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California | SOUTHLAND FOCUS

State to Weigh Utilities' Plans to Recoup Costs

October 18, 2000|Bloomberg News

PG&E Corp. and Edison International, owners of California's two largest electric utilities, persuaded regulators to consider their requests to recover wholesale power costs during this year's price rise. In a California Public Utilities Commission ruling, PG&E's Pacific Gas & Electric and Edison's Southern California Edison were told to submit plans for passing wholesale power costs on to customers. The plans are due to the commission by Oct. 25. PG&E and Edison asked the commission on Oct. 4 to allow them to charge customers for the high wholesale power costs they paid during the year's hottest months. Those costs were about four times higher than the same period last year, according to PG&E. The two utilities haven't been allowed to pass on those costs to consumers. Their customers' rates are frozen until March 31, 2002, or as soon as the utilities finish divesting their power plants and recover costs incurred building the plants. PG&E and Edison have each racked up debts of about $2 billion from the under-collections.

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