SAN FRANCISCO, September 4, 2003 — California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) President Michael R. Peevey today said, “The Commission has approved a refund to consumers of the state’s three major investor-owned utilities by approving a $1.002 billion reduction to the revenue requirement of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).”
In June, Governor Gray Davis announced that DWR would return $1 billion to the pockets of ratepayers. To that end, the Commission on Thursday determined that Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) would provide a one-time bill credit to their ratepayers.
Nearly all customers will receive a credit of over half-cent /kWh for electricity use over the past year. This amounts to approximately $40 for the average residential customer. The credit will start to appear on bills in the next two weeks and will be completed 45 days from Thursday.
The shares for each utility’s customers are equal to that utility’s share of the DWR costs that they are responsible for in 2003:
* PG&E customers — $444 million (44.3%)
* SCE customers — $422 million (42.2%)
* SDG&E customers — $135 million (13.5%)
The reason for the DWR refund is that DWR issued about $1 billion in additional bonds last year to provide reserves for DWR if the state had to continue buying power after the end of 2002. The transition from DWR buying power back to the utilities buying power was successful at the end of 2002. Once it was determined that this surplus was available, the PUC and the Governor’s office worked with DWR to refund the money as soon as possible to provide much-needed rate relief.