Energy (Un)Affordability

PG&E Rates Spike. . . Again!

As temperatures soar and Californians roast in a sweltering heat wave, PG&E is doing their part to maximize profits and maximize rate payer pain as air conditioners work overtime. PG&E’s rates increased by another $1.2 billion or 7.5% on July 1, 2023.

Consider the following:

  • PG&E will now be charging a full 1.6 cents per kwh more
  • Typical residential customers will now pay more than 37.6 cents per kwh
  • Small business customers will pay more than 35 cents per kwh
  • Agricultural customers will now pay more than 32 cents per kwh, with some small farms paying more than 48 cents per kwh
  • PG&E system average rates are now nearing 31 cents per kwh

Ongoing spikes in both natural gas and electricity bills have put investor-owned utilities (IOU) in the hot seat recently with legislators and other concerned policy makers. IOU executives have responded, stating their supposed concern for and “prioritization of ratepayer affordability.” 

Pending rate cases at the PUC say otherwise.

Both PG&E and Southern California Edison are currently requesting a staggering 45% increase in customer rates between now and the end of the decade. For PG&E this amounts to $5.46 billion over 2022 rates, and $3.9 billion over 2024 rates for Southern California Edison.

The IOUs continue to be given a blank check while residents and businesses are crushed with skyrocketing cost increases. Not only will these unsustainable cost increases cripple families and the businesses they work for and depend upon, but these surging electricity bills will also sabotage the state’s climate goals.

California’s push to decarbonize and electrify its economy hinges on the availability of affordable electricity. The current trajectory of utility rates is unaffordable, to say the least.