Utility Dive: CPUC On Track to Turn Ratepayers Into PG&E’s Piggy Bank

The CPUC has fast tracked an application by PG&E to increase residential rates $900 million dollars beginning in August by an average of 5-7%.  This is just one of many rate increases PG&E plans on foisting on its customers in the coming months and year.  PG&E would have the Commission approve their request for “interim” rates without any determination whether or not the requested rate increase is just or reasonable.  PG&E has also applied for the Commission to establish a new process for the regulated utilities to automatically increase rates with no review whatsoever every time a utility states that it has spent $100 million on certain expenses.  Such an automatic “interim” rate increase would flip the ratemaking process on its head and would rely on the word of private, for-profit companies like PG&E, now a two time convicted felon.

Wild Tree strongly objects to this manipulative effort by PG&E to utilize ratepayers as unwitting lenders.  “‘PG&E’s current scenario doesn’t meet the standards of an “emergency situation’ that would warrant raising rates prematurely, April Rose Maurath Sommer, executive and legal director of the Wild Tree Foundation, told Utility Dive. . . ‘Our position is they’re effectively trying to turn ratepayers into a piggy bank and acquiring what would be extremely low-interest loans from ratepayers,’ Maurath Sommer told Utility Dive.

PG&E’s customers already pay some of the highest rates in the country, she added, and despite commitments to refund the costs at a later date, ‘the harm’s long been done then.’” Utility Dive, PG&E request for early recovery of $899M from customers troubles ratepayer advocates  read more