Once again we bring in the New Year with resolutions to better ourselves and plenty of celebration. Unfortunately for PG&E customers, the celebration was short lived. Understandably so, as it is difficult to stay excited when you are hit with a substantial increase on your monthly utility bill on the first day of the new year.
That is the unwelcome gift that all of the utility company’s customers received on January 1, 2016. The average residential PG&E customer’s bill will rise a whopping 7 percent, reported the company just 2 days before the price hike. These rate increases are nothing new. The utility company employed similar tactics at the beginning of 2015 with a 6 percent rate increase and has increased their rates each year at an average of 5 to 7 percent since 2004. However, this hefty 7 percent price hike is the highest increase since 2006, before the economical collapse.
The average homeowner using 500 kilowatt-hours per month could expect to see their electrical bill go from around $89, up to roughly $97. The typical small business should expect a bit less of an increase with a 5.1 percent rate hike for both gas and electricity combined.
These dramatic rate increases follow a decision by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in 2014 to let the utility company procure an additional $2,370,000,000 in revenue from its customers over a three year span, ranging from the beginning of 2014 to the end of 2016.
When presented with questions concerning the price increase, Laurie Giammona (PG&E Vice President and CCO), stated “We want our customers and their families to know that we are here to help them make smart energy choices and save money whenever possible.” Here at Infinity Energy, we are finding it difficult to see how PG&E plans to save families money by raising their rates dramatically. To be quite blunt, the statement sounds downright contradictory to their actions.
This won’t be the last time we will see PG&E increase their rates, far from it. In fact, in September 2015 the utility company once again requested the CPUC to increase the total attainable revenue to $2,700,000,000 for the years 2017 through 2019. The CPUC panel has not yet voted on PG&E’s latest proposal.
For consumers, rising utility bills have become an unpleasant annual tradition. Mark Toney, the executive director of The Utility Reform Network, stated that a large amount of Californians are currently having trouble paying bills, and are seeing their electricity service temporarily cut off as a result.
Despite all of this, there is a glimmer of hope for current PG&E customers. That glimmer is provided by the most powerful energy source in our solar system, the Sun. By going solar with Infinity Energy, you can cut ties with PG&E’s annual price hikes and dirty energy. We make it simple to go solar and start saving money by producing your own clean energy from home. With several programs to meet almost any customer’s needs, we can get you up and running with a solar system on your roof within 4-6 weeks, for as low as $0 out of pocket.
If you would like to receive a free consultation to see how much money we can save you by going solar with Infinity Energy, please feel free to contact us so that we can set you up with one of our experienced Energy Advisors to go over your individual needs.