Talk:Pacific Gas and Electric Company

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ACN Addition to the Controversies Section[edit]

This paragraph appears to be an attempt to market some third party service provider, and it is both seemingly promotional and definitely filled with inaccuracies.

PG&E is a monopoly, especially in distribution and transmission.

California deregulated its retail electricity markets in 1998. The article indicates markets will 'soon' be open to competition.

ACN appears to be a MLM company selling telecom services but that does not mean it is a 'controversy' that particularly involves or impacts PG&E. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bancheromedia (talkcontribs) 23:43, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

As it has been more than a month since I posted this, and there are no comments -- I want to see if I can't stimulate discussion by proposing to, first, delete this and then, second, craft a very short description of utility deregulation in California, and in particular of PG&E's response to deregulation.
The text I propose to delete is as follows:
Energy deregulation -- PG&E has long been referred to as a monopoly. However, California will soon be able to choose between competing companies (i.e. companies competing in an 'open market'). One competitor is ACN, which serves customers in Canada, New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania with natural gas and electricity.
Thoughts?Bancheromedia (talk) 09:49, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Environmental inaccuracies[edit]

PG&E failed to maintain power lines once again in Monterey, CA. January 4, 2008 storm left thousand without power much like the 1995 storms that left the Monterey Peninsula and Island. Hundreds were left without power for well over 100 hours this year. PG&E failed to maintain power lines and repair crews back then and was totally unprepared this year as well. This is now being called to people attention due the the fact that PG&E is shorting customers refunds under their own guideline set in their Safety Net Program. PG&E has once again proved to the public that they are only in it for the money. They don't care if you are disabled or a senior, they never sent anybody to check on us. Now they want us to accept pennies on the dollar for our food losses. They screw up, not us!!! We suffered with no power! Why are we paying by receiving pennies on the dollar? Why CEO - Tom King? Why President and Chief Operating Officer - Bill Morrow? If this happened to your families you would be angry too.

Mr. King, Mr. Morrow, you and your company have once again FAILED to serve us in Monterey County, California! You should be publicly humiliated and removed from the board of directors. Shame on you!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:18, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

PG&E operates in California, where coal-fired generation is prohibited by law. While the company does operate some gas-fired power plants, the paragraph cites natural gas in passing and then focuses on the pollutants caused by coal. This is very misleading.

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are in fact a "possible" health concern, but the evidence here is so scant that this sentence should either be 1)deleted, 2)heavily qualified or 3) at least given a citation.

I think some PG&E employees were editing this page or something, as it seemed to minimize the huge cover-up PG&E made in Hinkley- which resulted in people's severe health issues and deaths. Some words were modified to reflect more accurately the severity of this issue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:02, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

POV Concerning Nonrenewable Resources[edit]

Call me silly, and perhaps I don't understand something. We have "While the company supplies what has been called the most liberal consumer base in the country, as of April 2004 some 99% of its power is supplied by nonrenewable sources, if hydroelectric plants are not included." I doubly fail to see the coherence here. We're speaking on who their customers are, apparently a diverse crowd. We follow that by saying they don't use nonrenewable sources. But our fact says "they don't use nonrenewable sources, if we exclude the main way they get power, a renewable source." I was wondering if someone could clear up my troubles. Thanks! Zenosparadox 02:42, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

An August 2005 press release (here) says, "The utility currently supplies 31 percent of its customer load from renewable resources—18 percent from its large hydroelectric facilities and 13 percent from small hydro and other renewable resources that qualify under California’s RPS Program—one of the highest volumes of any utility in the United States." So hydro is 18+13=31% of the 31% of renewables. The axe they seem to have been grinding is that despite providing power to Berkeley and Marin and other bastions of altruism and virtue, PG&E has virually nothing in the way of production from solar, wind, tide, or whatever else, if you take away the admittedly impressive amount of hydro.  —RandallJones 06:29, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, I appreciate the clarification. I still am concerned with someone having an axe to grind. Were the company entirely renewable hydroelectric power, the commentary would hold just as well. I merely fail to see the point concerning their lack of diversity of nonrenewables (I can understand emphasizing them not having nonrenewables, but not having a diversity of nonrenewables seems POV. However, I myself feel uncomfortable reading a POV where one may not exist (if it does, it is subtle, but I still remain concerned). Thoughts? Zenosparadox 02:07, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Company Leadership[edit]

Can someone supply the names of company Chairmen/Presidents/CEO's over time? Thanks.

Description of the energy crisis[edit]

I'm not sure why my edits concerning the energy crisis and PG&E's bankruptcy were deleted, but I was there working for the Public Utilities Commission, and the statements in the article now are demonstrably false. Enron did not dominate the market for electricity in California. It is debatable whether the State "bailed out" PG&E, but even if one concludes that it did, it had absolutely no effect on the state's budget deficit--the entire cost of the energy crisis was born by ratepayers, it had no impact whatsoever on the State's General Fund or on taxes. Whoever has written this has some sort of political agenda that, in my opinion, does not belong here.

