PG&E raising rates again, will cost customers nearly $9 a month

For the second time this year, PG&E is raising its rates.

Both gas and electric service will cost customers more starting in March, an increase of about 4.6 percent on average.

“This translates to an approximate $8.73 increase to their overall bill,” said PG&E spokesperson Paul Doherty. “A $5.01 increase for their electric service and a $3.72 increase for gas.”

The utility said the added revenue will pay for wildfire safety improvements.

“Such as weather stations, high definition cameras, enhanced vegetation management and importantly, hardening wires and poles as a part of PG&E’s community wildfire safety program,” said Doherty.

He stressed that none of money will be used to pay claims or settlements from recent wildfires or to pay executives.

PG&E recently raised their rates in January as well.

“This is absolutely the wrong time for bills to be going up in the middle of the pandemic. People are out of work, many people through no fault of their own,” said Mark Toney, executive director of TURN, The Utility Reform Network.

“What we need to do is to have a rate freeze for the next 24 months. That’s what TURN has called for, to give people a chance to get back on their feet.”

Toney is encouraging people to use a form on TURN’s website to send a letter protesting the rate hikes to the Public Utilities Commission.