California May Hit Residents with Fixed Utility Rates in Push for ‘Clean Energy’

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Residents of Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom’s California may soon be slapped with a fixed electricity charge in the state’s push toward green energy.

The California Public Utilities Commission will vote on May 9, 2024, on whether the state’s biggest power providers may issue a fixed charge, CalMatters reported Monday.

The article said that, per the proposed rule, “the utilities will be required to lower the rate we all pay for each unit of power we consume.”

In a news release on March 27, 2024, the commission explained:

As required by Assembly Bill (AB) 205, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today released a proposal that would cut the price of residential electricity for Californians, reduce electricity bills for lower income Californians and those living in parts of the state most impacted by extreme weather, while also advancing the state’s clean energy goals.

Under the proposal, the flat rate would be $24.15 per month, which would reduce the price of a unit of electricity for all customers by 5 to 7 cents per kilowatt-hour. $24.15 is the same amount as the flat rate for Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) customers, and significantly less than some stakeholder proposals that ranged up to $73 per month.

Customers enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) low-income assistance program will benefit from a discounted flat rate of $6 per month. Customers enrolled in the Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA), as well as those residing in deed-restricted affordable housing with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income, will qualify for a discounted flat rate of $12 per month.

According to CalMatters, Republicans are against the idea because “the income-varying nature of the charge smacks of a progressive income tax.”

Some Democrats have also criticized it because “the lower volumetric rates will water down the incentive to mind one’s electric usage.”

Breitbart News reported in August that California was depending on fossil fuels for electricity as the summer temperatures rose. The outlet pointed to the fact that solar and wind energy were unable to meet demand during peak hours.

In September 2022, officials in California declared an “Energy Emergency Alert” when the state became drained of power supplies and had to activate four backup plants powered by natural gas, according to Breitbart News.


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