USA – SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) customers are going to see more expensive bills that will help pay for equipment to help reduce the risk of wildfires.
Customers will begin seeing an 8% rate increase which is taking effect March 1, 2021.
This means residential customers will see an average increase of $13.44 per month. This comes after PG&E’s outdated equipment was blamed for causing wildfires during 2017 and 2018 killing more than 120 people.
KRCR spoke to PG&E customers in the Happy Valley area about this increase. Everyone said they believe the push for better equipment to protect their homes from wildfires is a great step forward, but it shouldn’t mean their bills are more expensive than their rent.
One customer said she believes there will still be bumps along the way even with the new equipment.
“I think it’s a fabulous idea at heart, I think that there are some little hiccups that they need to figure out,” Casey Hartzell said. “Because recently PG&E came by to clear some brush and trees around the telephone pole close to our home, however, they left all of it there, so they trimmed it all and left it on the ditch and on the road. It’s actually something my husband and I are going to have to clean up ourselves.”
The majority of the customers we spoke to had the same thought in common: They believe their bills are being increased far too much and too often—no matter the reason why.
The additional money paid will benefit more tree trimming, grid improvements, and other services to hopefully lessen the chance of wildfires starting.