In what was said to be a message for Wall Street rather thanstate energy regulators, PG&E Corp. announced Monday that itssecond quarter results due out July 21 will be lower-than-expectedbecause of continuing delays in getting a decision on its pendinggeneral rate case before the California Public UtilitiesCommission. The company made a similar announcement near the end ofthe first quarter.
The general rate case will cost the company a “significantpercentage” of its quarterly earnings in the second quarter,according to Greg Pruett, a PG&E Corp. vice president. ButPG&E’s third and fourth quarter earnings will be skewed upwardif the case is decided in the third quarter because it will callfor the implementation of a full annual increase in earnings in thefinal two quarters of the year.
The CPUC originally was scheduled to make a decision on thegeneral rate request earlier this year, but at that time thefive-member commission was operating with only three members. Aproposed decision from the administrative law judge (ALJ) on thecase now is not expected until August and a final decision is notpossible 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 wehaven’t gotten any indication from the commission or the ALJ whatdirection they are going. Like everyone else we’ll have to wait andsee what their decision will be.” In the meantime, the PG&Eutility is operating off its 1996 general rate case decision.
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