Monday, January 4, 2016

PG&E Rings in 2016 with the Largest Baseline Rate Increase in Modern History

We knew it was coming, and here it is. Happy New Year! Enjoy your 2016 PG&E electricity rate increase. According to the PG&E Tariff record, this year’s rate hike represents a one-year 12.5% increase in the baseline Tier 1 cost of electricity and a 17% increase in Tier 2 power since Jan. 2015. This is the highest rate increase ever recorded in the baseline cost of PG&E electricity in the past 20 years, and it represents a fundamental shift in how most Californians pay for their electricity. During the first 12 years of the century, the baseline cost for power was essentially locked in, and higher users paid a punitive premium by using power in Tiers 3, 4 and 5. Starting in 2012, backlash from utility customers with larger use profiles necessitated a shift in policy toward a more equitable rate schedule. Over the past four years, more and more of the rate paying burden has shifted toward the lower tiers. Everyone buys Tier 1 power. Most people buy Tier 2 power. Not everyone buys Tier 3-4. If you choose to NOT go solar, you can expect more of the same rate treatment from PG&E for the far foreseeable future with no control and no relief.