June 15, 2004
To support California's economic recovery, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to approve enhancements to its Economic Development Incentive Rate, which is aimed at promoting business retention, job creation, and economic growth in northern and central California.
The incentive rate is designed to attract and retain large commercial and industrial businesses in the company's service area that have an opportunity to locate outside of California.
Participating customers would receive a 25-percent reduction on electricity bills in the first year, which would drop by five percent for each of the next four years—20 percent in the second year, 15 percent in the third, 10 percent in the fourth, and five percent in the fifth.
This enhanced rate would replace the company's existing Experimental Economic Development Rate, which has been in place since 1990, but has been much narrower in scope. It currently provides a smaller incentive and is only available to attract certain types of large businesses to state-designated Enterprise Zones and Recycling Market Development Zones.
The proposed rate structure is available to commercial and industrial customers in PG&E's service area that use at least 200 kW. The business development staff of the state Office of California Business Investment Services will review applications and determine if businesses qualify for the incentive rate in consultation with PG&E. To be eligible, a customer must also consider the incentive rate as a material factor in the customer's decision to add or retain electric load in California.
The next steps are for the CPUC to review and approve the proposed rate. Pending CPUC approval, the new rate could be implemented and available to qualified customers within 6 to 12 months.