Gavinomics: CA’s Electricity Prices More than 2X National Average – Going Up 13% Again

Tone deaf Governor, legislators silent on massive PG&E rate hike

The California Utilities Commission just granted Pacific Gas and Electric a 13% rate hike – ostensibly to pay for under grounding power lines.

Because Gov. Gavin Newsom appoints the commissioners to the CPUC, this is “Gavinomics.” Expect the other utilities to hike the rates as well.

Until so much of California burned down in a succession of recent wildfires, most Californians assumed PG&E and other utilities were already under grounding power lines and maintaining their equipment. We certainly were always told our annual rate increases were necessary for infrastructure maintenance and repair.

Remember, it was only this April 2023 that Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric filed a proposal to install a fixed-rate electric bill system for those under the three largest power companies in the state, the Globe reported. A 2021 report from the University of California at Berkeley recommended that the state link California’s highest-in-the-nation electricity bills to customer incomes – ie. your ability to pay. The real plan is to create income-based utility billing. So hold that thought.

Residential electricity prices in California are already more than twice the national average.

We’ve already heard this tired, old one-hit-wonder – year after year, after year. PG&E et al come to the CPUC with an outlandish rate increase proposal. The play-haggle with CPUC Commissioners, and then POOF! The proposed rate increase gets cut in half, the CPUC pats itself on the back as if it has just gutted its own budget, ratepayers get stuck with higher and higher utility bills – more than double the national average of electricity rates – and PG&E gets more money for their shareholders… or to pay off lawsuits… which we were promised would not be paid by rate payers.

Frankly, the only way to assure ratepayers are not paying PG&E’s legal liabilities is to keep the rates the same – no new increases.

The CPUC’s Public Advocates Office found that PG&E’s residential electricity prices are more than double the national average. Customer rates went up 38% between January 2021 and September 2023.

The 13% rate hike amounts to an average of more than $32 per month next year per household.

For this latest increase, PG&E initially asked CPUC regulators to authorize rate increases by 26% so it could bury 2,100 miles of power lines in wildfire prone areas. Right.

Didn’t the courts already order PG&E to bury their power lines?

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2021:

“PG&E’s equipment has ignited more than 20 California wildfires within the past several years that have collectively killed more than 100 people and burned thousands of homes. Most of the fires were sparked when trees or branches touched the company’s wires.”

“PG&E is on criminal probation following a 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people in San Bruno, south of San Francisco. The company was convicted on felony charges of violating federal pipeline safety laws.

“A federal judge overseeing PG&E’s probation has for months been pressing the company to do more to manage the risks to its electric system and recently recommended it do more to address the threat of trees falling on its lines.

Let’s look at that 26% rate hike request – my PG&E bill in winter is often $455 and higher. Add to that the proposed 26% rate hike – $118.30 – and the bill jumps to $573.30. But I am supposed to be grateful that the rate hike will only be 13% – for the same service and energy delivery – only $59.15 more a month for a total of $514.15.

The CPUC’s Public Advocates Office also found Residential rate increases far exceed inflation.

Did you get a 13% pay raise from your employer? I love my employer, but I did not get a 13% pay raise.

Is it any wonder that around the state we are witnessing labor union strikes in nearly every industry – for higher pay and benefits. Their pay is also not keeping up with inflation – or PG&E’s rate increase.

As for the income-based utility billing, Currently, utility bills are based on electricity and gas consumption. The utility companies are now proposing income-based utility billing so that higher-income earners pay for more than they use, subsidizing the rates for lower income customers.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” Karl Marx wrote in his Communist Manifesto. In a nutshell, Marx said productive, hard-working and successful people must sacrifice to less productive, and unproductive people.

The State of California, the California Legislature and California Gov. Gavin Newsom are punishing productive successful people. Again. And they are saying the quiet parts out loud.

Gavinomics isn’t interested in the fact that California is rich in natural resources, which once powered the state: natural gas deposits in the Monterey Shale formation; geothermal energy, abundant rivers and waterways such as the San Joaquin River Delta and hydroelectric dams; the Pacific coastline; 85 million acres of wildlands with 17 million of those used as commercial timberland; and mines and mineral resources.

Instead, the real goal of the radical environmentalists is to make electricity so expensive, homeowners will be forced to initiate self-blackouts of electric appliances during certain times of day, and electric car owners won’t be able to afford the high costs to keep them charged.

Environmentalists have no special love for electric cars – they just want everyone out of cars. So if they can make electricity so expensive that people can’t afford to drive electric cars, well then good.

And this is done by limiting energy sources rather than using an all-of-the-above approach to energy production in California: Oil, gas, coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, solar and wind.

If all we are allowed to use is renewable energy for electricity production – a deliberate energy shortage – statewide shortages and rolling blackouts inevitably become the new California normal, as are higher and higher rates – less supply, more demand = higher prices. We are being conditioned to accept this as normal by some very evil leaders. Think “Gavinomics.”