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PG&E rates could drastically change based on your income

A PG&E electrical substation
A PG&E electrical substation is visible in front of the San Francisco skyline. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images | Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Pacific Gas & Electric customers could see a drastic change to their energy bills if the energy firm has its way.

PG&E, along with Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, have submitted a joint plan to levy an income-based fixed rate model, with higher-income residents paying higher rates while lower-income households would pay less.

The flat rate pricing model would affect all California customers who receive electricity service from those three companies.

Under the plan, first reported by the San Diego-Union Tribune, PG&E customers earning less than $28,000 annually would pay $15 per month for electricity; customers earning between $28,000 and $69,000 would pay $30; and those earning $69,000 to $180,000 would pay $51 a month. Households earning more than $180,000 would pay $92 a month.

The planned change for PG&E customers comes after a rate hike in January.

A final decision would be made in mid-2024 by the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates utilities, including PG&E, and the plan could be implemented by 2025.

“AB 205 instructs the CPUC to base the residential fixed charge on a customer’s household income level, with lower income households paying less than higher income households for grid and other costs,” a PG&E spokesperson said. “The joint proposal would reduce the bills of low-income and disadvantaged customers who need help the most. This represents approximately 30% of PG&E customers across the state. On average, moderate-income customers would also have lower bills.”

Garrett Leahy can be reached at

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