PG&E ratepayers will fund the utilities undergrounding efforts with a 13% rate increase, approved by the Califronia Public Utilities Commission yesterday.
PG&E’s CEO, in a statement following the unanimous approval by the commission, said the utility appreciates the recognition of the importance of safety and reliability PG&E is making on behalf of its customers.
PG&E initially sought a steeper increase double what the commission approved. The proposed 26% would have increased the utility revenue to nearly 15 and half billion, with the company committing about two-thirds to ongoing wildfire risk management plans.
Yet after a two-week delay on the decision, the CPUC unanimously approved the 13% hike but only with careful consideration.
During the commission’s hearing, the Associated Press reported a self-proclaimed Camp Fire survivor said the rate hikes were “outrageous.” She accused the company of trying to secretly recoup the billions of dollars it paid to wildfire victims in settlements.
The increase is expected to average an additional 30 dollars to bills for more than 16 million in the state, set to take effect on January 1st.