TURN Wins New Gas Safety Consumer Protections

TURN has won important new consumer protections in the PG&E Gas Transmission and Storage settlement approved today by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

For Immediate Release From The Utility Reform Network

TURN staff attorney Marcel Hawiger said that the settlement “maximizes safety and minimizes misuse” by targeting spending at safety measures and preventing PG&E from shifting money from safety to profits and perks, as has been done in the past.

The settlement:

  • Reduces PG&E’s requested revenue requirement increase by $95 million, without cutting back on funding for safety or pipeline integrity.
  • Requires that $22 million in rates that PG&E claims is needed for safety and integrity be used for that purpose. If not spent on safety, PG&E must return the money to customers instead of using it to boost profits or for executive perks.
  • Creates a new Revenue Sharing mechanism that requires PG&E to share some of the profits from the utility’s lucrative storage operations with customers.
  • Requires PG&E to report on how it is spending authorized funds.

“PG&E has played fast and loose with customers’ money in the past,” said Hawiger. “From here on in, customers won’t see the money they are charged for gas safety being diverted to profits, executive bonuses and other PG&E excesses.” Hawiger noted that the settlement was reached before the San Bruno disaster and includes funding for normal operations. Any new funding for work related to San Bruno and increased safety requirements will be separately considered.