california local news

Another California PG&E rate increase approved despite public outcry

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

(FOX40.COM) — The California Public Utilities Commission approved another hike in Pacific Gas & Electric rates that will go into effect in April 2024.

The decision was made at Thursday’s California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) meeting despite several customers who vehemently spoke out against it. The added expense follows a 13% rate increase (almost $35 a month) that happened on Jan. 1, 2024.

“The costs were not included in prior rates proceedings,” said Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) spokesperson, Mika Gazda. “We have requested to recover these costs over multiple years to limit the impact on customers.”

According to PG&E, its 16 million customers can expect to see an additional $3.65 on their bills. As Pacific Gas & Electric continues to charge their customers more, many of them are fed up.

“I feel like they’re greedy and I want it to stop,” said a PG&E customer who was in attendance at Thursday’s vote meeting.

PG&E’s last earnings report showed that the company profited $2.4B in 2023 which is a 25% increase from 2022. Although it has more revenue, they said it had nothing to do with the rate increases and that 99% of the money is going toward its infrastructure. The leftover 1% went to stakeholders, according to PG&E.

“Take the rate increase out of the profits and not out of our meager wages,” another PG&E customer said at the meeting.

Several cries to halt the hikes rang out at the vote meeting, however, the CPUC voted in favor of more expensive PG&E bills.

“The commission is falling for PG&E’s continued claims of crying poor -of saying they’re in a financial squeeze,” said Mark Toney, a member of the Utilities Reform Network.

He added that PG&E customers need to prepare themselves because this won’t be the last increase in rates.

In January 2024, PG&E requested an additional $14 a month for costs associated with wildfire prevention in California. The CPUC is expected to take up a vote on that soon.

“PG&E is asking for a $14 a month increase and several others on top of this,” Toney said. “We’ve got to fix this broken system.”

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.