PG&E’s $2 billion rate increase gets no support at Santa Rosa public hearing

PG&E found few supporters at a public hearing Wednesday on the company’s request for a $2 billion gas and electric rate increase that requires approval from California’s utility watchdog.

About 30 people attended the first in a pair of hearings held in the afternoon and evening, and the seven who spoke heaped criticism on the embattled power company, some of them speaking in emotional tones.

A much larger crowd attended the evening hearing in the Santa Rosa City Council chambers, also held by administrative law judges for the California Public Utilities Commission.

Pacific Gas & Electric, which is also engaged in bankruptcy proceedings, filed a request in December for a 6.4% rate hike that would add $10.57 a month to the typical gas and electric customer’s bill next year. The new rates would boost company revenues by $1.1 billion in 2020, by $454 million in 2021 and by $486 million in 2022.

John Simon, a PG&E executive vice president, acknowledged that the rate proposal “comes at a difficult time,” adding the company’s commitment is to “keep customer costs as low as possible while meeting our responsibility to safely serve all of our customers.”

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PG&E’s $2 billion rate increase gets no support at Santa Rosa public hearing, by Guy Kovnar, The Press Democrat, July 31, 2019.

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