The company has scheduled to apply with the California Public Utilities Commission to charge another $374m on approximately $1 billion in rate hikes, which were approved for the next three years. In its application, the company informs that the $374m hike is required to provide reliability performance closer to that of other companies in California and the rest of the nation. Toward Utility Rate Normalization (TURN) has filed to dismiss the application.

TURN noted, in a release regarding the rate hike filing, that: “as is often the case, PG&E claims the rate hike will make electricity more reliable. But PG&E also justified the last round of rate hikes with the claim of improving reliability.”

Mark Toney, executive director of TURN, stated: “Despite all the extra money PG&E has already collected, it claims consumers in Northern California must pay even more if they are tired of substandard service.”

TURN informed that the company has not shown any proof that the said $2.4 billion that is now needed for improvements would offer billions in direct benefits to customers.

In a press release TURN also found that: “what’s worse is that PG&E’s response to storm-related outages, one of the most onerous problems from a customer perspective, would not be improved under the scheme.”

The company plans to invest $374m to expand distribution automation in urban and suburban areas to reduce outages, augment the available capacity and interconnectivity of the distribution system in urban and suburban areas, and increase mainline protection to reduce the frequency and extent of its outages in rural areas.

Under the CPUC rules, the company is allowed to ask the ratepayers to pay for improvements to its systems to protect the return or profit. The company is also allowed a protected return on its equity of 11.45% by the CPUC.