CA Energy Company Set To Rip Off Customers, Yet Again

MacroEcon /
MacroEcon /

A new report by Fox KTVU shows The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has requested commission regulators to allow them to jack month rates up by an average of $20 a month. Citing climate change concerns, they offered analysis from The Utility Reform Network, which would be an addition to the already proposed and approved hike that would have increased their utility bills by an average of $33 a month.

Filing the request with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), they claimed that they needed the billions in extra income for their grid to make it through further climate changes their experts anticipate. As it stands their crumbling infrastructure is responsible for multiple billion-dollar fires in the state since the late 2010s. Despite multiple reports that cited their lines as being responsible, they continue to cite climate change.

Mark Toney, the executive director for The Utility Reform Network spoke with Fox KTVU about their claims against the reality of the situation. “It’s gonna be between $12 and $20 additional each month. That’s on top of the $33 that’s coming January 1. They want them to start collecting in March, even before the CPUC has held a proceeding and decided whether PG&E should get paid back by ratepayers; two billion dollars for overspending … PG&E has several requests for at least another $3 billion.”

Serving as the regulator for the state’s utility companies, CPUC is charged with not only ensuring people have reliable and safe utilities available but also paying a fair and equitable price for that service. Thus far, CPUC has failed to ensure their safety. If anything, they have failed Californians. As it stands, they pay some of the highest utility costs in the nation. Not only due to the poor financial management of PG&E but also the horrific infrastructure repairs and maintenance of the grid.

With acres of heavily overgrown trees, poorly connected wires, and horrific public lands management, “climate change” fails to paint the whole picture of the problems with PG&E’s management. Their efforts to increase their income while posting consistent profits for their investors.

For the customers in their 70,000 square mile footprint in CA and NV, they are the only option. Even with solar or other “green” energy options that are often favored by the liberals in their area. The CPUC still requires a hard connection to a public utility. Ultimately this allows the grid to buy back energy at cheap prices and lets green customers make back pennies on the dollar compared to what they spent to build the system. Sadly though, for many, this ends up just being an extra expense.

This is one of the areas where the liberals got their hooks in decades ago, and we have never been able to easily get them free. Simply put, we have competition on the grid for other utilities in much of the US. Television, the internet, and cell phones all have options. Natural gas often only has one option, but that can be exchanged for propane or heating oil. Both fossil fuel options have competitors. Yet other utilities like electricity and water have only one provider.

These monopolies operated by the city municipality in the case of water, and regional companies with electricity all have their hooks in deep. They can and do charge whatever they want. With little to no oversight besides a council comprised of people they cherry-picked is a laugh. There is no real oversight or accountability for their actions, and now they are getting ready to stick it to the people of California. Again.

As much as we may want to feel sympathy for them, it needs to be treated as an example of what wrong looks like. Of how corrupt things become when you keep voting to the left. If we don’t heed them as a warning, we as a nation are doomed.