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California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
_________________________________________________________________________________FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, firstname.lastname@example.org Docket #: R.09-07-029
CPUC APPROVES ALLOCATION OF REFUNDS TO NATURAL GAS CUSTOMERS OVERCHARGED DURING ENERGY CRISIS
SAN FRANCISCO, January 21, 2010 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today approved allocation of approximately $113 million to natural gas customers arising from settlements approved by the San Diego Superior Court to address scarcity in the natural gas market in 2000-2001 and manipulation of the published price of natural gas from 1999-2002.
Settlement funds will be distributed to the customers of the following utilities in these percentages:
· Pacific Gas and Electric Company: 46.7%
· Southern California Gas Company: 31.49%
· San Diego Gas and Electric Company: 14.42%
· Long Beach Gas and Oil Department: 4.07%
· South West Gas: 3.32%
Proceeds will be returned to the respective utility's customers through a one-time credit to the procurement rates for each utility.
"The settlements were a great win for natural gas customers," said Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon. "Our action today guarantees that customers impacted by inappropriate actions during the energy crisis will finally receive some form of compensation for their distress."
The proceeds are a result of settlements in two groups of cases. One group of cases relate to civil suits filed in 2000 alleging that major pipeline companies conspired to create a scarcity in the natural gas delivery market, which contributed to the energy crisis of 2000-2001. The other group of cases relate to a set of civil cases filed in 2003, which alleged that traders of natural gas manipulated the published price of natural gas in the California market from 1999 to 2002.
The proposal voted on is available at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/Published/Graphics/112415.pdf.
For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.