Sixteen million California residents will pay an average of $400 more on their power bills in 2024 as the result of a PG&E rate hike. This dollar amount reflects a $32 per month (on average) increase in gas bills. In 2025, bills will increase by $4.50 per month. In 2026, the bills are set to go down by $8 per month. It is not clear if power bills will ever return to “normal.” The changes are being marked as temporary to gather $1.7 billion to make necessary infrastructure improvements. This will include undergrounding power lines to prevent wildfires and also improving the capacity of the electrical grid.
California residents called into a meeting to discuss the rate hike. Their concerns were that this shouldn’t fall on their shoulders since the state of California takes so much from them in taxes. The state should take steps to mitigate wildfires instead of allowing PG&E to increase their rates by an average of 13%. Many people also called to voice concerns about PG&E’s top executive making over $60 million in compensation per year.
The improvements to infrastructure that PG&E is making are necessary, but one key factor isn’t being spoken about enough. And that factor is the over-reliance on electricity. California has banned the sale of new gas stoves and furnaces starting in 2030. There is also a push to ban the sale of internal combustion engines in favor of electric vehicles. This, of course, will cause a strain on an already-stressed power grid that often faces brownouts or rolling blackouts. Tesla owners may think they are saving money on gas at the pump, but they will pay more in the end, as will everyone else even if they don’t own a vehicle at all.
PG&E has been at the center of controversy in California in recent years. They pleaded guilty to 84 counts of manslaughter and filed for bankruptcy after facing $30 billion in damages after the Paradise campfire and other blazes that were sparked by their own equipment.
PG&E bills will go up by more than $32 per month next year in part to pay for wildfire protections | AP News
PG&E utility bills: Californians will pay nearly $400 more a year
Here’s why your PG&E bills will go up in 2024 – ABC30 Fresno
Monthly PG&E bills to increase starting in 2024 | KMPH
PG&E bills increasing in 2024 | abc10.com