Ratepayer Neutral? . . . Not Exactly

PG&E Bailout Bonds Pass Costs to Ratepayers

PG&E claims that shareholders will pay for their risky bailout bonds scheme. Nothing could be further from the truth. After all, why should anyone believe a convicted felon who has a reputation for falsifying information to the CPUC and rap sheet for obstruction of justice. PG&E is also facing potential criminal charges in the Paradise fire that killed eighty-six residents and left tens-of-thousands more homeless. Customer groups agree that ratepayers, not shareholders, will end up footing the bill for the mountains of debt PG&E’s shareholders want to add to their balance sheet.

While they are hoodwinking legislators, PG&E and their shareholders are simultaneously seeking massive rate increases at the CPUC, greatly increasing their profits so ratepayers end up footing the bill. In addition to a 20-50 percent increase in its Return on Equity (ROE), the utility is also actively seeking a $2 billion increase in annual revenue. The ROE increase alone will cost ratepayers $500 million a year or more. Their general rate increase will add another $1 billion in 2020, $1.5 billion in 2021 and $2 billion every year thereafter, further increasing their earnings. That’s a whopping $30 billion in higher rates over the next decade, increasing profits more than enough to offset any bond expenses they may incur.

Clearly, by increasing PG&E’s earnings and profits, customers, not shareholders, end up picking up the tab.

Say NO to PG&E hedge fund investors
Say NO to PG&E bailout bonds