Electricity Rates Rise in California

A proposal put before the California Public Utilities Commission has passed and will have California residents facing an increase in electricity rates. The increase will affect households in California who already make efforts to minimize their electricity costs. Meanwhile, those who are big energy users will be given a break.

As a result of the proposal passing, 75 percent of residential customers from the state’s three largest utilities will have an upsurge in their electricity bill. Accounts from Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. will be affected. The proposal will strongly impact low-use households making it difficult for families who are already not able to meet the expense of their utility bills.

The purpose is to narrow a tiered rate structure that has customers of the state’s largest utility paying between 13.2 cents and 36.4 cents per kilowatt hour, depending on the magnitude of usage. Consequently, rates of low-use households will be more in line with high-use households, utility regulators will apply more fixed fees on monthly power bills, and soon move to a rate system that rewards families for using power during times of day when demand on the power grids are the lowest.

Director Russ Garwacki, from Southern California Edison, has made a statement defending those who use more electricity. Garwacki claims they are trying to make it more affordable for higher users because they are paying more than their share. While others such as The Utility Reform Network say it is completely unfair.

California Governor Jerry Brown has called for the state to intensify support for renewable energy, with the intention of having 50 percent of the state’s energy come from solar, wind and other renewable sources by the year 2030.

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