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Charges From PG&E Come Under Fire
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A grassroots organization of Oakdale, Escalon, Ripon, and Riverbank neighborhood groups are planning to meet at the Oakdale Community Center this evening, Wednesday, July 23, to gather information regarding Pacific Gas and Electric Company's planned 'New Municipal Departing Load' (NMDL) charges.

Some 337 homeowners are affected by the charges in Escalon; 250 more in Riverbank.

Homeowners in Oakdale's Bridle Ridge, The Vineyard, and The Reserve neighborhoods received letters from Pacific Gas and Electric and the Modesto Irrigation District (MID) in April indicating homes receiving their electrical power from MID would be liable for payments to Pacific Gas and Electric under a decision by the state California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

In the letter, PG&E stated they and the State of California incurred costs during electric industry restructuring and California's energy crisis, and that "state law and a series of decisions by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) require that you remain subject to a proportionate share of the costs that were incurred on your behalf."

According to PG&E, these costs are known as departing load charges, and will cost the typical ratepayer $9 a month.

PG&E indicated the CPUC requires them to bill MID customers for these costs.

In a subsequent letter, Tom Kimball, Assistant General Manager of MID, told residents that PG&E had successfully argued to the CPUC that they had incurred costs in anticipation of providing electric service to MID customers. He said these costs, as well as certain fees associated with the energy crisis of 2001, are included in the NMDL charges.