How much could PG&E’s rates rise? What you need to know



Based on what we know, the average residential PG&E customer could pay nearly $300 more a year in the next three years, or a 15% increase in their monthly bills. This is because the utility is asking permission from state regulators — separately from the bankruptcy proceedings — to increase its revenue in two ways. Most, but not all, of the new revenue would be passed to consumers.

First, PG&E has asked for a three-year increase totaling $2 billion.That would include a 12.4% jump next year, a 4.7% increase the year after that and a 4.8% hike in 2022. That’s nearly a 22% rise. PG&E says much of the extra money is needed for fire-safety improvements such as more fire-resistant poles, covered power lines, new weather stations and high-definition field cameras.

In this scenario, for the average PG&E residential customer using both electricity and gas, the current bill of $165.94 a month would go up to $186.24 in three years.

On top of that, PG&E wants to raise the guaranteed rate of return for capital investments that it gets under California law from 10.25% to 12%. It had sought a return as high as 16% in April. PG&E is arguing that it needs to offer investors bigger profits to offset the financial risks of liability in major wildfires.

This request would add an additional $4.12 a month to the average residential bill. Combined, the increases would be $293 a year.