PG&E's rising prices have prompted homebuyers to look beyond the company's land

SACRAMENTO — Get ready to pay more for Pacific Gas and Electric service. State regulators approved another hike in utility company interest rates.

The change will add about $5 per month to customers' bills. This is in addition to historic highs that took effect just two months ago.

Successive interest rate increases have caused people to look to buy a home outside of PG&E's coverage area.

“This is déjà vu all over again,” says California Rep. Josh Harder.

People are fed up.

“I'm tired of the rising prices,” says Lisa Woods, a PG&E customer.

“I don't think I can say what I want to say here on TV,” said another PG&E customer, Sam Cieri.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved the rate increase, which will take effect April 1.

“We're talking about a $5 per month increase on top of the $38 increase that went into effect on January 1,” PG&E CEO Mark Toney said. “PG&E customers deserve an explanation.” Utility Repair Network.

PG&E saw $2 billion in profits last year.

“I think this has become a real decision that people have to make about whether or not they want to live within PG&E's jurisdiction,” Harder said.

Instead of potential homebuyers checking which school district their neighborhood is located in, some are now checking to see what amenity district they will live in.

“Sometimes, buyers may target Folsom rather than El Dorado Hills, or they may target a city like Roseville that has its own electric company rather than surrounding areas that rely on PG&E,” housing analyst Ryan Lundquist said.

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There are no limits to the number of times PG&E can increase rates. The CPUC just has to give the green light.

CBS13 reached out to the campus and inquired about their approval. “The decision allows PG&E to recover costs spent on wildfire safety work completed in 2020-2022 and primarily natural gas safety work in 2022,” they said in a statement.

“How can a company have $2 billion in revenue and still look at the taxpayers and say, ‘You have to pay us more money for the exact same service from the previous year’? It’s not like we’re getting a better toaster oven.” He said harder.

“They don't know when to stop,” Siri said. “There's no end in sight.”

But there may be an end in sight, as frustrated lawmakers say enough is enough.

“Since the Public Utilities Commission is unwilling to set these limits, we need the Legislature to step in and set these limits,” Tony said.

Harder is currently working on federal legislation to prohibit consistent rate increases in order to hold utility companies accountable.

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