Utility Company’s Rate Hike Becomes Massive Financial Burden For California Customers

Sunny California: What could possibly ruin that reputation? Well, a wet and cold winter for one. Couple that with a recent rate hike by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and you’ve got the perfect storm set to ruin that sunny disposition. Given the continued rising cost of electricity in Northern California, some industry experts say investing in solar energy has never been a smarter decision. Factor in the fact that a typical 5 kilowatt residential unit has been shown to increase the worth of the home by at least $20,000 and you’re looking at a planet-saving, value-boosting investment.

According to a February 2017 Sacramento Bee article, PG&E took the step to raise natural gas rates in August 2016 and electricity rates saw three increases last year. Utility customers taking the rate hikes on the chin expressed severe discontent with the moves,  telling the newspaper that their bills have never been higher following this past winter’s cold snap.

The report adds that the rate hikes were properly approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.  In response to the public discontent, a PG&E spokesman told the newspaper that PG&E rates remain lower than the national residential average of $59.17. In a Jan. 11, 2017 statement from PG&E, the company says it is “streamlining management” and “implementing efficiency measures” to “keep customer bills affordable while investing in the future.”

“We are reducing support services costs in order to continue to invest in important safety initiatives and in modernizing our system to meet our customers’ future needs while keeping their bills as low as possible,” Geisha Williams, of PG&E, said in a press release.

What does this mean for the typical utility service customer looking to cut down on their bills? As evidenced above, solar energy harnessed by panels installed at your home or business is the best way of circumventing rate hikes and saving thousands of dollars on electric bills over the lifetime of your system that typically lasts about 25 years.

For the environmentally-conscious investor, the average 5kW system provides carbon offets that are equal to planting 4,753 trees, recycling 654 tones of waste, buring 99.4 tones of coal or driving an extra 408,000 miles. For additional information how to avoid falling victim to the rising cost of electricity in Northern California, call 415-458-5870.

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