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Assemblymember Connolly Joint Authors Bill Repealing Fixed Utility Charge

New legislation joint-authored with Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin repeals the California Public Utility Commission’s income-based fixed utility charge.

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, Assemblymember Damon Connolly (D-San Rafael) participated in a press conference announcing the introduction of a new bill, which repeals the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) income-graduated fixed utility charge. Assemblymember Connolly is co-authoring this bill with Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin and legislative colleagues representing districts throughout the state.

“The new fixed utility charge is another decision that will unfairly burden ratepayers and further increase costs on working families,” said Assemblymember Connolly. “This proposal is both unjust to low energy using households and harmful to the important incentives to conserve energy at home. We cannot move backwards on California’s clean energy future.”

The CPUC has authorized regulated utilities to charge residential energy customers a fixed, income graduated rate. However, this proposal deviates from the energy conservation-based model long promoted by the CPUC. Even under some of the lower proposed flat rates, analyses show that those who consume more electricity will receive a discount at the expense of a low electricity user. An income based fixed utility charge could remove the incentive for the kind of energy conservation that is needed in order to avoid environmental ramifications or energy network complications such as rolling blackouts. Further, this decision has been made without public participation hearings or consideration of its impacts on rooftop solar energy system policies.

This new legislation will repeal the income-graduated fixed utility charge authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission. This bill acknowledges that while a fixed charge may be needed, a policy shift of this magnitude should not move forward without sufficient time for public participation hearings, and that any fixed rate being considered must be in line with national rates.

The income-graduated fixed utility charge legislation will be officially introduced later this week.


Assembymember Connolly represents the entirety of Marin County and Southern Sonoma County