Starting January 2024, PG&E rates will see an almost 13% increase following a unanimous decision by the California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday. Customers, on average, can expect to pay an additional $30 to $35 per month once the new rate takes effect. Although the change begins on January 1, some customers may not observe the adjusted rate until they receive their February bills, according to PG&E’s news release.
The Thursday vote marked the resolution of PG&E’s General Rate Case (GRC), a mandatory public review process that the company undergoes every four years with the CPUC. PG&E’s GRC application spans a three-year period, from 2023 to 2026.
The proposed rate increase, initially put forth by PG&E rates in June 2021
Aimed to enhance “safe and reliable service” and address wildfire-related risks. The approved plan on Thursday, an alternative proposal presented by CPUC commissioner John Reynolds, includes funding for the undergrounding of 1,230 miles of power lines in high-risk fire areas, reducing wildfire risk from PG&E equipment by 94%. Inflation was cited by the CPUC as one of the primary factors driving PG&E rates hike request.
The approved plan corresponds to a 12.8% increase
Under Thursday’s plan, the CPUC endorsed a $13.5 billion revenue requirement for PG&E in 2023, compared to the company’s original request of $15.4 billion. The CPUC also noted that PG&E initially sought a 17.9% increase, equivalent to $38.73, for the combined bill of the typical residential customer. The approved plan corresponds to a 12.8% increase, totaling $32.62.
This rate adjustment follows a previous increase by PG&E in the past year. In January, the company informed customers about higher bills due to increased heating demand during colder temperatures. At that time, PG&E predicted that energy bills from November 2022 to March 2023 would surpass those of the previous year by more than 30%.
To help mitigate energy costs, PG&E recommends exploring discount programs such as the California Alternate Rates of Energy (CARE) and the Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA). Additional information on energy-saving programs can be found on PG&E’s website.
Average monthly bill for PG&E residential customers has surged by 92%
The largest utility company in the most populous state has been granted approval for a rate increase, resulting in a nearly 13% rise in customer bills next year. The aim is to allocate funds for burying power lines and minimizing the risk of destructive wildfires. The California Public Utilities Commission gave the green light to the rate hike on Thursday.
In PG&E’s Northern California territory can anticipate an average monthly increase of $32.62 in their combined bills. Initially, PG&E had sought a larger boost of $38.73, representing an almost 18% hike. These increases come at a time when California consumers are already grappling with some of the nation’s highest electricity rates. According to a recent report by the California Public Advocate Office, the average monthly bill for PG&E residential customers has surged by 92% over the past decade. It’s worth noting that PG&E faced bankruptcy in 2019, following several devastating, wind-driven fires attributed to the company’s equipment, including the 2018 Camp Fire that devastated the town of Paradise and resulted in 85 fatalities.