PGE Rate Increase: What It Means for You
Have you heard the latest news? Starting January 2024, your energy bill is set to jump! If you're a homeowner in California using PG&E, brace yourself for a 12.8% increase in your utility bills. Let’s look into why this PGE rate hike is happening and what it means for you.
- Background: PG&E, California's primary energy provider, is increasing rates.
- Impact: Typical residential customers will see a monthly increase of about $32.62.
- Reason: The hike is part of a strategy to improve power line safety and reduce wildfire risks.
The planned rate hike by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) for January 1st, 2024 has been approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. This increase is part of a strategy to fund safety projects aimed at reducing the risk of wildfires, which have been a significant issue in California. PG&E, serving millions of customers across Northern and Central California, will raise rates for both electricity and natural gas customers.
The rate hike will result in an approximate 12.8% increase in the combined monthly bill for natural gas and electricity, translating to about $32.62.
Initially, PG&E had requested a 17.9% increase, amounting to $38.73. The increased rates will finance safety work along electric lines, such as burying them underground or covering some lines with more fire-resistant materials, especially in areas prone to wildfires. In recent years, PG&E has been held responsible for several deadly wildfires, attributed to faulty equipment or insufficient maintenance of vegetation around electric lines. The company has also implemented Power Safety Power Shutoffs, which cut power to regions of the state under dry and windy conditions that heighten fire risks.
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Key Initiatives In The Recent PGE Rate Increase Decision Include:
Wildfire System Enhancement and Undergrounding: The decision approves the undergrounding of 1,230 miles of electric line and the installation of 778 miles of covered conductor, cumulatively hardening 2,008 miles of PG&E's infrastructure. This marks a significant move towards safer and more reliable services, optimizing costs, and setting the stage for future undergrounding efforts as outlined in Senate Bill 884.
Vegetation Management: PG&E is authorized to invest around $1.3 billion in vegetation management to decrease the risk of wildfires and enhance system reliability.
Capacity Upgrades: Over $2.5 billion is allocated for PG&E to upgrade its electric distribution system between 2023 and 2026. This upgrade is geared towards accommodating emerging needs such as building electrification, new electric vehicle charging stations, and the power demands of new residential and commercial developments.
What's the Total Cost?
What's the Total Cost? PG&E wanted $15.4 billion for this, but CPUC said, “Let's make it $13.5 billion“. This means, for most people, their bills will go up by about 12.8%, starting January 1, 2024.
This is just the start. California's energy future is about being strong against challenges like climate change.
What Else Can You Do About PGE Rate Increases?
Energy Assistance Programs: You can learn more about the income qualified households programs available for those struggling with their energy.
Energy Audit: Another option is to ensure your home is energy efficient. This helps you understand how much energy your home consumes and how you can improve its efficiency.
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Explore Solar Energy:
Quick Tips for Going Solar in PG&E Area
Here are a few quick things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about going solar as a PG&E customer:
Understand Net Energy Metering 3.0 – This will be the payment structure you’ll adopt when you switch to solar. Read our summary of NEM 3.0
Review available solar incentives – Our solar incentives in California article will help you learn about local installers, tax credits, and rebates.
You can also connect with us below to learn more about solar for your home. Our advisors will walk you through the best options for you and your home. based on your current monthly bill.