The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved a rate hike, which could increase household bills by an estimated $22 to $32 per month.
The CPUC declined PG&E’s request for a 26 percent increase in utility rates, but approved an 11 percent increase.
PG&E said it needs the money to increase the safety and reliability of the power grid and prepare for future growth. The company plans to bury three thousand kilometers of power lines by 2026.
Many local politicians opposed the project, pointing out that Californians already pay twice the national average for electricity.
“People shouldn’t have to choose between incredibly high utility bills and reliable, safe power to their homes,” said Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher of Yuba City.
The last rate increase requested by PG&E was in 2021, when the utility requested a 22% residential price increase.
At the time, Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer shared the struggles people were already facing.
“People who are already struggling to make decisions about paying for their utilities, their food, their rent or their children’s clothes, and now they’re going to have to struggle even more,” Mayor Dyer said.
PG&E also said inflation was a factor in this demand.
They pay more for equipment and labor.
Utility customers should expect this increase to hit their monthly bill starting in January 2024.
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