PG&E Reports Profits Declined by 10%, Which Likely Means They’ll Just Jack Up Your Bills Again

Yes, your PG&E bills are higher. And they’re likely to keep going up because PG&E has to bury power lines and pay off the families of homicide victims, and investors would prefer you to pay for it.

I’m not an investor, but if I were I would certainly think twice before investing in a company like this spent a lot of time in the criminal court about a endless series of manslaughter charges. But PG&E has a special arrangement, meaning a monopoly, and any fines they suffer can simply be passed on to you, the consumer, making them a very safe bet for investors.

In that context, consider the Bay Area News Group’s report on Thursday morning’s profitable calls from PG&E. The News Group reports that the investor-owned utility has reported earnings down 10.3% in the quarter (they “only” made $356 million between April and June), and the decline can be attributed to the expenses they must have Lay power lines underground Avoid forest fires and of course financial accounts for the wildfires they have repeatedly caused.

And PG&E will be sad because they only made $356 million in Q2 2022 as opposed to the $397 million they made in Q2 2021. If you’ve been looking at your PG&E bill lately, you know who it’s going to fall on to win investors back whole.

“In the first three months of 2022 alone, average monthly bills for the typical PG&E customer increased 16.3%,” according to the Bay Area News Group. “At the end of 2021, PG&E bills for customers who subscribe to both electricity and gas totaled $202 per month. But in March, after two rounds of increases, the average PG&E bill for the typical electric and gas customer was $235 per month.”

It’s true that PG&E must ask the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to approve rate hikes. But the PUC generally corresponds. (That’s no coincidence — remember how notorious Gavin Newsom is French laundry dinner was a Birthday party for a PG&E lobbyist.)

So PG&E will ask for another rate hike. “The utility is asking for permission from the PUC to collect more money from tariff payers for a variety of ventures,” the News Group said. “PG&E has applied for federal approval for a $10.5 billion increase in sales to bury 3,600 miles of power lines. This process alone could result in bills skyrocketing by an average of $30 a month.”

An unrelated matter on the conference call was the fate of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, which is scheduled to be shut down but may need PG&E as a backup to avoid power outages. That will be the decision of the state. “We need certainty in making decisions,” PG&E CEO Patti Poppe said on the conference call. “We have work to do. We need to order fuel.”

Related: John Oliver calls PG&E “a fire company that occasionally powers people’s homes” [SFist]

Image: JPxG via Wikimedia Commons

PG&E Reports Profits Declined by 10%, Which Likely Means They’ll Just Jack Up Your Bills Again Source link PG&E Reports Profits Declined by 10%, Which Likely Means They’ll Just Jack Up Your Bills Again

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