California utility companies propose charging customers based on how much money they make
In California, a new proposal has been put forth that would require utility companies to factor in a customer's income when calculating their bills. The proposal aims to help low-income households better afford electricity, which can be a significant expense for many Californians.
The proposal, which was put forth by the California Public Utilities Commission, would require utility companies to offer reduced rates to low-income customers based on their income level. The goal is to help these households better afford their basic needs and reduce the financial burden that high utility bills can cause.
The proposal is still in the early stages, and it is unclear how it will be implemented or what impact it will have on utility bills in California.
There are a number of reasons why utility bills can be a significant expense for many Californians. First, the state has some of the highest utility rates in the country, due in part to its efforts to transition to renewable energy sources. Second, California's high cost of living means that many households are already struggling to make ends meet, and high utility bills can push them over the edge.
For example, for SoCal Edison, their income based proposed charges are:
Under $28,000/YR $15/month
$28,000 - $69,000/YR $20/month
$69,000 - $180,000/YR $51/month
Over $180,000/YR $85/month
It is worth noting, however, that the proposal could also have unintended consequences. The bill would now be split into a fixed rate plus the cost of generating energy, which can fluctuate depending on various factors.
Jamie Court, President of Consumer Watchdog, states:
"Your bill can still go up significantly if the cost of generating the electricity goes up and those are the costs that are more volatile."
Regarding customers with solar panels, Court says:
"Why are they paying again for transmitting and distributing electricity they're not using."
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