California regulators on Thursday opened a formal proceeding to assess financial and other implications for combination utility operations in the reorganization plan by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E).
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which noted the plan must confirm to state law, expects to make a decision in advance of a June 30 statutory deadline.
"The CPUC is an active participant in PG&E’s Chapter 11 case and will continue to represent the interests of California in the bankruptcy court," said spokesperson Terrie Prosper. "The CPUC’s focus remains on ensuring that wildfire victims are compensated, and Northern California receives safe and reliable service at reasonable rates consistent with achieving California’s climate goals. "
PG&E spokesperson James Noonan said the utility is focused on "fairly compensating all impacted wildfire victims, protecting customer rates, and a path to be the energy company our customers need and deserve." The CPUC’s approval is “key” to emerging by next summer’s deadline.
PG&E Corp. and the utility, which filed for Chapter 11 protection early this year, said it is facing up to $30 billion in liabilities for the fires, many of which are alleged to be caused by PG&E electric utility infrastructure.
Meanwhile, PG&E on Thursday had restored electricity to most of its customers in seven Northern California counties whose service was shut off as a wildfire preventive measure.
PG&E had no plans as of Thursday to call another public safety power shutoff (PSPS) in the next seven days.
"Hundreds of PG&E workers on the ground and aerial resources responded for inspections, repairs and restoration once weather conditions returned to normal Wednesday afternoon," spokesperson Mayra Tostado told NGI late Thursday.
Separately, Southern California Edison Co. had been anticipating the need for a PSPS for more than 100,000 customers, but as weather conditions turned favorable, the action was reduced to under 1,000 customers Wednesday evening.