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Undercurrents

17 Jul

The state’s investor-owned utilities will release their second quarter earnings statements later this month, and the results likely will be mixed. Pacific Gas & Electric announced that it expects to post a big loss. There is no indication, however, that the other two utility holding companies, Edison International and Sempra Energy, will do so. PG&E […]

The Buzz

28 Jun

The big squeeze from a duo of powerful hedge funds leads Sempra Energy to sell off all of its green portfolio and some of its gas assets. More significantly, this is just the first round of spin offs. A proposed CPUC settlement would reduce ratepayers’ share of the closure costs of San Onofre Nuclear Generating […]

Sempra To Sell Renewable Power and Gas Assets

28 Jun

In response to pressure from two powerful hedge fund stockholders, Sempra Energy announced June 28 it was selling off a significant portion of its assets to generate cash for its shareholders. Elliot Management and Bluescape Resources together own nearly 5 percent of Sempra stock valued at $1.3 billion. The two claim Sempra’s stock is largely […]

“Vulture Capitalist” Pushes for Sale of Sempra Assets

12 Jun

Will Sempra Energy suffer a fate similar to NRG? The same two private investment firms bought up a substantial number of shares of the parent company of San Diego Gas & Electric and SoCal Gas and are trying to force a sale of assets to generate cash, like they successfully did with NRG. The equivalent […]

Earnings Down for Two of Three IOUs

8 May

Utility earnings varied during the first quarter of 2018, with Sempra Energy up and Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric down compared to the first three months of 2017. Edison International: The parent company of Southern California Edison had lower earnings in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, with […]

PG&E, Edison & SDG&E Earnings Slump

27 Feb

The state’s investor-owned utilities and their parent companies saw lower earnings in the final quarter of last year, including because of the wildfires, regulatory decisions and the 2017 tax law. Executives warned that liability for the wildfires is expected to worsen the companies’ financial health. Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and Sempra Energy all reported […]

Utility Financial Stability Concerns Come to Fore

8 Feb

In an unusual move, four members of the California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 8 answered written questions submitted by the so called “public” concerning the financial stability of the state’s investor-owned utilities in the face of regulatory policy and the growing impacts of climate change, particularly wildfires. The one-hour webinar—called an experiment in communications by […]

Utility Earnings Up, But SDG&E Takes Hit on Wildfire Costs

1 Nov

Updated Nov. 2 Earnings were up at Edison International and its utility Southern California Edison, as well as at Pacific Gas & Electric and Sempra Energy’s SoCal Gas utility in the third quarter of 2017. However, San Diego Gas & Electric was hampered by a continuing dispute over whether it will be able to recover […]

Solar & Storage Project Aims to Cut Muni’s Gas Use

19 Oct

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is eyeing whether it can downsize a planned natural gas power plant in Utah designed to replace the coal-fired Intermountain Power Plant when it closes in 2025, according to the muni’s general manager. LADWP General Manager Dave Wright told the muni’s board Oct. 18 that it might […]

Calpine Lands $5.6 B Purchase, Sempra Buys Texas Utility for $9.5 B

21 Aug

Reflecting the contrasting financial health of investor-owned utilities and merchant generators in California are Calpine and San Diego Gas & Electric. Calpine put itself up for sale and the parent of the latter is going to pay big bucks to buy a Texas wires company. Calpine, which was the golden independent generator during California’s 2000-01 […]

Earnings Grow at PG&E & Sempra & Remain Flat at Edison

4 Aug

Utility holding company second quarter earnings reports show gains at two companies and stability at a third. Here’s a rundown of the latest results. Edison International: The parent company of Southern California Edison had earnings of $278 million in the second quarter of 2017, or 85 cents a share. That’s down from earnings of $280 […]

Undercurrents: Trump’s Budget Guts Clean Energy Programs & Transmission

23 May

As feared, President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget released May 23 slashes funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and other federal agencies. Heading for the guillotine are funds for energy efficiency and to states for weatherization of low-income residences and alternative energy programs. The budget document states it eliminates programs considered “duplicative” […]

Utility Parents Report Flush Earnings

9 May

California’s investor-owned utilities all reported healthy increases in net income for the first three months of 2017, with Pacific Gas & Electric reporting the most significant growth. Edison International: The parent company of the regulated utility Southern California Edison reported earnings of $362 million, or $1.11 a share, in the first quarter of 2017. That’s […]

Committee Pulls Aliso Moratorium Bill, Quickly Passes Others

21 Mar

The Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee at the last minute Tuesday pulled a bill from its agenda putting a moratorium on the re-opening of the massive natural gas storage field at Aliso Canyon owned by SoCal Gas. Committee Chair Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) acknowledged the impact on people from Southern California who traveled […]

Regulated Utility Earnings Rise in 2016

28 Feb

  California’s regulated utilities and their holding companies’ 2016 earnings increased under California Public Utilities Commission approved rates and spending programs, utility executives told financial analysts recently. (more…)

JUICE: Über Energy

22 Feb

Sempra Energy blew off rules aimed at protecting burgeoning community choice efforts, effectively derailing San Diego County’s move to offer electricity supplies in place of San Diego Gas & Electric’s last week. The rewards likely outweigh the risks given the high stakes for Sempra and its biggest business, San Diego Gas & Electric. If the […]

Undercurrents: San Diego Community Choice Prospects Dim

15 Feb

San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors Feb. 15 balked at ordering a community choice aggregation feasibility study. They rejected a recommendation to spend $200,000 on the evaluation after hearing objections from Sempra Energy Services. (more…)

SoCal Gas to Use Optical Fiber for Pipe Monitoring & Leak Detection

19 Jan

SoCal Gas is beginning to install fiber optic cables when it replaces or lays new major gas pipelines to gather early warnings of pressure changes, vibrations, and other conditions that could indicate either impending or actual natural gas leaks. (more…)

JUICE: Working Off that Aliso Canyon Flab

29 Nov

Editor’s Note: This article was revised Nov. 30 after the Department of Oil, Gas, & Geothermal Resources announced that it will hold a hearing on the safety of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility at a date to be determined in January 2017.   Southern Californians may have to break out their sweaters. With […]

What Goes Up Must Come Down, Including Utility Profits

18 Aug

Earnings of the parents of all four of California’s investor-owned utilities fell in the second quarter, including due to disallowed expenses, offsets of tax benefits and penalties. (more…)