running at an average of $167.23 per month, while gas services cost $66.44 a month, PG&E said.

The potential increase comes amid a stifling Bay Area heat wave that prompted PG&E and other utility companies to urge customers to conserve energy, with some customers forced to swelter through heat-related power shutoffs.

“We know that any proposed increase to our customers’ rates and bills can be challenging,” said Carla Peterman, a PG&E executive vice president.

Inflation has begun to jolt PG&E to a significant extent, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by PG&E Corp. and its principal operating unit, utility firm Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Inflation is also already hitting the pocketbooks and spending power of consumers nationwide and in the Bay Area.

“Inflation may negatively impact PG&E’s and the utility’s financial conditions, results of operations, liquidity, and cash flows,” Oakland-based PG&E stated in the filing, which noted that prices for equipment, labor, materials and more have gone up.

“Long-term inflationary pressures may result in such prices continuing to increase more quickly than expected,” PG&E said. “PG&E and the utility may be unable to secure these resources on economically acceptable terms.”

PG&E has proposed a revenue requirement of $16.18 billion in connection with its 2023 general rate case, according to the updated testimony it provided in the proceeding. The prior estimate was a revenue requirement of $15.34 billion. The latest estimated requirement is a 5.5% increase from the prior estimate.

The state Public Utilities Commission must make a final decision on the revenue request before any changes in PG&E bills would occur.

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