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PUC Orders Clearer Utility Bills

June 05, 1998|Nancy Rivera Brooks

The California Public Utilities Commission ordered the state's three large investor-owned utilities to rewrite part of their electric bills in an attempt to clear up the confusion over various charges listed in the revamped bills that ratepayers have been receiving since January. Specifically, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and Pacific Gas & Electric will be required to use a new definition for the trust transfer amount, or TTA, that is shown on electric bills. The new definition explains how the TTA is related to the 10% rate reduction mandated by the state Legislature and to another charge now listed separately on bills called the competition transition charge. That charge allows the utilities to recover their investments in generating plants. The new definition: "A portion of historic electric generation costs have been financed through low-cost bonds to reduce your total bill by 10%. The TTA reflects the costs of these bonds, which are less expensive than the type of financing the utilities previously employed. The TTA does not offset your 10% rate reduction nor does it increase the total amount you otherwise would have paid."

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