Pacific Gas and Electric


Energy and Utilities  

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, incorporated in California in 1905, is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, the company is a subsidiary of PG&E CorporationOpens in new Window. In 2022, PG&E will be relocating its headquarters across San Francisco Bay to Oakland, California.

There are approximately 23,000 employees who carry out Pacific Gas and Electric Company's primary business, the transmission and delivery of energy. The company provides natural gas and electric service to approximately 16 million people throughout a 70,000-square-mile service area in northern and central California.


1905: Over the next half-century, the company merges with rival energy pioneers and competitors to form new companies, ultimately concluding in the merger of the San Francisco Gas and Electric Company and the California Gas and Electric Corporation to form Pacific Gas and Electric Company in 1905. 

1906: PG&E purchased the Sacramento Electric, Gas and Railway Company and took control of its railway operations in and around Sacramento.

1912: PG&E began to increase its hydroelectric capacity.

1914: By this year PG&E was the largest integrated utility system on the Pacific Coast.

1915: The Sacramento City Street Railway began operating under the Pacific Gas & Electric name, and its track and services subsequently expanded.

1918: The gas industry market structure was dramatically altered by the discovery of massive natural gas fields throughout the American Southwest beginning of the year.

1927: By the end of the year, PG&E had nearly one million customers and provided electricity to 300 Northern Californian communities.

1930: In March, PG&E acquired a controlling interest in San Joaquin and Great Western North America in exchange for $114 million in PG&E stock. The company enjoyed monopoly status when it bought Great Western Power Co. PG&E began delivering natural gas to San Francisco and northern California this year. PG&E purchased majority stock holdings in two major Californian utility systems—Great Western Power and San Joaquin Light and Power—from The North American Company, a New York investment firm.

1935: PG&E consolidated the operations of the companies it had bought.

1936: PG&E expanded distribution with an additional 45-mile pipeline from Milpitas.

1943: PG&E sold the rail service to Pacific City Lines, which was later acquired by National City Lines.

1945: A request remained unresolved until 1945 when the North American Company sold off stocks that brought its ownership to below 10%. The SEC then ruled that PG&E was not a subsidiary of the North American Company.

1946: In this year alone, 1,200 industries announce plans for new or expanded facilities in the utility’s service area.

1947: PG&E entered into a contract with the Southern California Gas Company and the Southern Counties Gas Company to purchase natural gas through a new 1,000-mile pipeline running from Texas and New Mexico to Los Angeles.

1948: The North American Company sold its remaining stock in PG&E.

1950: Service continues to expand to rural areas, and by this year, 98 percent of farms in the service area have electricity.

1954: Total revenue for the year was $386 million.

1957: The company made history when it teamed up with General Electric to establish the Vallecitos atomic energy plant -- the world's first privately owned and operated nuclear facility. The company brought online Vallecitos Nuclear Center, the first privately owned and operated nuclear reactor in the United States, in Pleasanton, California.

1968: PG&E began construction on another nuclear facility, the Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

1972: The company began exploring possibilities for a 3,000-mile pipeline from Alaska, which would travel through the Mackenzie River Valley and on to join with the previously constructed pipeline originating in Alberta.

1973: PG&E was the second largest utility in the United States, with 65 hydroelectric plants and 12 steam electric plants and total revenue of $494 million.

1975: To pay for the conversion, the company asked for a $233 million rate increase, the largest in California history. Jerry Brown, Reagan's successor, appointed reform-oriented commissioners to the CPUC. The CPUC ordered PG&E to offer a minimal amount of electricity at subsidized rates to all residential customers.

1977: The Mackenzie Valley Pipeline project received approval from the United States Federal Power Commission and support from the Carter Administration.

1978: Under the 1978 Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, United States electric utilities were required to buy power offered by independent producers at prices set by state utility commissions.

1979: The CPUC granted PG&E a $269 million annual rate increase, but it also pushed the company to buy more power from alternative energy sources. Originally slated to come online, the plant's opening was delayed for several years due to environmental protests and concerns over the safety of the plant's construction.

1980: Net income for the year was $525 million. PG&E put the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant into operation despite protests from environmental groups who were concerned about its location, which was dangerously close to an earthquake fault.

1981: One of the two Diablo Canyon nuclear plants was finished, but PG&E did not receive permission to begin testing because of concerns that the plant, located just two miles from an earthquake fault, was not safe.

1982: PG&E signed a contract to buy most of the wind-generated power from a wind farm in Solano County, California. Also, the CPUC ordered PG&E to suspend its large fuel-oil contract with Chevron USA Inc.

1983: It agreed to buy all the electricity from a solar-energy power plant being built by a subsidiary of Atlantic Richfield Company.

1984: Net income was $975 million. The great-grandson of PG&E's founder George H. Roe—David Roe published his book entitled Dynamos and Virgins during the time when there was a growing antinuclear-power movement.

1985: The CPUC ordered PG&E to lower its natural gas rates by $316.9 million per year.

1986: The following year the company acquired the 48.9 percent of Pacific Gas Transmission Company that it did not already own in a stock swap valued at $164 million, and Pacific Gas Transmission became a wholly owned subsidiary of PG&E. Richard Clarke became chairman and chief executive officer of PG&E, and George Maneatis became president.

1988: PG&E reorganized into five new business divisions. The charge reduced net income for the year to $62.1 million. Also, PG&E-Bechtel Generating Company, a joint venture of PG&E and Bechtel Power, began construction of its first power plant, in Montana.