Garcohsf 07:02, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Garcohsf, you're definitely right about some POV people controlling this article. Check out my anonymous edits of the environmental impacts section of the article, which I think are initially better than the misleading and mostly irrelevant ramblings about coal by-products. I've attempted to raise this on the discussion board (see comments above) but they've been completely ignored.
Pedalin' Joe 15:59, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Editing Needed[edit]

Wow, this information about PG&E really needs some editing. First off, I think whoever wrote it doesn't understand the difference between PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas & Electric Company. PG&E Corporation is the parent company of the regulated electric utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

Second, I completely agree that the discussion of pollution from coal has no place here. PG&E doesn't generate any electricity from coal. Rather than trying to make PG&E out as some kind of gross polluter, you might want to actually mention how way far ahead of the pack they are on the issue. PG&E's emissions are among the lowest in the industry, and the company has been way out in front on the subject of Global Climate Change.

The other thing that really stands out like a sore thumb is mentioning only one company officer, Bill Morrow. It's true that he is one of the Presidents of Pacific Gas & Electric Company, but he reports to Thomas King, the President and Chief Executive Officer. (Morrow is the President and Chief Operating Officer.) Thomas King reports to Peter Darbee, the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President of PG&E Corporation. So, it's odd to only list Morrow in the article, as he is below two other people. If you're only going to list one name, the one to list is Peter Darbee... he is at the top of the org chart.

Jim Zimmerlin 20:57, 25 November 2006 (UTC), an employee of Pacific Gas & Electric Company and a shareholder of PG&E Corporation.

Let's Green (Wash) This City edits[edit]

I've got a proposal: let's collect the sentences and clauses questioning PG&E's green credentials and combine them into one section.

I think resolves a couple problems. First of all, having bits and pieces scattered throughout the article makes each section less readable. If I want to know about kind of generation PG&E owns, let me read that section. If I want to know about the impacts of that generation, let me read that section.

Second, PG&E's new management is pursuing all sorts of interesting new strategies. The San Francisco stuff is one piece of that. A section devoted to these new moves and marketing would be far more interesting, informative, and have a bigger impact than a dig here and an added sentence there.

I'll make a few changes tonight, please leave your comments on what you like/don't like/have changed.

Also, there's a huge difference between "utility-owned generation" and the "power content" of electricity delivered by the utility. Utility-owned means that PG&E actually owns the facility. PG&E owns neither solar nor wind, when you get down to it, but it does deliver power through contracts with owners of both types of generation.

I think the above statement is critical to understanding what a particular utilities green portfolio really is, if a utility owns 1 MW of windmills (and no other generation)but serves 100MW of load, they can rightfully claim that they only produce wind energy and their customers will falsely believe that 100% of thier electricity comes from "green" energy when infact it would be more likly from the US avg of 3% renewable, 24% Nat Gas, 20% Nuke, 45% Coal 8% Hyro and thats not even getting into the physics of electrical flow (no energy on an interconnected system can be claimed to come from 100% renewable resources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:31, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

--Pedalin' Joe 01:07, 26 February 2007 (UTC)Pedalin' Joe, also a PG&E Co. employee and occasional stockholder (401k matching, you see)

Fair use rationale for Image:Pge.svg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Pge.svg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 15:26, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality and factual accuracy of Hinkley section[edit]

I've added a "totally-disputed-section" tag to the section on the Hinkley case. This section includes several inflammatory statements which may be true but are unreferenced.


"PG&E had alerted the townsfolk earlier about the chromium but said that it was nothing to worry about, saying that chromium was in many multivitamins. However, many illnesses were linked to the hexavalent chromium, including cancers, birth defects, and organ failures, which PG&E knew about but failed to reveal."

"...their intentional cover-up."

The section also generally lacks citations for important facts. I'm not implying that anything in this section is untrue, only that it needs to be supported with strong, reliable references if it's to be included in an encyclopedia article. That means more than just the NYTimes article cited at the end - there should be citations from a legal review or the court records themselves. Settlements do not necessarily involve admission of guilt, so it's quite possible the intentionality of the "cover-up" is as yet unproven. I personally don't know enough about the details of the case, so someone who does should work on addressing this issue.

--Barefootmatt (talk) 01:12, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Please list for me the points in the Hinkley case that need citations and I will talk to Brockovich and the lawyers about locating citationsFreelance-writer-editor (talk) 03:32, 30 December 2009 (UTC).

That section is split out to Hinkley groundwater contamination. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 03:46, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Hinkley section[edit]

I added the "Hinkley" section a couple of years ago, but it is apparent to me now that putting such a section in an encyclopedia article about a company may have been a poor solution. Perhaps we can add something about PG&E environmental issues in the history section and then add a new page that addresses specifically environmental concerns about PG&E. --Vreddy92 (talk) 18:48, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

PGE bankruptcy[edit]

I have read that PGEs holding company made record profits that year. It was (perhaps fairly, I'm not sure)justified on the grounds that the holding company needed the $ to pay for the closure of a nuclear power plant. But we should get all of it in the article, fairly, of course.Rich (talk) 22:08, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Prop 16[edit]

Should we mention PG & E's role in California Proposition 16? Because they are bankrolling it by an almost exclusive margin. --Killamator (talk) 03:11, 25 February 2010 (UTC)Killamator

