December 21, 2000
ROSEMEAD, Calif., Dec. 21, 2000-Southern California Edison reacted to today's California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) interim decision by stating that it wished the commission had acted more decisively but would work with the commission to take definitive action to address the current crisis by Jan. 4, 2001.
The company said it was encouraged by the language in the CPUC's interim decision that committed the commission to:
"…take expedited actions to fulfill our statutory obligations to ensure that the utilities can provide service at just and reasonable rates. In our view, that mandate means that we must avoid continuing conditions that may jeopardize the utilities' creditworthiness and their ability to continue to procure energy on behalf of customers. Therefore, we believe that retail rates in California must begin to rise. It is our intent to maintain the utilities' access to capital on reasonable terms. We recognize that this will require that we act expeditiously to address the new FERC-imposed reality of unlimited wholesale prices."
Nevertheless, SCE underscored that any solution to the current crisis requires prompt, meaningful and final action by the commission ending the rate freeze, providing for the recovery of procurement costs, and increasing rates to a level that will restore the creditworthiness of California's investor-owned utilities.
SCE added that it anticipated announcing additional cost-reduction and cash-preservation measures in the near term that would be necessary to protect the company's financial integrity while maintaining customer service.
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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 11 million via 4.3 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.