PG&E proposes a third round of rate increases in California

As drought drives prices higher, millions of Californians struggle to pay for water,” the article continued. “In a state that once embraced a vision of unlimited growth, that vision now includes a tough reality: The Golden State is on a path to a reduced water supply that is less available for our families and less reliable for our communities.”

As California struggles to save water without raising users fees, the state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, has proposed a rate hike to cover the costs of buying and maintaining electricity-generating water-stressed power plants.

PG&E’s proposal would increase usage fees for residential customers by 6.5%, for business customers by 5.6%, and for large industrial customers by up to 25%. For residential customers, the additional charges would be charged on a regular monthly bill, while the proposed large-industrial rate increase would extend to three-year bills.

The utility contends that the new rates would provide affordable, reliable service while protecting the environment.

“We should not be in the business of creating incentives to overinvest in uneconomic power plants,” said Craig Lewis, the utility’s chief financial officer, at a forum in San Francisco on Tuesday.

The proposed rate increases are also expected to reduce consumers’ water rates.

For example, the rate increase for large industrial customers is expected to reduce rates for smaller customers by 4.3%, while residential rates are expected to be reduced by 2.6%).

PG&E, which has faced lawsuits and investigations from the state over the adequacy of its water supplies, is now preparing for a third round of rate increases in 2017. But its rate-increase approval process is on life support amid a state-wide battle over whether its customers should shoulder the burden of buying additional water-supplying power. The proposed 2017 rate increases are expected to be passed by the California Public Utilities Commission by the end of the month.

PG&E, which is under federal investigation for

Leave a Comment