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State Sen. Hill to look into higher than normal bills for PG&E customers

Original post made on Feb 9, 2017

According to Sen. Jerry Hill's office, customers in the Bay Area, as well as the Sacramento Valley, have said that their gas and electric bills were raised significantly during the past winter months.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 2:33 PM

Comments (26)

17 people like this
Posted by Frugal
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 9, 2017 at 12:49 pm

Our gas bill was over $400 last month, a huge spike. I didn't bother complaining because I knew I'd just get PG&E's patronizing pablum -- telling us that we're turning the heat up too high and somehow are too dumb to realize it. Fact is, our heat is off almost all the time, we just had the furnace checked to make sure it wasn't the problem, and we use very little hot water. Interesting to hear that others are in a similar situation.


17 people like this
Posted by Madeline J
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 9, 2017 at 12:51 pm

I definitely noticed this although I did not report it to anyone. Our bill was about 50% higher than I was expecting. Thank you to Sen. Hill for looking into it.


30 people like this
Posted by Atherton Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2017 at 1:10 pm

PG&E and Sen. Hill will give you a lot of "sympathy" and "understanding", but no action will be taken. Look at your bill & compare it with friends in other locations - especially outside of CA. Our tier 3 electricity is $0.40/kwh. East Coast utilities are closer to $0.08/kwh for all usage! Sure - they use more coal - but we are told that Solar & Wind are cheaper than coal. What is "wrong with this picture"? It is a bloated & overpaid PG&E bureaucracy and a PUC that is in their & the politicians "pocket". Every time I see one of the many PG&E ads on TV, I wonder why I am paying for advertisements to me!!ii

PG&E must be reformed & restructured. It starts with the PUC


20 people like this
Posted by Menlo Taxpayer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 9, 2017 at 1:54 pm

I wish it were comforting to hear we are just another member of the "over $400 utility bill club", but it's not. It's more like outrageous. Criminally convicted PG&E is still at the trough without adequate discipline by the PUC for its many transgressions. If regulation is an issue for American business, then see what lax regulation brings the citizenry -- price gouging, indifferent service, significant safety risks and white-washing propaganda, all paid for by the ratepayer!


8 people like this
Posted by Liz
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Feb 9, 2017 at 2:41 pm

We can't turn down our heat any lol ower. California is becoming too expensive, so we are looking at moving to another states.
Well be sad to leave, but if it's not one huge expense, it's another.


13 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 9, 2017 at 7:05 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

We're over $400 on our last bill. Never seen it that high except during the summer when we're running the AC. PG&E sent us some BS about how this is all about their making improvements to safety of their gas lines. You mean like you were already paid to do?

The PUC needs to be completely replaced.


8 people like this
Posted by Roger Sundahl
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Feb 10, 2017 at 12:04 am

We moved to Washington State in 2015. The gas and electric bill for our 4500 square foot home is slightly less than it was for our 2300 square foot home in .Ladera.


2 people like this
Posted by Stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Feb 10, 2017 at 11:07 am

On the electric side, here's a partial explanation in the LATimes. CA utilities overbuilding power plants, partially because they can charge directly through to the ratepayers.
Web Link

I would recommend that San Mateo county residents switch to Peninsula Clean Energy for electric. Their base rate for 2017 is 6.8c / kWhr. Anybody in San Mateo should be able to sign up and it's all still billed through PG&E.
Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 10, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Senator Hill= all talk no action. PUC needs total replacement. Did not see him ask or present any bills to to this.


6 people like this
Posted by HankLawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 11, 2017 at 9:15 am

PG&E has 71 attorneys on its corporate staff just in the San Francisco office alone.

Web Link

It's goal is to inveigle to the PUC to give it as many rate increases as possible and to avoid or delay making infrastructure improvements as promised in its many PUC rate increase applications. San Francisco has the fifth most expensive utilities in the nation. The large part of the credit goes to the PG&E legal staff.

Web Link

The San Francisco Business times said in its article condemning PG&E for its unbridled avariciousness:

"PG&E said that between December 2015 and December 2016, 'a number' of approved rate increases resulted in residential rates increasing 21 percent. Rates increased 7 percent on Jan. 1, 2015, and then a further 13 percent on Aug. 1, with at least three rate increases for electricity happening in the last year alone."

Web Link





1 person likes this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Feb 11, 2017 at 2:32 pm

I'd recommend checking your usage on the PG&E site. Their tools for looking at energy usage have gotten dramatically better over the years, or you can use an app like PG&E Toolkit. These tools let you do a quick sanity check to see if your year-over-year usage is up, if the rate hike caused the increase, or if PG&E made a billing error.