Perhaps. I'd like to see something on the smart-meter fiasco and the tremendous differences in rates in, say, San Francisco versus the Central Valley. Frotz (talk) 00:45, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Done and done. This was long overdue. >>Atsuke (talk) 00:37, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

San Bruno Gas Explosion[edit]

I don't know enough about the subject, but shouldn't this article contain some reference to the recent natural gas line explosion in San Bruno, California? (see: [9]). Windward1 (talk) 16:44, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Done and done. I have a feeling someone from PG&E is trying to change "Incidents" to "Catastrophes" to shift blame away from them. Traced the IP address of whoever edited it and it came to be to San Francisco (of all the places in America right?), where PG&E's headquarters is. >>Atsuke (talk) 00:14, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Infobox updates[edit]

{{Request edit}}

I work for PG&E, the subject of this article, and I'd like to make some proposals to strengthen the content of the article. I'm versed in Wikipedia's guidelines on conflict of interest and don't intend to make any edits to the article, instead I'd like to bring suggestions to this Talk page or other forums (such as WikiProject Cooperation) to find consensus with other editors.

I'll have some more involved changes to suggest later, but for now I'd like to provide updated figures for the infobox if someone could make these edits for me. Here's the new data, with citations:

  • Revenue 2011: $14.956 million[1]
  • Operating income 2011: $1,942 million[1]
  • Net Income 2011: $858 million[1]
  • Number of employees: 19,424[2]


  1. ^ a b c "PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company 2011 Annual Report" (PDF). PG&E Corporation. 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  2. ^ "PG&E Corp.". Financial Content. Retrieved April 17, 2012. 

I'll keep this page on my watchlist, so please reply here if you're able to assist. Thanks, PParmley (talk) 22:27, 30 April 2012 (UTC)PParmley

I'd happily add any factual edits I know how to. I would need more information about whether the annual report and the web url you cite are considered reliable, verifiable sources. Do you know off the top of your head? I'm serious. I'll keep this page on my watchlist. Factseducado (talk) 01:14, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
As for the first link, since the data is provided by the company itself, I don't see reliability being as much of an issue as it being a 'primary source'. That issue can be avoided by using an independent source that has presumably/theoretically vetted the info to whatever extent possible, such as Reuters. As for the second link, it's not a source I'm familiar with, is an awfully young and small company, and the link doesn't work on my default browser, so I think it would be better to go with a more recognized information provider, such as the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch for the employee count--it's a slightly different number (19,274), but that's the same number given by Hoover's (which I know to be reliable, but I wouldn't recommend actually using that link because I get multiple pop-ups from it wanting me to 'chat' with one of their 'experts' ie salespeople). And all the sources I've looked at agree the first number should actually be "$14,956 million" (ie nearly 15 billion dollars). Bloomberg has 2010 amounts (not a great link to actually put in the article either because you have to hit the 'annual' tab to see them) which shows that gross revenue is actually up year-over-year, tho' both income numbers are down (the Hoover's link also has 2010 and 2009 numbers). [grrrr edit conflict] (talk) 23:48, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that does answer a lot of questions. I will have to learn those sources since they are not primary sources.
  • Tell me if I'm wrong but somehow million and billion seem to be contradictory both in the data supplied by PParmley and in this: "all the sources I've looked at agree the first number should actually be "$14,956 million" (ie nearly 15 billion dollars)." In any case, I'll have to look up numbers to make financial edits.
I've noticed the infobox relied on primary sources for these numbers before. It will be good to replace them with secondary sources. Factseducado (talk) 01:24, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I've edited a few articles on utilities (such as Hydro-Québec) where I relied on the company's annual report among other sources, using the guidance provided by WP:ABOUTSELF. In the situation mentioned above, inclusion of such information in the infobox seems to meet the 5 criterias (not unduly self-serving, no claims about third parties, no claims about events not directly related to source, no reasonable doubt about authenticity, not the basis for the whole article) and should be allowed. Bouchecl (talk) 01:49, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done I've made the edit. Bouchecl (talk) 02:30, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, WP:ABOUTSELF gives helpful criteria. I'll try to keep it around since I expect there will more such requests. Factseducado (talk) 14:24, 9 May 2012 (UTC) Factseducado (talk) 14:25, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I've updated the number of employees and its citation. I left you a question on your user Talk page about the change from millions to billions in the other categories. You can leave a message here to respond or leave a reply on your user Talk page. I'll also get your message if you leave it on my user Talk page even though my user Talk page tells viewers not to change from their Talk page to my Talk page. Factseducado (talk) 23:14, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

PParmley, you wrote "Revenue 2011: $14.956 million[1]" and it appears you intended to use a comma rather than a decimal. Factseducado (talk) 19:01, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, Factseducado, you're right about that. Glad to see it's correct in the article now. --PParmley (talk) 21:29, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Bouchecl deserves the credit. He did the work, figured out the sourcing, and noticed comma (millions) versus (decimal) billions units. I just want credit to go where it belongs. Factseducado (talk) 14:54, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Rewritten early history[edit]

{{Request edit}} Since my request to update the article's infobox (see above), I've been leading a project to write a new version of the article's History section. So far, I'm ready to share a new researched and rewritten version of the first three subsections relating to PG&E's history up to the point it was incorporated under its current name.

The sections as they currently appear in the article do not have any inline citations. The draft I propose includes as much of the current information as possible that could be cited to reliable sources. More information has been added where this provides a clearer picture of the company's evolving business. Since the events relating to San Francisco Gas Light and San Francisco Gas and Electric overlapped, these two subsections have been merged into one in my draft. You can see the draft in my user space: User:PParmley/PG&E History part 1. draft

I'm suggesting this rewrite here to find consensus with other editors, rather than make edits myself, because I work for PG&E. If you are able to assist with reviewing my draft and potentially replacing the current San Francisco Gas, San Francisco Gas Light and San Francisco Gas and Electric sections, please reply here. Thanks, PParmley (talk) 19:22, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

I assume it is only meant to replace the San Francisco Gas, San Francisco Gas Light, and San Francisco Gas and Electric subsections, correct? It's very well-written though, good job. I'm going to wait for one or two more people to weigh in here before implementing it. SilverserenC 20:41, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, but with an exception. The new draft does indeed give a fuller, more richly detailed history, and the writing is better and even replaces some peacock language with more WP:NPOV phrasing. The sourcing does lean rather heavily on P.G. and E. of California: the centennial story of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, 1852-1952, which appears to be some sort of hagiography about the firm--a commissioned history, perhaps? However, I spot-checked and didn't see anything objectionable or a WP:COPYVIO. I do have a problem with one sentence at the end of the San Francisco Gas section: "When rates became unprofitably low, the companies negotiated their consolidation." This unsourced, rose-colored view of the merger is unacceptably POV--see here for a contrasting point of view. At the very least, "When rates became unprofitably low," should be replaced with something neutral such as "The price war ended when..." These histories would be improved by material on monopolistic profits, the alleged corruption of public officials, and other not-so-nice aspects of the firm's history. However, this is a flaw in the existing version of the article that is not otherwise worsened in the new draft. --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 09:57, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your replies here, Silverseren and Hobbes Goodyear. Regarding Silverseren's question, yes, this draft is intended to replace the current first three subsections of the History section: San Francisco Gas, San Francisco Gas Light and San Francisco Gas and Electric. I'll have other drafts to share later, but those are still in progress at the moment.

Hobbes: regarding your notes about City Gas, I appreciate your point of view on this and have made some changes to the wording based on the source you linked to. You can see this new wording and the added source in the draft now: User:PParmley/PG&E History part 1. draft

Do you think that with the new wording, this draft can be moved into the article? Thanks, PParmley (talk) 18:56, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • The new draft is even better and allays my POV concerns. Good job on this. --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 19:55, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I like the draft; however I have one minor suggestion to make. Considering the number of sources in the section and the repeated use of one book, it might be useful to cite references with Harvard-style references {{sfn}} and a bibliography at the end of the article. Bouchecl (talk) 20:24, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks again, Hobbes Goodyear and thank you Bouchecl. I think Bouchecl's suggestion of Harvard references is a good one, I've added these to the draft now and also created a "Bibliography" section at the end, which would be added to the article below the current "References" section. See the changes, here: User:PParmley/PG&E History part 1. draft
If everyone is happy with the section and the reference formatting, is one of you willing to move it into the article? Thanks, PParmley (talk) 18:03, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Done and done. Sorry it took so long to work through all of this. SilverserenC 20:47, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Silver seren (talk · contribs) beat me by 15 minutes ;). Thanks for your patience, PParmley (talk · contribs). Bouchecl (talk) 21:02, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Silver seren and Bouchecl, thank you both for helping me with this. I'm glad this worked! Meanwhile, I've been working on further "History" sections, which I should be able to share here soon. Thanks again, PParmley (talk) 22:12, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Next rewritten History section[edit]

{{Request edit}}

I've been continuing to work on PG&E's early history and I'm ready to share a rewritten version of the current section titled "Pacific Gas and Electric Company 1905". This draft also includes a new section focusing on the impact of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Like the last draft I shared, this includes as much of the information from the current section as I was able to find in reliable sources. However, the information about events in 1912 and 1930 is intended to be included in future drafts, so is not included in this one. For the moment, I would propose that the draft replace the first and second paragraphs of the current Pacific Gas and Electric Company 1905 section. The final sentence of the second paragraph and the entire third paragraph should remain in the article for now, until I am able to share later drafts. The draft is in my user space: User:PParmley/PG&E History part 2. draft

As I mentioned before, rather than make the edits myself I'm making this suggestion here with the aim of finding consensus with other editors, because PG&E is my employer. I will watch this page and respond to comments as I am able. Thanks, PParmley (talk) 19:09, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Made a slight edit in your user page. I'm fine with the draft as is. Bouchecl (talk) 20:09, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Meh, beat me as I was informing you. >_> But, yeah, it looks good, especially the merger stuff. You're really good at having the text flow and making it very readable. I've also informed Hobbes about this section. SilverserenC 20:43, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Looks good. I have no problems with the text or the sourcing. I noticed that the company's website is among the sources cited, but for the particular cases used, I think it's fine. If you are looking for additional sources, you might give the Library of Congress's historic newspaper archive a whirl for anything pre-1923. Please continue the good work. --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 23:06, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I've moved the info from the draft into the article. I also moved the third, short paragraph that wasn't changed yet into the upper section, since it relates to that and not the earthquake. SilverserenC 23:16, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Addition to History section[edit]

{{request edit}}

I've continued to work on researching and improving PG&E's History section and have drafted an entirely new section that I would like to suggest adding between "The 1906 San Francisco earthquake" and "Streetcars". This proposed section covers PG&E's history between its incorporation and the early 1950s. This draft is not intended to replace any current language in the article.

