2019 Vault Rankings
From Silicon Valley to the Sonoma Coast to the Sierra Nevada mountain range, PG&E keeps the lights on and the machines humming for millions of California consumers and businesses. The company's
PG&E in 2019 is bracing for bankruptcy after looking at $30 billion in liabilities related to wildfires in 2017 and 2018. Investigators have not yet determined if PG&E equipment caused the 2018 Camp Fire, which killed 86 people. The company has secured $5.5 billion in credit (debtor-in-possession financing) to fund the process, which it expects to last up to two years.
For purposes of financial reporting the company operates as a single segment, although operationally PG&E is primarily segmented into gas and electric divisions. About 80% of the company’s revenue comes from its electricity operations and 20% comes from the gas unit.
PG&E has the capacity to produce 7,700 MW of electricity from its more than 100 power plants. It generates power using nuclear, fossil fuels, hydroelectric and other renewables. When customer demand exceeds its capacity to generate electricity it purchases power through long-term agreements with third party providers. About one third of its delivered electricity comes from renewable sources.
The utility’s electricity distribution network consists of approximately 142,000 circuit miles of electric distribution lines, 18,400 circuit miles of interconnected transmission lines, 42,800 miles of natural gas distribution pipelines, and more than 6,700 miles of transportation pipelines and storage facilities. PG&E operates the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, which is scheduled for retirement around 2025 due to age and a move towards a more renewables-focused generation portfolio.
San Francisco-based PG&E serves customers across a 70,000-square mile service area in northern and central California. Its service area includes San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Sacramento. PG&E owns more than 165,000 acres of land, the majority of which are watershed lands.
Sales and Marketing
PG&E supplies its products through distribution lines and distribution substations to entities such as municipal carriers, companies, other utilities, and residential end-users.
The California Public Utilities Commission regulates state-wide utility service areas. In the areas in which PG&E operates it is typically the sole provider of gas and electric services, although niche projects such as residential solar may present negligible competition.
In recent years PG&E’s revenue climbed steadily from $13.4 billion in 2009 to nearly $18.0 billion. In the same period net income delivered results between $800 million and $1.4 billion.
In 2016, the utility generated $17.7 billion in revenue, up 5% from 2015’s $16.8 billion, due to incremental revenues of $700 million authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission to account for the recovery of certain capital expenditures from 2014-2015, and $425 million for an authorized increase in the base rate that PG&E charges its customers. Although revenue increased, deliveries of electricity fell in the year by 2.8 GWh, or 3.3%.
Net income soared 58% in 2016, to $1.4 billion compared to 2015’s $888 million, due to higher revenue and lower input costs for electricity and natural gas, both of which were partially offset by higher operating & maintenance costs.
Cash increased by $54 million in 2016, following several years of declines. Cash from operating activities increased 17% year over year to $4.4 billion and from financing activities it fell 16% to a still positive $1.2 billion. Cash from investing activities was $5.5 billion.
Safety and reliability is a key concern (and a cause for concern) for PG&E. The company continues to be under third-party oversight following the 2010 explosion of a pipeline in San Bruno, California, that resulted in multiple casualties. In addition, PG&E is being sued over deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018 that also resulted in deaths and the mass destruction of property. If it is found liable, the company could be on the hook for billions of dollars in damages. Reports surfaced in early 2019 that PG&E was considering bankruptcy protection for itself and/or its Pacific Gas and Electric subsidiary as a preemptive action; the company has not officially responded to the reports.
Following the San Bruno accident, PG&E had already completed several safety upgrades to its gas pipeline infrastructure, including installing 268 automatic and remote control shut-off values, hydrostatically testing more than 800 miles of the pipeline transmission system, and implementing in-line inspection tools in 260 miles of pipeline (which required associated infrastructure upgrades). Additional efforts are planned for several more years.
Beyond its safety focus, another key company objective comes from a California state regulation that requires an aggressive push into clean, renewable energy. Also, the firm is working to ensure customer affordability of its services by keeping its pricing roughly in line with inflation.
In 2016, over 60% of PG&E’s electric supply came from non-greenhouse gas emitting facilities, nearly double the US average. A 2015 California state law requires 50% of total retail sales from utilities like PG&E must come from renewable sources by 2030. During 2016 more than 32% of the company’s total retail sales came from renewable deliveries generated by wind, solar, geothermal, bio-power, and hydroelectric. To ensure the firm maintains the 50% goal after 2030, PG&E needs to adjust its mix of energy sources and to that end has applied to decommission its Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. PG&E has more than 300,000 solar customers and provides charging for more than 125,000 electric vehicles. It is spending over $100 million across three years to support light-duty electric vehicles and is awaiting a response for its request to spend over $200 million over five years for medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles.
To ensure customer affordability PG&E’s other strategic goal is to keep price increases in line with inflation, which it has achieved since 1991. As the number of unbundled customers (mainly those generating their own power with, for example, solar panels) grows, there is a potential for price rises for remaining customers. To ameliorate the price effect, the company is adjusting, for example, its rate structures by charging lower rates during non-peak times and by charging unbundled customers some connectivity fees. PG&E continues to revise its portfolio of electricity sources to obtain the lowest costs. It believes its smart grid and infrastructure improvements will keep its operating costs under control.
77 BEALE ST
San Francisco, CA 94105-1814
Phone: 1 (415) 973-1000
Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: PCG
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
Chairman: Anthony F. Earley
SVP and CFO: Jason P. Wells
President and CEO: Geisha J. Williams
Employees (This Location): 20
Employees (All Locations): 24,000
San Francisco, CA
Avila Beach, CA
Daly City, CA
Grass Valley, CA
Los Banos, CA
Pismo Beach, CA
San Carlos, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
San Luis Obispo, CA
San Mateo, CA
Santa Rosa, CA
Walnut Creek, CA
West Sacramento, CA
Monroe Bridge, MA