Proposal for PG&E to pass costs for safety upgrades onto families will be decided in vote on Thursday
PG&E bills have shot up 38% since January 2021; PG&E’s proposal would raise costs by another 26% to increase revenue
WASHINGTON – RealEstateRama – Representative Josh Harder (CA-9) slammed PG&E for attempting to charge families more to pay for upgrades to its own infrastructure. Rep. Harder wrote a letter directly to PG&E’s CEO, Patricia Poppe, outlining his grave concerns with PG&E’s plans to pass the cost of infrastructure upgrades onto customers.
On Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will vote on PG&E’s latest rate increase proposal. The vote was initially scheduled for November 2, but the CPUC delayed it until November 16. PG&E’s proposal would raise costs by 26%, costing families hundreds of dollars per year.
Since early 2021, PG&E bills in California have increased by 38% – an average of $52 per month. PG&E bills are costing families almost twice as much as 10 years ago.
“I’m all for PG&E making safety upgrades, but they can’t keep increasing our bills to pay for it. Utility bills are skyrocketing and our families can’t afford another rate hike. This is getting ridiculous,” said Rep. Harder. “If PG&E can afford to pay their CEO over $50 million, they can afford to keep our families safe without ratcheting up prices again. Enough is enough.”
Read Harder’s letter to PG&E’s CEO HERE or below:
November 14, 2023
Dear Ms. Poppe –
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to express my deep frustration regarding PG&E’s efforts to shift the financial burden of burying power lines onto consumers. Improving the resilience and safety of our electrical infrastructure is absolutely critical, but families should not be footing the bill for long-overdue safety upgrades and maintenance. I am constantly hearing from my constituents about the spikes in their PG&E bills, and there’s data clearly showing a 38 percent increase in electricity rates since January 2021.
It goes without saying that preventing wildfires is critical, and I believe upgrades must be made to PG&E’s infrastructure. Burying power lines not only reduces the risk of wildfires and power outages but also ensures a more reliable and secure energy supply for all Californians.
However, the decision to pass the cost of this $6 billion project on to consumers is just wrong. It is the responsibility of PG&E, as a major utility provider, to invest in infrastructure improvements that safeguard the well-being of Californians. The burden of financing such vital projects should not fall on the shoulders of the very people who are already struggling to make ends meet. In the face of rising energy bills, Californians simply cannot afford to take on the additional financial burden of these essential improvements.
My constituents are already grappling with the high costs of living, and many are unable to pay their utility bills in full. Low-income households, elderly citizens, and our most vulnerable communities are struggling to make ends meet. I urge PG&E to prioritize the well-being of our families and reconsider your decision to shift this financial burden to consumers.
Member of Congress