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FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — The City of Fresno is saying “no” to proposed PG&E rate increases.

Mayor Jerry Dyer recently wrote a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission with concerns about how the proposed rate hikes would affect Fresno. PG&E filed a rate increase request that could see a 22% increase for residential customers between 2023 and 2026.

In the Fresno City Council meeting Thursday, a resolution was discussed opposing PG&E’s rate hike.

Mayor Jerry Dyer and City Council President Luis Chavez this week called on PG&E regulatory authority and the California Public Utilities Commission CPUC to freeze electricity rates.

The first-year increase alone would be 18%.  PG&E’s request would also affect low-income customers enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, who would face an 18.3% first-year increase.

Mayor Dyer said the PG&E rate models which demonstrate usage of “typical” customers, do not accurately reflect Fresno or the Central Valley.  Due to the Valley’s climate, residents buy more electricity annually than coastal, northern or mountain regions, which means Valley customers unfairly carry an excessive and disproportionate share of the burden.

The Mayor has requested the CPUC and PG&E to consider the following:

  • Freeze current rates until equitable rate reforms and spending control measures to offset rate increases are implemented.
  • Internal utility cost cutting and budget analysis to include a deep cutting of spending and expenses within their existing organization.
  • Rate Reform should include the following:
    • A fair and equitable spread of charges across the entire service territory
    • Regional rate setting models to better reflect those receiving service
    • Remove charges from the volumetric kWh that are not directly related to the cost to procure and deliver electricity.  This includes but are not limited to Wildfire Fund Charges, Electric Public Purpose Program, and Nuclear Decommissioning.

The CPUC will hold Public Participation Hearings later this year to provide residents an opportunity to speak publicly regarding the requested rate increases.  The Mayor has requested the CPUC to hold hearings in Fresno.

by: Gabe Salazar

Posted:  Updated: