Pacific Gas and Electric Company (NYSE: PGE) proposed a rate increase beginning 2023, and the company plans to utilize some of the funds in preventing wildfires.
PG&E to increase the rate from 2023
If the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approves the proposal, the customer will see an increase of at least $1 per day in electricity and gas bills. The company said that the general rate case proposal entails around $7.4 billion in investment between 2023 and 2026 to keep customers safe and minimize extreme weather’s impact and the catastrophic impact of wildfires. In addition, PG&E added residential customer bills would increase by around 5% annually between 2021 and 2026.
PG&E VP Regulatory and External Affairs Robert Kenney said, “Our most important responsibility is the safety of the customers and communities we serve. These investments will strengthen our electric system against wildfire and other environmental risks, and enhance gas and electric system safety, while reinforcing our commitment to provide even more clean, renewable energy for California. Delivering for our hometowns, meeting the diverse energy needs of our customers, and building the safe, reliable and clean energy future they deserve are the energy priorities we are determined to achieve.”
PG&E criticized for a rate increase
Watchdog group the Utility Reform Network (TURN) strongly opposed the proposal. The group stated that the unbelievable PG&E rate increase is a disadvantage to most California residents currently hurting from the economic effects of the pandemic.
The company emerged last year from bankruptcy after seeking protection from creditors following wildfires started by the company’s equipment in 2017 and 2018. Last year California experienced the most damaging wildfire season in which several acres were burned. In May of this year, authorities in California indicated that over 1,000 wildfires had been reported across the state than experienced last year.