Tuesday, February 7, 2017

PG&E rates increase again, 'still below national average', well thanks!


.... "The consistent and ongoing complaints over high PG&E bills in the area has caused a California lawmaker to investigate the issue. .... PG&E told ABC10 everyone's bills and circumstances are different. According to a spokesperson, customers saw a 13% increase, about $7 a month, that started in August 2016."  ABC10/KXTV/Ananda Rochita, 2/3/17. "Complaints over high PG&E bills prompts California lawmaker to investigate.

Image result for it's cold inside the house picture
Cold together but okay, we don't pay the bill.

"A PG&E spokesperson sent ABC10 the following statement in response to our questions.  ....The utility company also plans to start a surcharge for customers who use more than four times their base line allowance later this year. "The surcharge is a way to encourage energy conservation and is only applied to electric customers," PG&E spokeswoman Brandi Merlo said."

The surcharge:  "What is the high usage surcharge? Beginning in March 2017, a new state-mandated High Usage Surcharge will be introduced. Its purpose is to encourage energy conservation among customers whose electricity use is far higher than typical households.The High Usage Surcharge is an increased price per kilowatt hour (kWh) on any electricity usage that exceeds four times the customer's Tier 1 (Baseline) Allowance.  ABC10/Ananda Rochita and Anthony Cave, 2/1/17,"PG&E customers in Folsom complaining over high bills."

Related rate increase article.  San Francisco Business Times/Riley McDermid, Digital Producer, 12/31/16, "PG&E rates increase on Jan. 1, the largest in a decade." "The new fee structure begins Jan. 1 and is the highest rate increase since 2006. PG&E is making the changes after the California Public Utilities Commission decided in 2014 that the utility can raise rates in order to gain $2.37 billion in revenue to put toward maintenance and upgrades across its infrastructure and grid.The utility stressed it still has programs in place to help customers use energy wisely, with an aim toward lowering their monthly bills."   

Related background article.  The Mercury News/George Avalos, 8/11/16, "PG&E bills headed higher in March (2016) and in 2017."  "... PG&E monthly bills for residential customers are on the rise again.The upcoming increases will arrive in two stages. Starting in March (2016), as a result of previous approvals by the state Public Utilities Commission, electricity bills for average residential customers will rise $2.29 a month, bringing the average residential bill to $149.50 a month.  Separately, in papers filed Tuesday (2016) with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the utility said it needed additional revenue increases from ratepayers that could lead to a $3 a month average rise in gas and electricity bills. Bottom line: By January 2017, gas and electricity bills could climb to $152.50 a month, which would be $5.29 a month higher than the current average bill for gas and electricity of $147.21 a month. These pending and potential increases in Pacific Gas & Electric bills come on the heels of a $9.55 monthly increase for gas and electricity that went into effect on Jan. 1 of this year (2016), the result of prior PUC votes. At the end of 2015, the average residential PG&E bill was $137.66 a month.  .... PG&E is seeking more revenue to undertake improvements and upgrades in its gas transmission and storage system in the wake of a fatal explosion in September 2010 that killed eight and demolished a San Bruno neighborhood."  Follow-up article. The Mercury News/George Avalos, 12/31/16, "PG&E bills will rise on New Year's Day."  .... "While still below the nationwide average, PG&E’s rate hikes mean its customers’ energy bills are closing the gap."    Note photograph. Twitter/Do Something.org,"Baby, it's cold inside! Turn down the heat in your house to reduce your oil dependency, (East Coast).

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

Below the national average doesn't mean squat to me. My $140.00 bill went up to $225.00!

Libertardie said...

Trump's fault!

Anonymous said...

We have a FB Page Stop PG& E Rate hikes. Please join us

Reah High said...

Six Things Everyone Needs to Know About PG&E Rate Changes.

* PG&E has been misleading thousands of customers every year, in a calculated effort to keep people from ever applying for the Medical Baseline Program. They call it a "life saving", Medical baseline program. This likely is not a practice exclusive to California. Who should actually qualify: "Anyone Being treated for a life-threatening illness, compromised immune system, or other medical condition with special heating and/or air conditioning requirements necessary to sustain the patient’s life or prevent deterioration of the patient’s
medical condition."

* If a doctor signs the form that a member of the household needs additional heating or cooling, the household qualifies for the discount. The form does not even ask to identify the medical condition, it would be a violation of HIPAA if they did. Also, people can be on the both the CARE program and the medical baseline program at the same time.

*Millions of Californians have never been provided, "a significant portion for our baseline usage", based on their climate, size of their homes or multiple generations of adults, on one meter. The amount of additional baseline we get in the central valley during summer, is enough to run the air conditioner 1 hour a day. This is not close to a, "significant portion" of a most customer’s needs. Baseline tiers must be created fairly for different house sizes, as well as multiple generations of adults living under one roof and multiple dwellings on one meter.

* They plan on reducing the discount to the CARE program from 42%-35%, while raising rates and adding fixed fees to the lowest income users who are extremely motivated to conserve. According to The Utility Reform Networks statistics in 2016, more than 800,000 PG&E customers were kicked off the system, in one year, for inability to pay their bills. What will that number be this year or 2020?

*The current baseline is insufficient in many areas and should be increased. However, they plan on eliminating this entirely when they implement the "Time of Use" Plan, 2019-2010. They expect Medical users to just adjust the time they need to use electricity, despite their medical requirement for additional heat and or air 24/7, or face gluttonous user fees. New Rates eliminate all baselines including the medical Baseline. Has any state ever even considered this?

* PG&E and the Public Utilities Commission, claim that "tier flattening" and, "Time of Use" is all about fairness and transparency. They claim TOU plans will send a better conservation signals to customers. This is just unfair price gouging. We must Stop the Time of Use plan! It is unfair lacks transparency and it doesn't even save energy.

This seems criminal to me and no one seem to realize really happening! Thanks for your attention to this issue.

Reah High
Facebook Reform California Skyrocketing Utility Rates 2017 we are creating a petition pleas join us