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Calif. ratepayer advocates recommends revenue reduction in PG&E rate case

The California Public Utilities Commission's Office of RatepayerAdvocates has recommended that the commission reduce Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s revenue requirements for itselectric distribution, natural gas distribution and electric generation operationsfor 2017-2019.

The office recommended the reduction in its testimony in thePG&E Corp. subsidiary's2017 general rate case,according to a Form 8-K filed April 12.

For 2017, the office recommended an $85 million, or 1.1%, reductionfrom PG&E's currently approved 2016 revenue requirement of $7.9 billion. Thereduction proposed for the year is mainly related to operating expenses. PG&Ehas asked for a $333 million increase for 2017. The office proposed an increaseof $274 million for 2018, less than the utility's requested increase of $469 million.For 2019, the proposal is for a $283 million increase, which is below the $368 millionrequested by the company.

In addition, the office recommended extending the rate case cycleanother year to a third attrition year and recommended an increase of $294 million,or about 3.5%, for 2020.

In the utility's supplemental testimony filed Feb. 22, PG&Ereduced the amounts ofits initial requests, submittedin September 2015.

For 2017, PG&E expects that the monthly electric bill fora non-CARE residential customer using 500 kWh would increase by $1.99, or 2.23%,compared with 2015, assuming that its request is approved. The monthly gas billfor a non-CARE residential customer using 34 therms would rise by 88 cents, or 1.72%,versus 2015.

If the ratepayer advocate's proposal is approved, a non-CAREelectric residential customer using 500 kWh a month would see a decrease of 9 cents,or 0.10%, in 2017. The monthly gas bill for a non-CARE residential customer using34 therms would go down by 35 cents, or 68%.

Testimony from other parties is due April 29 and rebuttal testimonywill be filed by the utility and other parties May 27. A proposed decision is scheduledfor November, with the final decision by the commission expected in December.The new rates would become effective Jan. 1, 2017.