.PG&E Customers Could See Rate Increases

California residents can expect increases to their Pacific Gas and Electric bills beginning this year, if the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approves them next month.

Two possible plans would increase bills for its 16 million customers by either 9% or 13%.

The CPUC will vote on the increase on Nov. 2.

The increase is intended to fund wildfire risk reduction, safety and climate resiliency improvements and clean energy projects.

The decision authorizes PG&E to recover $1.6 billion more in customers’ rates in 2023 than in 2022, the company said in a press release.

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The CPUC requires PG&E and other utilities to submit a proposal every four years to determine increases to offset the cost of operating, maintaining and improving the safety and reliability of the company’s electric and natural gas systems, PG&E said in a press release.

“We are dedicated to making it right and making it safe for our friends, families and neighbors,” said PG&E Corporation Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Chief Sustainability Office Carla Peterman. “We look forward to working carefully with the Commission and all stakeholders to arrive at a final decision that is in the best interest of our customers and supports California’s bold plans to transition to a safer and cleaner energy future,” 

The increases would fund the undergrounding of more than 2,100 miles of power lines, which the company says reduces wildfire risk by nearly 98% and also reduces the costs of vegetation and overhead line maintenance. It will also fund additional safety inspections and enhanced public safety power shutoffs.

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