Review of Pacific Gas and Electric's Application to Establish a Voluntary Climate Protection Program and Tariff Option

The Utility Reform Network
Completed August 2006.

Synapse reviewed PG&E’s application to establish a voluntary customer climate protection program.  Synapse made the following determinations:  1) PG&E shareholders would likely benefit from such a program, and 2) there would be greater customer participation in the program if PG&E shareholders participated in the funding for the program.  Given these findings, Synapse recommended that PG&E pay for most of the marketing and administration costs associated with the proposed program.  In addition, Synapse recommended that PG&E pursue the option of making the monthly voluntary customer contributions tax deductible.  As a result of Synapse’s testimony, the Commission ruled to share marketing and administration costs 50/50 between non-participant and participant ratepayers, to require PG&E shareholders to guarantee 1.5 million tons of CO2 reductions regardless of subscriptions to the program, and to adopt certain ratemaking treatment preferred by TURN.  In addition, the Commission directed PG&E to further explore the tax deductibility issue. Project completed in August 2006.