Skip to Main Content

2019 Vault Rankings

About PG&e Corporation

PG&E is California's largest energy utility, serving millions of consumers and businesses in central and northern portions of the state. The company's main operating subsidiary, Pacific Gas and Electric, serves more than 5.4 million electricity customers and 4.5 million natural gas customers. It operates about 125,000 miles of power lines and nearly 50,000 miles of natural gas pipelines. PG&E annually delivers about 80,000 GWh of electricity to its millions of end users, primarily from its 135 power generation facilities. Facing massive wildfire liabilities, PG&E and Pacific Gas and Electric filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2019.

Bankruptcy

PG&E and subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2019 after looking at $30 billion in liabilities related to wildfires in 2017 and 2018. Investigators determined that PG&E equipment caused the 2018 Camp Fire, which killed 85 people and destroyed 14,000 homes. The future of the company is uncertain as it deals with lawsuits from victims, bankers, government entities, and insurance companies alleging failure to properly maintain power lines. 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. 

Operations

PG&E's electric utility operations account for a majority (about 75%) of revenue. The utility's power network consists of approximately 107,000 circuit miles of distribution lines and 18,000 circuit miles of transmission lines. 

PG&E has 7,700 MW of generating capacity its 135 power plants, which include nuclear, fossil-fueled, hydroelectric, and solar facilities. When customer demand exceeds capacity, it purchases power through long-term agreements with third-party providers. About 40% of its delivered electricity comes from renewable sources. PG&E operates the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant (2,200 MW), which is scheduled for retirement around 2025 due to age and a shift towards renewable power sources. 

The company's gas utility operations (25% of sales) include 42,000 miles of distribution pipelines, more than 6,000 miles of transmission pipelines, and various storage facilities. PG&E procures its gas supply through contracts with various gas transportation companies.

Geographic Reach

San Francisco-based PG&E serves customers across a 70,000-sq.-mi. service territory in central and northern California. Its service area includes San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Sacramento. PG&E owns about 160,000 acres of land, the majority of which are watershed lands.

Sales and Marketing

PG&E has a diversified customer base, reducing its reliance on any one consumer segment. Residential and commercial customers each account for about 40% of PG&E's power sales, followed by industrial and agricultural customers (about 10% each). About 50% of gas sales come from bundled transmission and distribution services to residential customers, while small commercial bundled customers account for 15%. Transportation-only services for large commercial and industrial customers (including power plants) account for 30% of gas sales; these customers must purchase gas from a third party but receive delivery, metering, and billing services from PG&E. 

Though PG&E is the primary supplier in its territory, the company faces some competition from other energy providers under California's deregulation rules. Through direct access laws, some customers can purchase electricity or gas from third-party suppliers, which then use the company's transmission and distribution network to disperse the power or gas. Additionally, customers are increasingly adopting distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar installations, that reduce dependence on utility-provided power.

Financial Performance

PG&E has reported relatively flat revenue growth in recent years as the company has faced declining electricity usage and increasing wildfire-related costs that led to its bankruptcy filing in 2019. The company reported revenue increases in 2014 and 2016 but declining sales in 2015, 2017, and 2018. Overall, revenue has decreased about 2% over the past five years. Net income has also fluctuated but showed positive overall growth until 2018, when the company reported staggering losses.

Revenue declined 2% in 2018 to $16.8 billion. Electric operating revenue declined 3% due to lower power consumption across residential and commercial customer bases, while gas revenue increased 1% on higher sales of transportation-only services, despite lower residential usage.

The company reported a net loss of $6.8 billion in 2018, down from profits of $1.7 billion in 2017. The loss stemmed from $14 billion in special charges on liabilities related to 2017 and 2018 wildfires, offset by $2.2 billion in insurance recoveries, a $3.3 billion income tax benefit (related to the 2017 Tax Act), and other income. The company estimates the fires could result in more than $30 billion in total liabilities.

PG&E ended 2018 with $1.7 billion in cash, an increase of $1.2 billion from 2017. Operating activities contributed $4.8 billion, while investing activities used $6.6 billion (mostly on capital expenditures). Financing activities contributed $3 billion due to increased borrowings under revolving credit facilities.

