Utility Bill Increases Leave the State of California in Shock

Shaws Air Conditioning and Heating technician repairing pipes with heat and pressure sensors of water supply

California residents face drastic increases in utility bills, brought on by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). Authorization by The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) was put into effect in 2023 and will proceed till 2026. 

Utility rates are already through the roof leaving many customers unable to comply with unprecedented increases to their current obligatory services. With their hands tied, customers are left wondering how they will survive.

In 2021 PG&E authorized a plan to increase utility bills during a time when customers of their services are already facing drastic economic struggles. Commissioner John Reynolds proposed a multi-billion dollar revision to utility bills taking place in the year 2023-2026 according to PG&E’s General Rate Case (GRC)1.

This shift in utility costs will serve to fund risk reductions in California wildfires throughout the state, gas and electric investments, electrical upgrades for businesses and California’s goal to shift into better economic energy usage. 

These effects of a nearly 13% annual increase were made effective starting June 1, 2023. 

Although the use of electricity and gas within households are essential in every capacity, California decided to move forward with the proposal, causing the state to express intense concerns for their current financial struggles. 

The Utility Return Network (TURN) expects even without any increase in customer gas and electric usage, average HVAC owners should expect 14.70% of their disposable income to go straight to their utility bills during this increase. However, through California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE), customers will find financial aid during this time, reducing the average amount of utility bills to only 11.3% of household disposable income according to GRC.

PG&E notes that many customers in California are already making use of the available programs such as CARE, making this financial hit a bit more tolerable. 

Although this does not solve residents’ economical crisis, it is simply the only alternative to combating such a high shift.

State residents are finding themselves burnt out from constant financial hits, and adding this increase makes the California dream that much harder to achieve. 

Homeowners and business owners alike will have to find clever ways to reduce their monthly costs by ensuring effective insulation on their property and making sure their thermostats remain in a budget conscious range during peak months.  

  1. DIGEST OF DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE PROPOSED DECISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES DEANGELIS AND LARSEN, AND THE ALTERNATE PROPOSED DECISION OF COMMISSIONER JOHN REYNOLDS. (2023). Retrieved February 4, 2024, from DIGEST OF DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE PROPOSED DECISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES DEANGELIS AND LARSEN, AND THE ALTERNATE PROPOSED DECISION OF COMMISSIONER JOHN REYNOLDS. ↩︎

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