PG&E Expects Earnings Hit Because of Rate Case
In what was said to be a message for Wall Street rather than
state energy regulators, PG&E Corp. announced Monday that its
second quarter results due out July 21 will be lower-than-expected
because of continuing delays in getting a decision on its pending
general rate case before the California Public Utilities
Commission. The company made a similar announcement near the end of
the first quarter.
The general rate case will cost the company a "significant
percentage" of its quarterly earnings in the second quarter,
according to Greg Pruett, a PG&E Corp. vice president. But
PG&E's third and fourth quarter earnings will be skewed upward
if the case is decided in the third quarter because it will call
for the implementation of a full annual increase in earnings in the
final two quarters of the year.
The CPUC originally was scheduled to make a decision on the
general rate request earlier this year, but at that time the
five-member commission was operating with only three members. A
proposed decision from the administrative law judge (ALJ) on the
case now is not expected until August and a final decision is not
possible before "late in the third quarter," PG&E said.
"We don't know what we'll get out of the decision," Pruett said.
"The ALJ has had this case for a considerable amount of time and we
haven't gotten any indication from the commission or the ALJ what
direction they are going. Like everyone else we'll have to wait and
see what their decision will be." In the meantime, the PG&E
utility is operating off its 1996 general rate case decision.
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