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PG&E increases its annual payment to city

By David Scharfenberg, Daily Planet staff
Saturday April 06, 2002

Pacific Gas & Electric announced this week that its annual payment to the city for use of public roads to run gas and electric service is $842,000, a $175,000 increase over last year. 

“We’re happy to make the payment to Berkeley,” said PG&E spokesman Jason Alderman. “It has an impact on the city’s ability to fund its basic services.” 

Statewide, according to a PG&E statement, the company will make $145 million in “franchise fee” payments to the 290 cities and counties it services, a 44 percent increase over last year. 

The payments are based on PG&E revenues, and the company’s revenue increased from $9.6 billion in 2000 to $10.5 billion in 2001, according to Alderman, accounting for the rise in franchise fee payments. 

According to a PG&E statement, the increase in revenues last year is largely due to escalating energy costs during last year’s energy crisis. 

The increase in the Berkeley payment is lower than the statewide increase, said Alderman, because money is doled out on a city-by-city basis, according to revenues in each municipality. 

Alderman said Berkeley likely consumed less energy than other cities because it had smaller population growth, and possibly, better energy conservation. 

Deputy City Manager Phil Kamlarz said the payment matched city expectations.