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DRA Cuts Costs Through Russell City Settlement

SAN FRANCISCO, April 17, 2009 – The Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA), an independent consumer advocacy division of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), has successfully reduced the cost to ratepayers of a major Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) power purchase agreement.

Yesterday the CPUC approved a settlement between DRA, PG&E, Russell City Energy Company (RCEC), The Utility Reform Network, and California Unions for Reliable Energy. Fueled by DRA's effective representation before the CPUC, the settlement substantially reduces the cost of a planned natural gas power plant, saving ratepayers millions of dollars, while boosting ratepayer protections against potential future development delays.

The CPUC's decision paves the way for RCEC to build a 601 MW combined cycle facility in Hayward. When completed, the plant will serve the transmission-constrained Bay Area at a price that is competitive with market alternatives. RCEC anticipates development will be completed by June 2012.

“The Russell City settlement is an example of DRA's dedicated commitment to protecting ratepayers in today's volatile energy markets,” said DRA Director Dana Appling. “Without DRA's effective advocacy, ratepayers would be paying higher rates for electricity at a time when customers are struggling to pay for everyday needs.”

For more information on DRA, please visit www.dra.ca.gov.

Media Contacts:

Sepideh Khosrowjah, Policy Advisor, 415-703-1190, skh@cpuc.ca.gov

Tom Hall, Information Officer, 916-324-8685, news@cpuc.ca.gov

DRA Press Room: http://www.dra.ca.gov/DRA/News/releases.htm

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