The newest draft is in my user space: User:PParmley/PG&E History part 3. draft

As usual I will refrain from making direct edits because I am an employee of PG&E, instead I am proposing this section here for other editors to review. If you have any comments regarding this draft please respond here. I have this talk page on my Watchlist. Thanks, PParmley (talk) 22:15, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Bouchecl (talk) 21:28, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your help Bouchecl. I think the changes you made to the sections headings in the History section are a great improvement, too. Thanks again, PParmley (talk) 16:45, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Suggestion for History sections[edit]

{{request edit}}

Since my last request above, I have been working on research for the "Streetcars" and "North American Company" sections of PG&E's "History" section and have rewritten both of these based on information I was able to find in reliable sources. As much as possible I have retained information in these sections and also provided some corrections and additional details, as sources allowed.

I have a slightly different suggestion than previously with regards to these two sections; I would like to suggest that the new version of "Streetcars" be renamed to "Sacramento Electric, Gas and Railway Company" and made into a stand alone section. The details in this section do not fit with the overall development of the company described by the "History" and are more of a sidebar to the company's evolving activities. My feeling is that this information would work best as a section on its own, outside of the "History", perhaps placed towards the end of the article. The draft for this is in my user space: User:PParmley/PG&E Sacramento Electric, Gas and Railway Company draft

For the "North American Company" section, I believe this would work best as part of the "Natural Gas" section, as the events related to North American take place at the same time as PG&E's expansion into natural gas and this was, again, more of a sidebar to the company's development than a major impact upon it. The section as it is currently written focuses mainly on North American. I have rewritten it to provide a better account of PG&E's efforts to be recognized as a separate company, rather than subsidiary of North American. The draft is in my user space here: User:PParmley/PG&E History part 4. draft

Once again, my intention is for editors here to review these drafts and my proposals for their addition into the article and make such edits as are supported by consensus. If there are any comments on the drafts, please respond here. I will watch this page and respond when I am able. Thanks, PParmley (talk) 15:57, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Just to clarify, you want this draft to replace the Streetcars section and then have that section renamed to Sacramento Electric, Gas and Railway Company, correct? And then you want this draft to be added on as a new paragraph at the end of the Natural Gas section, correct? Or do you want it to replace that section? SilverserenC 22:12, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Hi Silverseren, thanks for your reply here. Let me try to explain a bit more what I meant. The "Sacramento Electric, Gas and Railway Company" section is to replace the existing "Streetcars" section. I think that the "Sacramento Electric, Gas and Railway Company" section should then be moved out of "History" to become a stand alone section.
The other draft, here, is intended to replace the current "North American Company". I think that this does not need to be a section with its own heading and should be added to the end of the "Natural gas" section. I hope that this clarifies for you, please let me know if I can explain further. Thanks, PParmley (talk) 17:00, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm so sorry for the wait, I just started a new college semester this week. I went and let Bouchecl and Hobbes Goodyear know about this request. As for my opinion, the Sacramento Electric, Gas and Railway Company draft is shorter than the current article section, but a lot more straightforward, without the unnecessary amounts of detail in the current Streetcars section in the article. And the North American Company replacement draft is much better organized and better explains what exactly happened and how it relates to PG&E. SilverserenC 02:43, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi. I have a few concerns here. The two proposed paragraphs are fine, although the streetcar proposal is a bit short on operational details (How many streetcars, number of customers, etc.). I'm also concerned about the number of subs in the history section. Is there any way to merge two or more 1-paragraph subs into larger chunks? Bouchecl (talk) 17:02, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi Silverseren and Bouchecl, thanks for your comments about the drafts. To reply to Bouchecl's concerns: I think that the rewritten section I propose regarding the streetcars can be added to in future with more information about its operations. My intention here was originally to address the historical details but as I looked at it more it seemed that it would work best as a separate section. Although I have not found the operational details you mention, other editors may be more likely to add this once the section is no longer part of the section focusing on corporate history. Also, regarding the subsections, I'm not sure how best to approach the other subsections here, but I feel that the North American Company subheading should be removed and the new wording I propose should become the last paragraph of Natural gas.
Silverseren: it's no problem about the wait, I appreciate that editors here may be busy elsewhere and I'm grateful for your assistance when you have time available.
On another note, yesterday a sentence was added to the "San Bruno, California explosion" section about the company's recent advertising campaign. The wording looks fine to me but the wikilink for PG&E's CEO Tony Earley goes to an article about the author Tony Earley. If you have time, do you think you can remove this link? Thanks, PParmley (talk) 18:43, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Tony Earley -> Yes check.svg Done. As I said, the writing is fine (and PParmley is right about additions from other editors :) ), but at some point we'll have to look at the organization of the History section. Let's keep that in mind as we move along. Bouchecl (talk) 18:59, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol confirmed.svg Drafts have been implemented. SilverserenC 03:48, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Rewritten section for History on post-war era[edit]

