Stop the Big Utility Tax Coalition statement on California PUC’s monthly fee proposal

CALIFORNIA— The California Public Utilities Commission, CPUC, issued a proposed decision yesterday outlining a new structure for utility bills, which would include a $24 monthly fee for most PG&E, SCE and SDG&E customers. 

According to an analysis by opponents of the plan, a $24 monthly fee would result in overall utility bills going up for millions of families who live in smaller homes and apartments, or who take steps to reduce their energy use. The bottom line is, under this proposal, utility bills would significantly increase for millions of working- and middle-class consumers.

The Stop the Big Utility Tax Coalition released the following statement, attributable to Bill Allayaud, director of California government affairs for the Environmental Working Group: 

The CPUC’s proposal is exactly what Californians should be worried about — a big utility tax that is twice the national average and totally uncapped. We all note many references to this only being the “first step” towards many other fixed charge increases in the near future. 

Simply put, it is a blank check to profitable utilities that gives them a guaranteed revenue stream for the costly projects that drive expensive electricity rates. Consumers by contrast will now have two ways for their bills to go up, through a monthly charge that is expected to increase over time along with constantly rising energy rates. 

This proposal is precisely what utilities have been lobbying for, with consumers left holding the bag. The only firewall between consumers and utility exploitation is the passage of A.B. 1999 (Irwin), which would impose much-needed caps on these unchecked and outrageous taxes. 

About the coalition 

Across California, more than 240 community organizations and leaders are joining together in the Stop the Big Utility Tax coalition to fight a proposal that would hike electricity bills for millions of working- and middle-class families in the state.

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