For us, our YoY usage was down slightly, but the overall cost was up slightly. The numbers were roughly in line with the rate hikes - an average per-therm cost increase of 15% across a couple of months.


4 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 11, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

my gas is up 33% over same time last year. PG&E says price increase accounts for 15%. I don't buy it.


3 people like this
Posted by Had enough
a resident of another community
on Feb 14, 2017 at 7:28 am

Out of control rate increase! How are they getting away with this? This new 2017 rate increase had my bill going up at least 50%. I work full time and the gas is off during the day and minimal electric is used. I have cut back still more on use (even burned on non spare the air days to save money) and this increase is hideous.

I never trust PG&E and they are using these rate increases to pay for their corporate individuals or to cover the San Bruno pipeline incident.
Something needs to be done and investigated. A Class Action lawsuit?


3 people like this
Posted by caroline V.
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Feb 14, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Thank you for reporting the wonderful intentions of Senator Hill.
I believe he also promised San Bruno victims he would hold PG&E accountable:
Web Link
and once again we saw nothing done and a judge called in favor of PG&E:
Web Link


I would also like to remind everybody that unless you opt out now all PG&E customers will be automatically enrolled in the Peninsula Clean Energy options set by your local official on March 1, 2017. Unless you were already enrolled in the first phase which happened in 2016.



3 people like this
Posted by Enuff
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 15, 2017 at 1:01 pm

The other problem is that whenever PG&E is caught being negligent, etc. and fined, they pass that fine on to us, the customers! So we win nothing by holding them accountable.

PG&E can only get away with this price gauging because it has a virtual monopoly.

What are our alternatives?


2 people like this
Posted by Mper
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Feb 15, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Our bill was well over $500 this month. Looking at our bill from the same time last year, we noticed that this year the billing period is ~3 days longer. That along with a hefty increase might account for some of it.


Like this comment
Posted by Mper
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Feb 15, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Sorry, I meant last month, not this month's bill.


1 person likes this
Posted by Jenson
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 16, 2017 at 6:36 am

Talk talk talk, nothing will happen. This is lip service from Hill. Just means it's time to go solar


1 person likes this
Posted by complain
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 16, 2017 at 9:08 am

the monthly use statements are a crock. Don't compare usage of households of 4-6 with that of small apartments that have 1-2 residents. Comparing Apples to lumps of Coal.

Complain to State reps and Gov Brown. Maybe someone will grow a backbone. My expectations are low.


1 person likes this
Posted by Tina Thompson
a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2017 at 7:56 pm

I can't believe my bill went up over 50% and when I contacted PG&E I'm told that my meter stopped recording after 12 am so on 1/12/17 they had to install a new meter. A meter that jacked my rate up over 50%...something needs to be done about this immediately. I live in an apartment complex and was never notified that this had happened and will be checking with other tenants to see if they also have been affected.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 16, 2017 at 8:14 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Tina:

That happened at my home, but I knew it becasue I have a monitor for my electric use. It was clear there was a meter failure. Took PG&E about a month to put in a new meter. Reported usage went back to normal.


Like this comment
Posted by Beth
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 17, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Over the years we've had rate increases, supposedly to improve and repair. When is a company or corporation held responsible? On, that's right. They and their dollars elected the man occupying the White House. Don't be fooled.


Like this comment
Posted by Tim
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 17, 2017 at 2:15 pm

@Beth
What are you talking about? PG&E was just received a criminal conviction in federal court over its irresponsible behavior in San Bruno. The feds are holding PG&E responsible for its actions.

If you're complaining about rate increases, those are reviewed and approved by the CPUC, not the feds. You need to complain to STATE leaders that are letting PG&E get too cozy with its regulator.


Like this comment
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 17, 2017 at 5:08 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

that is why the entire CPUC needs to be replaced. Tooooooo cozy.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 17, 2017 at 6:18 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"that is why the entire CPUC needs to be replaced. Tooooooo cozy."

Totally agree


2 people like this
Posted by BobD
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 18, 2017 at 10:04 am

The new rate structure PG&E got through is incredible. I have a solar array on my roof. I'm also enrolled in Peninsula Clean Energy, as virtually all San Mateo county residents are. The way my electric bill is computed has changed. Distribution fees are separate from the actual cost of the electricity. PG&E has managed to make the distribution fees this year equal to the cost of electricity and distribution last year! What is the PUC doing?


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