SACRAMENTO, Calif. - State regulators on Thursday will decide whether Pacific Gas & Electric can raise its rates - once again.
The California Public Utilities commissioners will approve one of two plans for PG&E's budget; both of those plans mean customers will pay more.
No matter how the vote goes, the rates are going up in January. It's just a question of how much more.
One proposal would increase customers' monthly bill by an average of $31 more per month – a 12.5% increase.
The other proposal would bump up the monthly bill, on average, by about $32, which amounts to a nearly 12.8% increase.
By law, PG&E has to get approval from state regulators on its budget for the next four years.
The utility says because of inflation, and the cost to either insulate, or put more of its power lines underground, it needs more money for those fire-safety measures.
By law, PG&E is allowed to pass on the cost of those safety steps to ratepayers.
It initially asked for state regulators to approve a $15-billion budget.
State regulators said that was too much, slashed it by about $2 billion, and proposed two budget options.
The CPUC was supposed to vote on which of these two plans it would approve earlier this month.
But that vote was delayed as state regulators heard from many people about the financial burden this would put on rate payers.
California's Public Advocate Office says PG&E's rate increases in the last 10 years have far exceeded the rate of inflation and are more than what other utilities have charged.
Since 2014, PG&E customers' bills have increased 92%.