{{request edit}}

Thanks all for the help on the previous section and especially to Silverseren for moving the drafts into the article, I hope this next request will be simpler. I have prepared a draft of a completely new section, intended to replace the first sentence of the "Postwar era" section of the article. This new section covers PG&E's history from the late 1950s through the late 1970s. The events from the 1990s and early 2000s now under "Postwar era", I feel should be moved under a more appropriate section heading. I will be addressing this time period in the next draft, that I'm currently working on.

I've saved the draft in my user space here: User:PParmley/PG&E History part 5. draft. You'll see I also suggest replacing the subheading "Postwar era" with "Nuclear plants and gas pipelines", which better explains the contents of the section.

Again, I look forward to receiving feedback from other editors on this section. As always I will not edit the article directly, so please let me know what I can do to help with this section. Thanks, PParmley (talk) 21:27, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

I've left a note here for Kiefer.Wolfowitz to review the draft as well, since it doesn't appear that Bouchecl has edited for a few days.
I've read it over myself and it sounds good. Info on those decades is glaringly missing from the current article and I really like how you properly included controversial info, such as the environmental protests and the concerns of the First Nation groups. You've done a really good job at tackling all of this neutrally and properly including more negative info where appropriate. SilverserenC 01:30, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
This draft appears to be a good draft. It is well written (although one sentence did seem too long...) and it uses high-quality very reliable sources (The Economist, The New York Times, etc.).
What more is to be done? I have not spot-checked the references. I would like to review the statement about the Carter Administration's approval of a plant; perhaps this approval came from the DOE (which has many civil servants) besides the Carter Administration?
For other articles, I would WP:AGF from another source. However, since the user has asked for an outside review per WP:COI, I would like to check some of the sources. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 20:40, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Looks good--neutral tone and good sources, which I spot-checked. --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 00:38, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Hi all, thanks for your comments about the draft. It sounds like Hobbes Goodyear has done the spot-checking of sources that Kiefer Wolfowitz wanted, so please let me know if there's anything further needed for this section. Thanks, PParmley (talk) 17:06, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
Done. SilverserenC 02:53, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
I offer some comments: I used to work at PG&E; so these are offered by way of some direct experience.
1. Alberta & Southern Gas Co. Ltd., in Calgary, was a wholly owned subsidiary of PG&E. It was a natural gas aggregator (I think that is the correct nomenclature) -- purchasing and gathering up gas supply contracts for resale to the pipeline. Alberta Natural Gas co-owned a gas transmission pipeline with Pacific Gas Transmission, another wholly-owned subsidiary of PG&E. I am not certain of the role of Westcoast Transmission. I found a news article that highlights some of this -- it goes back a long way and more research should be conducted to make sure. You can find it at
2. The time line for Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant (DCNPP) is very complex. As I understand it, the original Unit 1 license had the plant scheduled to go online in the 1971 to 1973 timeframe, and many of the old-timers I met told me that most of the plant had been completed in 1976. The delays in issuing the license involved procedural issues, new studies of seismic issues and other environmental impacts. The plant was issued a license to begin operations in 1981 -- but it was delayed again when an employee discovered that some portions of superstructure supporting the cooling system had been designed incorrectly. This has sometimes been referred to as the mirror-image blueprint problem. Apparently, one layer of the blueprints was reversed so that the struts supporting pipes to the cooling system were placed incorrectly. This resulted in a severe loss of face, for the NRC which had claimed it had inspected and approved the plant, and for PG&E, which for most of the latter half of the 1970s insisted the plant was perfect and was simply waiting to be turned on.
After that public relations disaster, the NRC ordered a third party to take over as the construction project manager and reopened hearings into the plant's design, which lasted two years.
This is a long-winded way of suggesting that the article may be too kind in suggesting that delays were due solely to concerns over the environment as well as seismic safety. In other words, there had been a severe loss of trust in both PG&E and the NRC, and hearings and a very detailed and very expensive design inspection delayed the plant's operation between 1981 and the final re-issuance of the low power test license in 1984 or so.
I don't have access to the Economist's article you reference. It would be useful to see how, in 1981, the editors there treated this incident.
3. There were many other plants and pipelines planned by PG&E in these decades: the Mendocino Nuclear Power Plant, the Stanislaus River Nuclear Power Plant, a very large and controversial coal power station that was to be constructed on the Nevada border (but which had to be scuttled for two reasons -- a decline in electricity demand, and the increasing pressure on PG&E's financial health caused by delays of DCNPP project), as well as the Helms Pumped Storage project.
I hope this information is helpful. I would like to see this era of the company expanded more, as well as the creation of a separate section on the company's activities during the period between 1984 -- when DNCPP went online and gas deregulation was instituted -- and 1996, when AB 1890 deregulated in the California electricity market.
I believe, also, the company has entered a new era as a result of the gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno in 2010.

