In recent years, California residents have grappled with soaring electricity rates, exacerbated by threats of wildfires and power outages. PG&E’s rates have increased by 50% in just four years, with some of the steepest rate increases affecting low-income households (CARE rates) and electric vehicle owners.
Solar panels with batteries offer a solution, however, PG&E is desperate to keep homeowners from going solar. They are constantly changing rate plans, fixed fees, policy, times-of-use and billing options – implementing 108 Residential Rates changes since Jan 2008! All of them bad for the consumer, confusing and more complicated than the last.
To sum it up, PG&E customers currently pay 80% more for electricity than the national average.
How’d we get here?
Let’s take a look starting in 2017 when PG&E utility rates were already among the highest in the U.S.
- Since 2017, PG&E has been blamed for more than 1,500 wildfires, destroyed more than 23,000 homes and businesses, caused months of toxic air quality in our region and has been convicted of manslaughter for the death of nearly 100 Californians.
- 2017… PG&E started serving time on probation, and as a convicted felon, donated $208,000 to Gavin Newsom’s run for governor. Sound fishy? It’s true.
- In 2018, PG&E announced that all residential customers would be transitioned to more expensive Time-of-Use Rates: Not surprisingly, TOU rates have increased the fastest. Average Time-of-Use Rates have increased 144% in the last 10 years!
- In 2019 PG&E declared bankruptcy because it said it didn’t have enough money to pay damages to tens of thousands of Californians for killing their loved ones, burning down their homes, and destroying their livelihoods. Those 83,000 people had to settle for being paid partly in shares of PG&E stock because the company said it didn’t have enough cash to pay them.
- In 2020, PG&E found millions to spend on what was apparently a higher priority: influencing California politics. Politicians and campaigns took a total of $2.1 million from PG&E.
- In 2019, a federal judge ruled against PG&E, citing that it spent more than $4.5 BILLION on Lobbying, PR and dividends for its investors while neglecting safety measures to protect California.
- Despite all of this, in July 2019, while promoting clean energy and implementing all-electric mandates in California, CA Governor Gavin Newsome approved AB 1054 which allows PG&E to charge ratepayers for damages and settlements from wildfires they caused. PG&E now has a legal mechanism for charging you more for electricity to cover their legal fees and lawsuit payouts (not to mention campaign donations and corporate salaries in the tens of millions).
- Since the passage of AB 1054 in 2019, PG&E E-1 baseline energy rates have increased 60+%. That is a staggering 12.6% annual increase.
- In 2021 PG&E paid its new CEO Patricia Poppe $51+ Million ANNUALLY, making her the highest paid utility CEO in the U.S.
- While California mandates a future with 100% Electric Vehicles (EV) – The EV Off-Peak rates (when you are supposed to charge your car to help the grid) have increased 114% since 2019! Almost 30% per year.
- Since 2008 Low Income (CARE) Rates have gone from a 50% discount to a 35% discount, with an increase of 154% in the daily minimum meter fee.
Currently, PG&E electricity rates are among the highest in the US and 80% above the national average. PG&E continues to operate on probationary status as a convicted felon, guilty of repeated counts of violating probation, criminal negligence and manslaughter.
As of September 2023, there is no end in sight to PG&E rates increases…
All the while California continues to implement mandates for all-electric vehicles and all-electric homes, which will further strain the already volatile grid and increase rates even more.
The exorbitant rate hikes imposed by PG&E have Californians searching for ways to regain control of their energy costs. The rise in rates, especially for EV owners, has created an urgent need to explore alternative energy solutions.
The power to change our energy landscape ultimately rests with you. Embracing solar panels and battery storage systems not only liberates you from PG&E’s grip, shields you from the financial impact of rate hikes, saves you tens or hundred of thousands of dollars, but solar also empowers you to contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable future. Take charge of your energy destiny and invest in a brighter tomorrow.