PG&E Raises Rates For Some Low-Income California Customers

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The California Public Utilities Commission has approved a proposal to lower rates for high volume Pacific Gas and Electric customers, and raise rates for some low-income users.

PG&E argued that high volume customers are being severely penalized by the current tier rate system and asked for an adjustment to give them a price break. Now, big users will still pay more, but not as much as they were before.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

The change will also mean higher rates for low-income customers who use a lot of energy. PG&E’s Tom Bottorff applauded the decision.

”It’s intended to really bring our prices more in line with the cost of service, while still maintaining a strong signal to promote conservation,” said Bottorff.

At the same time, the state PUC sidelined a proposal that would have added a basic monthly surcharge to everyone’s PG&E bill. Mark Toney, the executive director of the consumer group turn, was thrilled about that.

”Today was a great victory because we defeated the customer service charge of $3.00 per month,” said Toney.

Consumer groups argued that a new flat fee for providing basic service would have disproportionately impacted the poor. PG&E now views that proposal as dead, at least for the foreseeable future.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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