Bancheromedia (talk) 00:38, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Rates section[edit]

This section was is outdated and all the fonts were in bold. I removed it following a suggestion by Magnolia677 (talk). If anyone feels up to summarizing and wikifying this I kept it all together here: Oceanflynn (talk) 21:18, 17 April 2016 (UTC)


PG&E Rate Baseline Structure by Territories
Rates depend on Territory Baseline, and Season
Territories and baselines are set by California Public Utility Commission

Summer Winter Summer Winter Summer Winter
Tier 1 Tier 1 Tier 1 Tier 1 Tier 1 Tier 1
Code B Code B Code H Code H

P 15.3 12.7 18.0 33.9 0.49 2.18
Q 7.5 11.7 19.1 19.3 0.69 2.05
R 17.1 11.7 20.9 30.2 0.69 1.79
S 15.3 12.0 18.0 28.6 0.49 1.95
T 7.5 9.1 9.1 16.8 0.69 1.79
V 12.0 13.6 9.4 33.4 0.72 1.72
W 18.5 10.9 23.5 22.8 0.49 1.79
X 11.0 11.7 10.3 19.3 0.62 2.05
Y 11.7 13.2 14.1 30.7 0.88 2.64
Z 7.9 10.6 11.2 22.5 0.88 2.64
Average 12.38 11.72 15.36 25.75 0.66 2.06
All baseline amounts are per day
Baselines used on bills are calculated by multiplying territorial base rate by days in billing cycle
The territory you are in is determined by a map set by CPUC [10]
The territory is the fourth letter/space/number of Rate Schedule on bills; ex.: G1 X=Terr. X
Code B refers to regular residential customers
Code H refers to customers with electrical heat
Summer rates apply from April 1 - October 31 for gas
Summer rates apply from May 1 - October 31 for electrical charges
Rates as of August 2012
Tier 1 rates apply from 0%-100% Baseline = $0.12845/kWh,
Tier 2 charges from 101% - 130% of Baseline = $0.14605/kWh (114% Base.)
Tier 3 charges from 131% - 200% of Baseline = $0.29561/kWh (230% Base.)
Tier 4 charges apply over 201% of Baseline = $0.33561/kWh (261% Base.)
Tier 5 charges now apply over 300% of Baseline (same charges as Tier 4)
Electric charges are sum of electrical use in each tier. Tiers based on Terr. baselines.
The CARE rates are 68% to 28% of regular electrical rates and 80% of gas rates.
All territories with less than average baselines are subsidizing those with above average baselines
There are only two tiers for natural gas rates: less than and in excess of baseline
Gas rates above baseline usage are charged at 160% of baseline rates
See:PG&E map of baseline territories set by CPUC[2]
2013 PG&E electrical rates are:[3]
Tier 1 (usage up to baseline amount) $0.13230 kWh;
Tier 2 (between 101-130% of baseline amount) $0.15040 kWh;
Tier 3 (between 131%-200% of baseline amount) $0.30025 kWh;
Tier 4 (over 200% of baseline amount) $0.34025 kWh

2015 PG&E electrical rates are:[4]
Tier 1 (usage up to baseline amount) $0.16700 kWh;
Tier 2 (between 101-130% of baseline amount) $0.19824 kWh;
Tier 3 (between 131%-200% of baseline amount) $0.25200 kWh;
Tier 4 (over 200% of baseline amount) $0.32088 kWh

Territory baselines are set according to areas of the state called "climate zones" that have similar climate and energy needs. The California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) must establish a reasonable minimum amount of electricity needed by people for each region, which is called "baseline" and is adjusted according to season and type of heating used (electrical or gas). Electrical charges depend on tier baseline and usage above the baseline(s). The first two lowest tiers are limited by state law not to increase more than 1% above the inflation rate, and never more than 5% per year. Because PG&E's cost of service has increased faster than this formula allows, much of the cost increases of the utility are pushed into the higher tiers 3 and 4. The billing cycle baseline is the number of days in the billing cycle multiplied by the baseline usage per day. The total charge is the usage in each tier multiplied by the rate in each tier. For example, if the billing cycle was 30 days and the tier baseline (BL) for your territory (Q) with a summer baseline of 7.5 kWh/da × 30 = 225 kWh (=BL) for the billing cycle. The first tier applies for usage up to the baseline, the second tier applies from (1.30*BL - BL), the third tier applies from (2.00*BL - 1.30*BL) and fourth (and higher tiers) apply for all usage over 2.0*BL. The electric bill in territory Q for 800 kWh in a 30-day billing cycle would be = $28.901Tier1 + $9.49185Tier2 + $69.394Tier3 + $117.46Tier4 = $202.78. As can be seen most of the cost is due to usage in Tier 3 and 4 and energy saving practices or more efficient appliances, lighting, etc. should be considered to reduce usage out of these tiers. Gas charges would be calculated similarly except there are only two tiers, usage below the baseline and usage above the baseline.

PG&E profits are not dependent upon sales. PG&E rates are set by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The profit the CPUC allows PG&E to earn is "decoupled" from the amount of natural gas and electricity it sells and its cost of operations.