Strategy

Following staggering wildfire-related losses in 2018, PG&E is focused on improving the safety of its power lines (which have sparked numerous fires in recent years) and on maintaining reliable utility services while reorganizing under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In addition to restoring power to communities impacted by fires, the company is conducting aggressive vegetation-removal programs and enhanced safety inspections of transmission towers, poles, and lines in fire-prone regions. It is also replacing aging equipment and investing in real-time monitoring tools including weather stations and high-definition cameras. 

The company is working with regulators and other stakeholders to secure capital and resources necessary to invest in infrastructure and safety improvements while operating under bankruptcy protection. It seeks to expedite fair resolution of wildfire-related claims.

The company has also been working to improve gas pipeline safety following a major explosion in 2010 in San Bruno, California. Infrastructure upgrades include automatic and remote control shut-off valves, hydrostatic testing, and in-line inspection tools. The company was placed on corporate probation in 2017 as part of a criminal trial sentence related to the explosion.

PG&E is adjusting its power generation mix to comply with recent California clean energy laws. By 2030, 60% of total retail sales from utilities like PG&E must come from renewable sources. During 2018 about 40% of the company's retail sales came from renewable deliveries generated by solar, wind, geothermal, biopower, and hydroelectric. The company is decommissioning its aging nuclear plant and investing in new power technologies. 

The company is also working to adopt smart grid technologies. Modernized electricity transmission and distribution assets are needed to enable adoption of renewable energy resources (such as wind and solar farms that produce fluctuating power levels), distributed energy resources (on-site generators requiring two-way energy flows), demand response technologies, energy storage, and other power advancements.

Company Background

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) was formed through the 1905 consolidation of utilities California Electric Light (founded in 1879) and San Francisco Gas & Electric (SFG&E, founded in 1896). 

The utility began developing nuclear and geothermal power plants in the 1950s and 60s. By the late 1970s PG&E had acquired some 500 electric, gas, and water utilities, but it left the water business in the 1980s. PG&E formed an independent power producer, which became U.S. Generating, with construction giant Bechtel. In 1995, as deregulation accelerated in California, the company formed an energy services division to serve large customers.

PG&E Corporation was formed as a holding company in 1997, and utility Pacific Gas and Electric became a subsidiary. 

As its home state deregulated in 1998, PG&E was required to sell off most of its California power plants. In 1999 the company divested its Texas gas operations and most of its retail marketing arm (PG&E Services).

A price squeeze brought on in part by deregulation led to Pacific Gas and Electric's 2001 bankruptcy filing; the utility completed its reorganization in 2004.

In 2010 one of the Pacific Gas and Electric's major gas transmission lines ruptured in San Bruno, near San Francisco, causing a major fire, loss of life, and destruction of, or damage to, scores of homes.

PG&e Corporation

77 BEALE ST
San Francisco, CA 94105-1814
Phone: 1 (415) 973-1000

Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: PCG
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
SVP and CIO, Pacific Gas and Electric Company: Karen A. Austin
Chairman: Anthony F. Earley
President and CEO: Geisha J. Williams
Employees (This Location): 20
Employees (All Locations): 24,000

Major Office Locations

San Francisco, CA

Other Locations

Antioch, CA
Auberry, CA
Auburn, CA
Avenal, CA
Avila Beach, CA
Bakersfield, CA
Chico, CA
Clovis, CA
Concord, CA
Daly City, CA
Davis, CA
Dinuba, CA
Downieville, CA
Eureka, CA
Fairfield, CA
Fremont, CA
Fresno, CA
Fulton, CA
Garberville, CA
Grass Valley, CA
Hayward, CA
Hinkley, CA
Jackson, CA
Livermore, CA
Loomis, CA
Los Banos, CA
Magalia, CA
Manton, CA
Marysville, CA
Milpitas, CA
Modesto, CA
Monterey, CA
Needles, CA
Newman, CA
Oakdale, CA
Oakland, CA
Paradise, CA
Petaluma, CA
Pioneer, CA
Pismo Beach, CA
Placerville, CA
Redding, CA
Sacramento, CA
San Carlos, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
San Luis Obispo, CA
San Mateo, CA
Santa Rosa, CA
Stockton, CA
Templeton, CA
Ukiah, CA
Vallejo, CA
Walnut Creek, CA
West Sacramento, CA
Willits, CA
Willows, CA
Washington, DC
Monroe Bridge, MA
Seattle, WA