California power companies have submitted a joint proposal to the state’s Public Utilities Commission, they are Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, and San Diego Gas & Electric. They are the three largest power companies in California, KTLA 5 reported.
California Power Companies Proposed Fix-Rate Bill
The three large companies submitted a joint proposal for a new rate structure that follows last year’s passage of Assembly Bill 205. This bill requires a simpler power bill and a fixed rate. The proposed rate structure aims to provide relief to millions of customers while increasing transparency with bills.
The proposed fix-rate bill will offer households a fixed rate covering their basic electricity services and the company’s utility costs that are based on their income. For individuals with incomes between $28,000 and $69,000, monthly payments will be $20 in Edison territory, $34 in SDG&E territory, and $30 in PG&E territory. Those with incomes ranging from $69,000 to $180,000 will pay $51 per month in both Edison and PG&E territories, and $73 per month in SDG&E territory. Individuals with incomes above $180,000 will pay $85 per month in the Edison territory, $128 per month in the SDG&E territory, and $92 per month in the PG&E territory.
The power companies claim that this new rate structure will provide relief to millions of customers, especially those who live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to pay for essential services like energy, housing, and food. Southern California Edison (SCE) predicts that around 1.2 million of its customers with lower incomes will experience a reduction in their bills ranging from 16% to 21%. Overall, rates are expected to decrease by about 33% per kilowatt-hour for all residential customers.
Increase Transparency In Billing
In line with the affordability concerns, the proposed fix-rate bill also aims to increase transparency in billing. The structure of the new rate simplifies the process and provides a fixed rate, making it easier for customers to understand their electricity bill and plan accordingly.
However, there are also concerns about the timeline for implementing the proposed rate structure. Although the law mandates that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) must implement a new rate structure by July 1, 2024, Southern California Edison (SCE) anticipates that customers will likely not see the updated bills until 2025 at the earliest. Some advocates are urging for a faster implementation to provide relief to customers as soon as possible.
Overall, a fix-rate bill was proposed by California power companies that aims to provide relief to customers and implement a fixed rate based on household income. The proposed rate structure is expected to lower costs for lower-income customers and increase transparency in billing. However, the timeline for implementation is a concern, and advocates are pushing for faster action. As the state’s Public Utilities Commission reviews the proposal, customers are eagerly waiting to see how the new rate structure will impact their electricity bills in the coming years.