1990: The venture had completed the Montana plant, had one underway in Pennsylvania, and was planning another in New Jersey. In anticipation of an increasingly competitive market, the company began a program to reduce its management staff by 300 over the next three years. The company added a sixth division, nuclear power generation, which was responsible for the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plants and the support services they required.

1992: Three Canadian gas producers sued PG&E for not fulfilling its contracts for gas purchases. The utility had 12 million customers and the company was continuing to produce steady dividends for conservative investors.

1993: Residents of the California town of Hinkley sued PG&E claiming the utility had released cancer-causing chromium into their groundwater.

1994: PG&E paid $1.6 billion for power from solar, wind, and other alternative sources. The company cut its spending on energy conservation programs by $100 million. Stanley T. Skinner, who had been a PG&E employee for years, became a chief executive officer.

1996: Subsidiary Pacific Gas Transmission acquired a 389-mile natural gas pipeline in Australia for $136 million. California law reduced the rate of return it allowed PG&E to earn from its Diablo Canyon nuclear plant from 17 percent to 6.77 percent. When it experienced a major power outage, PG&E had already begun diversifying into smaller, unregulated companies, such as United States Generating and PG&E Energy Services.

1997: In another blow, PG&E was found guilty by a California court of 739 counts of negligence and fined $2 million. This year, PG&E Corporation was established as a holding company with Pacific Gas & Electric and other companies as its subsidiaries. 

1998: The company's most important subsidiary, Pacific Gas and Electric Company was the second largest investor-owned gas and electric utility in the United States in terms of sales this year. In addition, the company agreed to accelerate the depreciation of the Diablo plant from 20 years to five. Also, PG&E bought 18 non-nuclear power plants from New England Electric for $1.6 billion. PG&E's efforts to make its utility business competitive were showing signs of progress. change in the regulation of California's public utilities, including PG&E, began.

1999: The 1999 Pendola fire in the Plumas National Forest and Tahoe National Forest burned nearly 12,000 acres of forest and was found to have been caused by poor vegetation management by PG&E.

2000: PG&E Company's 2000 loss of $5.2 billion was single-handedly responsible for the loss its parent reported that year. When wholesale energy costs skyrocketed, PG&E could neither raise its rates nor produce cheap energy on its own. PG&E Corporation's National Energy group began building a natural gas pipeline from Ehrenburg, Arizona to Tijuana, Mexico with the Mexican firm, Prûxima Gas, S.A. de C.V., and Sempra Energy International. Early this year, as the California energy crisis was just starting to rock PG&E's corporate reputation, along came the movie, Erin Brockovich.

2001: With a critical power shortage, rolling blackouts began on January 17. PG&E Company (the utility, not the holding company) entered bankruptcy under Chapter 11 on April 6. the reason, Tim. "ring around the subsidiary." CFO the magazine for senior financial executives, October. Our current total clean fleet of 1,252 vehicles is deployed across our service area in northern and central California and includes natural gas vehicles, all-electric cars and trucks, hybrids and bio-diesel cars and trucks. It only picked up again later this year when it reached $2.74 billion.

2002: Since this year, PG&E has entered into more than 110 contracts to procure nearly 9,000 megawatts of renewable energy, including biomass and waste, the geothermal, wind, small hydroelectric and solar. PG&E was still making its case in bankruptcy court in mid-year.

2003: PG&E was eventually found legally culpable for the fire due to criminal negligence, according to an investigation.

2004: PG&E Company, the utility, emerged from bankruptcy in April, after paying $10.2 billion to its hundreds of creditors.

2010 PG&E pioneered developing a clean-fueled fleet of utility cars and trucks, recognized as the leading utility fleet in this year by Automotive Fleet magazine.

2019: PG&E filed for bankruptcy on January 29. PG&E settled for $1 billion with state and local governments in June and settled for $11 billion with insurance carriers and hedge funds in September. On October 9, Judge Montali allowed the proposed reorganization plan of the senior bondholders to be considered along with PG&E's proposed plan. Liability for the Kincade Fire that started October 23, was potentially added because initially, it was unknown whether or not PG&E was at fault for the fire. 

2020: Judge Donato was scheduled to begin hearings on February 18, to determine how to do the estimation and how much PG&E needs to put in a trust fund for wildfire victims. On July 16, which was after PG&E exited bankruptcy, Cal Fire reported that the fire was caused by PG&E transmission lines.


“To safely and reliably deliver affordable and clean energy to our customers and communities every single day, while building the energy network of tomorrow.”


“To Become the Nation’s Leading Utility.”

Key Team

Dean Seavers (Board Member)

Chris Foster (EVP)

Forrest Miller (Board Member)

Dara Treseder (Board Member)

Fred Fowler (Board Member)

David Thomason (Vice President)

Geisha Williams (Board Member)

Dean Seavers (Board Member)

Kerry Cooper (Board Member)

Forrest Miller (Board Member)

Lewis Chew (Board Member)

Fred Fowler (Board Member)

Richard Kelly (Board Member)

Geisha Williams (Board Member)

Ben Minicucci (Board Member)

Bill Smith (Board Member)

Dara Treseder (Board Member)

Pacific Gas and Electric
Leadership team

Ben Minicucci (Board Member)

Bill Smith (Board Member)


Energy and Utilities

Products/ Services
Electricity, Natural gas
Number of Employees
20,000 - 50,000
San Francisco, California, United States
Company Type
Public Limited Company
Company Registration
SEC CIK number: 0001004980
Net Income
500M - 1B
Above - 1B
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