PG&E has announced a 9% rate increase starting on March 1st following approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.
PG&E says prices are going up because of an increase in natural gas and electric energy prices, along with a reduction in hydroelectric generation due to the recent drought in the state. According to an official post on the company website, natural gas market prices from November 2021 to January 2022 in the Northern and Southern California regions are 90% higher than last winter. “We haven’t seen a market price increase this big and lasting this long in a very long time,” said Martin Wyspianski, PG&E senior director, Electric and Gas Acquisition. “There have been short-term price increases lasting a few months due to cold weather like we experienced in 2018-2019 or tied to weather events like hurricanes, but nothing this large and sustained in the last decade”
The company says it offers several financial assistance options to help customers that will be challenged by the rate increase. PG&E customers can use a variety of programs and tools to help manage their energy usage and lower their bills this winter, from energy efficiency programs to help for lower-income customers through reduced rates and one-time assistance.