Association Voices Concern Over PG&E Rate Increase

Yesterday, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) held a meeting in Merced to discuss the proposed revenue requirements for PG&E’s 2017 General Rate Case (GRC).  In Phase 1 of the GRC, PG&E asked for an increase of $85.7 million over present rates, followed by additional increases of $444 million in 2018 and $361 million in 2019.  While the public testimony was especially light, Association President/CEO Roger Isom was there and voiced the agricultural industry’s concerns over the continued increase in rates over the past 15 years.  Isom informed the PUC Commissions that average electricity rates for agriculture have increased from an average of 11.7 cents per kilowatt hour in 2000 to over 18 cents per kilowatt hour in 2017.  The total amount paid by farmers in the PG&E territory was around $500 million in 2004 and over $1.1 billion in 2014!  Coming increases in the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and further impacts from tightening greenhouse gas regulations will only serve to increase rates even further.  Isom told the Commissioners this must be considered and that agriculture cannot pass along the cost and has passed the point of being competitive.  The PUC can no longer ignore this!