Thursday, January 21, 2010

PG&E Asks for 8.6% Rate Increase in 2011

My January PG&E Bill included an insert summarizing rate increases requested in the company's "2011 General Rate Case Application Filing A.09-12.020"

These inserts often go straight to the recycling bin unread, but I took the time to scan this one. PG&E is proposing an 8.6% rate increase on Jan. 1, 2011 for residential service. The increase will be smaller for low-usage customers and larger high-usage customers. As they put it:

"A typical ... residential customer using 550 kWh per month would increase $2.37 or 3.2%, from $74.13 to $76.50. The bill for a typical residential customer using 850 kWh per month would increase by $17.44, or 10.6%, from $164.15 to $181.59"

Proposed increases for commercial customers range from 5.8-7.6%.

Time to go solar!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Pacific Gas and Electric's Jan. 1 Rate Increase

PG&E raised its residential electric rates again on Jan. 1, 2010 by 3% for the most frugal users and 7% for heavy consumers. This was the 6th rate increase in the last 3 years. There have also been 4 rate decreases, but the increases tend to be large and the decreases are usually quite small.

Because rate increases have been tilted toward the ratepayers who use the most electricity, the compound average annual growth in rates over the last 3 years depends greatly on which of the 5 "tiers" you are in. Here are the average annual price increases by Tier from Jan. 1, 2007 to Jan. 1, 2010:

Tier 1 1.4%
Tier 2 1.3%
Tier 3 6.4%
Tier 4 8.1%
Tier 5 8.6%

Tier 5 energy now costs $.474 per kilowatt hour, significantly higher than the UNSUBSIDIZED cost of residential solar energy about double the cost after taking tax credits and the state rebate into account