2024 Business, Government & Society Forum Closing Conversation

2024 Business, Government & Society Forum Closing Conversation

PG&E's Commitment to Safety

  • Patty Poppe, CEO of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), emphasized the importance of creating a culture of safety at PG&E, stating that every job and action must consider potential risks and have built-in safety buffers.
  • PG&E is committed to safety and continuously working to improve safety measures.
  • The company prioritizes safety, reliability, affordability, and environmental sustainability.
  • Undergrounding power lines in high-fire-risk areas is part of PG&E's plan to reduce wildfire risk and improve safety.

PG&E's Investment in Infrastructure

  • PG&E plans to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure to address extreme weather conditions caused by climate change.
  • Undergrounding can reduce maintenance costs and improve reliability, leading to lower costs for customers in the long run.
  • PG&E attracts capital from the capital markets to invest in infrastructure, which allows the company to spread out the cost and keep bills stable.

Balancing Customer and Investor Interests

  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of balancing the interests of customers and investors in the utility industry.
  • Contrary to popular belief, higher rates are not necessarily in the best interest of investors. Investors prioritize reasonable rates that regulators are more likely to approve, ensuring the security of their investments.

California's Decarbonization Efforts

  • California's decarbonization efforts present an opportunity to reduce household energy spending by 30% while simultaneously decarbonizing the economy by 70%.
  • The transition to an electrified economy can lead to cost savings because electricity is more efficient than gasoline.

Energy Policies in California

  • Patty Poppe discusses the energy policies in California, particularly the net energy metering (NEM) and the fixed charge.
  • NEM initially incentivized investment in solar energy but has become a subsidy that burdens non-solar customers with higher bills.
  • The fixed charge is introduced to equalize the utilization of distributed resources and reflect the ongoing maintenance costs of the grid.
  • The fixed charge has three tiers that match the existing income-graduated rate structure.
  • Community solar programs will be explored to provide access to clean energy for those without rooftop solar or the means to invest in solar.
  • The state has taken steps to extend the operation of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, recognizing its value as a baseload carbon-free energy source.

PG&E's Commitment to the Community

  • Patty Poppe emphasizes the commitment of PG&E employees to safety and serving the community, recalling a tragic incident involving a wildfire and a family's loss.

Overwhelmed by Endless Content?