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PG&E Rate Change: Heavy Users Pay Less, Light Users Pay More

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analog electricity meter

An analog electric service meter. (AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — California regulators have approved Pacific Gas & Electric rate changes that give homeowners who use large amounts of electricity a break while those who conserve pay more.

The billing changes, which were approved Thursday by the state Public Utilities Commission, begin next week.

The changes were sought, in part, because of complaints from PG&E customers in the San Joaquin Valley, where electricity usage spikes during frequent heat waves.

Critics complain the changes will give people less incentive to conserve energy.

PG&E customers who use large amounts of electricity will pay 17.6 percent less than they do now, but utility spokesman Tom Bottorff said they will still pay nearly three times as much as the thriftiest customers.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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