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Another PGE Rate Hike On The Way

Another PG and E rate hike is ahead. Electricity rates had already gone up 8-percent in January and gas rates by 11-percent. And now the utility’s request to bump electricity rates up another nine-percent in March has also been approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. PG and E Spokeswoman Lynsey Paulo says it’s due to skyrocketing commodity prices…

Paulo says natural gas prices are up 90-percent, compared to a year ago. Part of the problem is also a mismatch between supply and demand. When demand for natural gas declined, at the start of the pandemic, such as reduced driving, production dropped. But when world economies recovered in 2021, production struggled to increase at the same rate. That’s created a huge supply crunch this winter. Paulo says PG and E does try to help reduce the impacts on customers…

click to listen to Lynsey Paulo

Meanwhile, the Public Utilities Commission’s approval for an unrelated 18-percent general rate hike, over four years, starting in 2023, is still pending. That’s linked to infrastructure upgrades and vegetation removal to reduce wildfire liability. Paulo says liability settlements are not passed on. More customers are also being shifted to Time of Use plans, where the highest rates will be charged from four to nine pm, when use is often the highest.

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