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California

PG&E Seeks Federal Court OK to Recover Its Electricity Costs

November 09, 2000|NANCY RIVERA BROOKS

Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the San Francisco-based utility arm of PG&E Corp., on Wednesday asked the U.S. District Court in San Francisco to allow the utility to recover through retail rates the wholesale cost of electricity.

PG&E and Southern California Edison have not been able to pass along to customers the full cost of electricity, which soared starting in late May, because of a freeze on retail rates until March 31, 2002, at the latest.

In its complaint, PG&E said the wholesale electricity costs it has incurred are authorized by the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission and therefore cannot be disallowed by state regulators.

Consumer advocates contend that the utilities have recovered billions of dollars for assets deemed uneconomical under deregulation and should bear the risk for all costs incurred during the rate freeze. The electricity costs that PG&E cannot pass on to customers now totals $3.4 billion.

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