The capital investments made in natural gas pipelines, power plants, and electric transmission wires and from incentives earned by achieving energy efficiency targets set by the CPUC determine allowable rates. Shareholders invest in PG&E because the utility is allowed by the CPUC a given rate of return that supports the value of its shares and allows for dividend distributions to share holders. Because PG&E's rate of return is set at 10.4%, well above the real cost of capital and stock market returns for other companies,it has the incentive to make more capital investments than an unregulated company, and incentives for efficiency in areas such as real estate, information technology, and smart grid projects are limited to non-existent.

The CPUC has set up the rates for different territories and types of residential customers. The complicated territory boundaries and "customer definitions" have been in place since the 1980s. Like nearly all regulated utilities PG&E does not have incentives to be more cost efficient, give better service etc., in hopes of getting more customers or lowering the price the customers pay. It is unclear whether their territorial based rate structure really saves in energy use as it subsidizes those with high gas and electrical usage with higher than average baselines. Those with less than average baselines pay for this subsidy. One good result of the tiered charges are that there is strong incentives to use solar panels, etc. to lower the electrical usage out of the top tiers rate structure. Paying $0.34 per kWh makes an investment in solar panels etc. pay off much sooner.

The prices charged relate to the cost of making, transporting electricity plus an allowed return on invested capital and is adjusted at least annually by the CPUC. New or upgrade facilities have to be approved by the CPUC to get incorporated in the allowable rate structure. The average price of natural gas that PG&E has to pay for, the cost of the distribution system and the cost of long term storage systems is reflected in the bill to the customer. Any additional charges are eventually paid for by the consumer—of course.

In 2013 the average cost of residential electricity for PG&E was about $0.15/kWh (PG&E, 2013). However, this average cost is allocated to customers through a set of complex rate structures, including discount rates for low income customers, and higher rates for customers that use significantly more than average for their climate zone. —the average in the other states is about $0.1151/kWh.[5] Industrial and Commercial users of electricity pay an average of $0.1377/kWh and Agricultural users pay $0.1327/kWh in California. Residential customers consume 31,234 GWh per year. Commercial users consume 32,989 GWh per year, Industrial users 14,804 GWh per year, Agriculture 5,804 GWh per year with the rest (about 1%) an assortment of miscellaneous categories.[6]

PG&E has started introducing Prices Per Period (PPP) where the rates vary by the time of day. Usage during peak usage periods costs more and usage at slack periods is at a minimum. This is done to minimize usage during peak usage periods to reduce the cost of adding new peak load generators, brown outs, etc. These plans are well underway with commercial users and will probably soon be introduced to residential customers.

In 2012 PG&E applyied a special economic development electricity rate that would offer California counties who are suffering from high unemployment lower energy bills.[7]

Upcoming Rate Changes:[8]

As now approved by the CPUC there are a new set of rates that will have the effect of changing the number of tiers and flattening the rate structure. The current cost ratios for the four tiers in Oct 2015 is: 1:1.27:1.67:2:07. Starting about Nov. 2015 this will change to 1:1.34:1.56:1.94.

In 2016 the number of tiers will be cut to three with a cost ratio for the three tiers of: 1:1.4:1.76. Whether there will be different power ratings on these tiers is not known.

In 2017 there will again be three tiers with a cost ratio for the three tiers with tier 2 costing 1.49 times baseline as much and a new tier 3 of 1.88*base line rate for so called "super users" consuming more than 400% of baseline power.

In 2018 there will again be three tiers with a cost ratio for the three tiers with tier 2 costing 1.44 times baseline as much and a new tier 3 of 1.88*base line rate for so called "super users" consuming more than 400% of baseline power.

In 2019 there will again be three tiers with a cost ratio for the three tiers with tier 2 costing 1.25 times baseline as much and a new tier 3 of 1.88*base line rate for so called "super users" consuming more than 400% of baseline power.

Sometime, in late 2015, minimum monthly bills of $10 will be charged for most customers, and $5 for low-income customers enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy program. This will mainly affect solar power users with battery power options who now use little or no grid generated electricity.

On Jan. 1, 2019, all customers will be automatically enrolled in "time-of-use" electricity rates where rates vary by time of use. The idea is to shift electricity use away from times when demand is highest. This should ease strain on the power grid and limit the need for expensive "peaker" plants now needed for peak user demands.


  1. ^ PG&E rate structure and territories (see Map) [1] Accessed 5 Sept 2011
  2. ^ PG&E baseline territories set by CPUC [2] accessed 22 Apr 2013
  3. ^ PG&E 2013 rate schedule [3] accessed 22 Apr 2013
  4. ^ PG&E 2013 rate schedule [4] accessed 24 Oct 2015
  5. ^ Average cost of electricity (EIA data) [5] Accessed 10 Oct 2010
  6. ^ Average PG&E usage and rates: SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Filing 10-K; Feb 19,2010; p.22 [6] 2010 data at SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Filing 10-K; Feb 17,2011; p.24 [7] Accessed 10 Oct 2011.
  7. ^ The Daily Energy Report. "Why General Electric Invests Billions In Solar". 
  8. ^ New 2015+ rates [8] Accessed 22 Oct 2015