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Energy Costs -- What's Going On

For immediate release:

Over the past month, households in the North Bay, including mine, got slammed with unexpectedly high energy bills. As your State Assemblymember and a newly appointed member of the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee, I wanted to share the latest updates on the situation and ensure you received information about incoming utility bill credits and hearings that will investigate and provide oversight on utility companies. I hope the information and links below are helpful.

Utility Bill Credit

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) confirmed that residential customers should see relief in the form of a utility bill credit should arrive as soon as possible. The California Climate Credit will help offset higher-than-normal natural gas and electricity bills. According to PG&E, natural gas residential customers will receive around $53, and residential electric customers will receive approximately $38. Customers who receive both services will receive a total credit of $91. To read more about this utility bill credit, click here.


California Arrearage Payment Program

More than 300,000 eligible PG&E customers who experienced financial hardships during the pandemic will receive an automatic one-time bill credit in early February under this program. Customers do not need to apply for the credit, and amounts will vary depending on the situation. If you believe you qualify for this program or want to read more, click here.


Energy Oversight Hearing

As a new Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee member, I'm looking forward to holding our first official oversight hearing on Wed., Feb. 22, at 1:30 p.m. This hearing will examine energy affordability issues and the recent spike in natural gas prices. The Committee plans to host three panels of experts to discuss natural gas affordability, electric affordability, and additional proposals that can reduce costs without harming the environment. If you are interested in attending the hearing, click here.


Why Did Energy Bills Get So Expensive?

The recent increase in natural gas prices was a significant factor in why utility bills rose throughout the country. Many sections of the U.S. pipeline system had to undergo repairs. At the same time, natural gas exports from Europe decreased due to the war in Ukraine. Prices shot up because supplies were at an all-time low. As we've all noticed, the weather has also been frigid, which increased the statewide demand for heating during a period when natural gas supplies were low. As a result, energy prices skyrocketed more than 300 percent (from last year), which drove the price of our utility bills up. Thankfully, most pressures on the market have declined, so we should expect a steep drop in the cost of our next utility bill.

As always, email or call my office with questions or comments; we're here to help.