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How do Bay Area residents feel about PG&E's rate hike?

PG&E approved a new rate hike that will take effect January 1. How do Bay Area residents feel about the utility?
Theron Trowbridge
/
Flickr / Creative Commons
PG&E approved a new rate hike that will take effect January 1. How do Bay Area residents feel about the utility?

Rising PG&E rates are not a new story for Californians. According to a report from the commission's Public Advocate's Office, rates have increased by 92 percent since January 2014.

For today’s “Question of the Bay” segment, I asked a handful of current and former Bay Area residents how the ever-increasing PG&E rates impact their life.

Julia has lived in North Beach for 20 years. She says the rate hikes force her family to be overly cautious about their energy use, which is particularly challenging for her elderly mother.

"We never quite know how to navigate the jumps in our bills. Sometimes, and it seems like at least once a year, you get some astronomical bill, and you're like 'what the hell is this, or what the heck is this?' and you call them and they say 'oh you had extra wattage usage for certain days,' and yet it doesn't coincide with anything you know."

Richard believes the problem with PG&E lies with the Public Utilities Commission.

"The Public Utility Commission, the people who get appointed to that, are in bed with the utilities."

On November 20, the state Supreme Court ruled that PG&E does not have to pay damages to the thousands of Northern California customers who suffered power outages during wildfires.

Alastair Boone is the Co-Editor in Chief of Street Spirit newspaper, and a member of KALW's 2024 Audio Academy.