Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s announcement that it wants to increase energy rates by almost $1.2 billion was met with outrage by consumer watchdog organization The Utility Reform Network.
Pacific Gas has notified the California Public Utilities Commission that it plans to file a 1999 general rate case to raise natural gas rates by $506 million to maintain gas pipeline safety and reliability. It also plans to increase electric base level rates by $703 million beginning Jan. 1, 1999 to improve service reliability.
The Utility Reform Network believes the electric rate hike would prevent customers from reaping the full benefits of competition. "PG&E knows better than anyone that under the current rate freeze, all PG&E customers' rates are higher than they would be otherwise," said staff attorney Bob Finkelstein.