Expect your monthly PG&E electric and gas bill to inch even higher in the new decade.
According to East Bay Times, PG&E has said that customers will see a spike in their electric bills, but a small dip in their gas expenditures; combined, however, monthly expenses are still expected to increase. The still-bankrupt, legally embattled utility company filed formal papers Friday that outlined the potential for substantially higher power costs later in 2020.
“PG&E typically consolidates changes to its electric rates several times a year to help limit the number of rate changes faced by our electric customers,” the utility said Friday in response to the swelling rates. “PG&E changes its natural gas rates every month, as required by the PUC [Public Utility Commission] to better reflect competitive monthly gas market costs.”
How much exactly is the increase? Nominal, though still worrying, especially given the fact that PG&E has gone on record to say these rate increases could continue to climb. Per their reported figures, customers who have a combined electricity and gas service from can expect a $2.64 a month increase, starting January 1st. Also, it's worth noting that this example is based on the average ratepayer and consumer, one that doesn’t fall in PG&E’s program of discounted rates for low-income customers, nor consumes who use a larger-than-average amount of gas and electricity.
More specifically, those same account holders will see a $3.29 a month spike in their electricity bill, a roughly 2.7 percent upcharge, but a 65 cent decrease their gas bills, representing a 1.3 percent decrease.
But a number of other actions are still in limbo, put forth by the PUC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission— all of which could make those price ascend. Worst case scenario? More than $5 could be tacked onto current account holders' bills, monthly.
These utility increases come at a time where PG&E is considered responsible for 1,500 California wildfires, per the Wall Street Journal, that have happened over the past six years, responsible for virtually every single one of California's catastrophic wildfires since 2015. It's possible that with some legal persuasion and other financially scavenging plans — like these utility increases, amassing to an overall $575M rate hike — the company could emerge from bankruptcy in 2020.
Image: Flickr via phedot