The California Public Utilities Commission has approved $950 million in increased rates for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to cover the costs of improvements to its natural gas storage facilities and pipeline capacity.
The rate hike for PG&E is separate from a pending rate disallowance of $850 million related to the utility’s alleged shortcomings in responding to the 2010 failure of a natural gas pipeline in San Bruno.
The 27% rate increase approved by the CPUC would be almost entirely directed to increased safety measures, the utility said.
The agency directed PG&E to perform hydrostatic testing of 680 million of transmission pipelines to detect potential weak spots, and to replace an additional 60 miles of old pipes.
Peterman said the decision also requires PG&E to provide additional information tied to statewide measures introduced in the aftermath of the four-month leak in the Aliso Canyon underground gas storage field operated by Southern California Gas Co. Regulators are requiring information from utilities on safety orders, risk management, and emergency response plans for each of their storage facilities.