Pipeline Accounting Denied

By Published On: May 13, 2011

Pacific Gas & Electric on May 5 lost its bid to set up an isolated account for tracking the cost of its expenditures to comply with state and federal pipeline safety directives. The utility requested a “memorandum” account with the California Public Utilities Commission. It aimed to pursue costs associated with programs to implement safety mandates and its own safety programs after the Sept. 9, 2010, San Bruno pipeline explosion. The Division of Ratepayer Advocates protested, alleging PG&E seeks “to track costs for activities that it is already required to perform.” The cost, noted DRA, is already included in rates. PG&E stated it planned only to record costs that aren’t already covered by rates. Not doing so, the utility maintained, might impact its efforts to comply with regulation. The commission suggested that the costs be considered under a more formal docket. Sempra utilities too requested their pipeline costs be tracked in a memorandum account. That request was filed last week, according to the company.

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