PG&E; Revenue Hike Denied

From Associated Press

State power regulators on Thursday denied a request by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for a $96-million revenue increase to offset the costs of operating its electric and gas systems.

The Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously against granting PG&E; the base revenue increase, which would have been retroactive to last April, because commissioners felt it "just isn't justified at this point," PUC spokeswoman Terrie Prosper said.

PG&E;, which is operating under Bankruptcy Court protection, had argued that the increase was necessary because its operating expenses have increased since the PUC approved its last revenue hike of $151 million in 2001.

An approval would not necessarily have meant higher rates for consumers, just that the company would have been permitted to spend more.

PG&E; spokesman Jon Tremayne said although the company was disappointed, the decision would not affect consumers or employees. "We will continue to hook up the 100,000 new customers that request service each and every year," he said. "That is our obligation."

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