PG&E announces rate hike
October 20, 2016
PPacific Gas and Electric Company recently submitted to state regulators its 2017–2019 General Rate Case (GRC), which proposes an average increase of less than three percent in typical residential customer energy bills to support upgrades to technology and electric and gas infrastructure.
The proposal would increase a typical residential customer bill by $4 month, which includes $3 per month for electricity and $1 a month for natural gas service. PG&E's typical bills would remain approximately 25 percent below the national average, according to the most recently available data.
With the increase, residential bills are expected to remain well below the national average while funding investments to make energy safer, cleaner and more reliable for 6.3 million customers and their families.
"Our customers want us to be the safest and most reliable energy provider in the country, while also supporting California's goals to be the leader in renewable energy and emerging energy technologies. This proposal supports these goals while also balancing the need to keep customer bills as low as possible," said PG&E CEO Tony Earley.
In addition to funding current operations, PG&E's proposal would fund investments to support:
• Smart grid technologies that better integrate and manage more rooftop solar and renewable energy, as well as enable a growing array of other technologies, from electric vehicles to smart appliances and battery storage;
• Emergency preparedness for major disruptions like earthquakes, including construction of a backup gas control center;
• Stronger prevention and management of wildfires through increased patrols and new laser-based technology;
• Advanced mobile technology to provide field workers with the tools to get work done more effectively and efficiently; and,
• Faster response times to customer calls about possible gas leaks.
Every three years, PG&E submits a request for funding to the California Public Utilities Commission, which conducts an open and transparent review of the request along with several public hearings across the state with input from all interested parties. The CPUC then determines what revenues are necessary to maintain and upgrade the electric and gas systems. The decision forms the basis for customer rates.