October 2, 2020

Pacific Gas and Electric bills hop higher, utility seeks further increases – Times-Herald

Pacific Gas and Electric bills hop higher, utility seeks further increases – Times-Herald


PG&E bills rose on Oct. 1 due to new state-imposed fees, and the utility is seeking further increases in monthly bills for wildfire costs, according to new regulatory filings by the company.

This week, electricity bills rose due to an increase that the state Public Utilities Commission imposed on user fees for all utilities in California.

The new increase in monthly bills for PG&E residential customers is 31 cents a month and resulted from the commission’s mandate, according to PG&E spokesperson Kristi Jourdan.

As of August, PG&E’s residential customers experienced an average bill of $181.21 a month. That included an average residential electric bill of $127.40 and an average gas bill of $53.81, according to PG&E spokesperson James Noonan.

The state regulators also are considering whether to grant a PG&E request to collect increased revenue — higher monthly customer bills — to pay for wildfire mitigation and catastrophic events.

The powerful regulatory agency hasn’t made a final decision yet on whether to allow PG&E to collect $447 million in revenue on an interim basis over a 17-month period.

Under one possible outcome, based on a proposed decision issued by a PUC hearing officer, electric bills would rise on an interim basis by $7.74 a month if collected over a 12-month period.

If collected over a 17-month period from December 2020 through April 2021, electric bills would rise by about $3 a month. Gas bills are unaffected in every scenario.

The PUC proposal to allow PG&E to collect $447 million in revenue for wildfire-linked costs is considerably less than the original PG&E request to collect $891 million in revenue on an interim basis.

“This proposal would authorize PG&E to collect funding through customer rates for previously completed safety, storm response, and wildfire response and mitigation work completed between 2017 and 2019,” PG&E said in a regulatory filing.

With PG&E actively pursuing a relocation of its headquarters to downtown Oakland, a move that is being coordinated with the company’s intent to sell its downtown San Francisco office holdings, the utility said it will work with the state PUC to pass along the cost savings to customers, PG&E spokesperson Kristi Jourdan said.

“PG&E has historically worked closely with the PUC to stabilize rates by using cost reductions to offset cost increases,” Jourdan said.

 



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