PG&E has struck a deal with an array of groups regarding a key proceeding before state regulators, a settlement that could unleash a big increase in monthly power bills for customers of the disgraced utility.
The settlement, if given final approval by the state Public Utilities Commission, would lead to a significant increase in monthly costs for gas and electricity customers, nearly $6 a month.
The PG&E deal sketches out how much funding the utility should receive for a host of endeavors that would be aimed at sharply reducing the risk of wildfires in the wake of several catastrophic and lethal infernos sparked by PG&E’s equipment in recent years.
Monthly bills for the average customer who receives gas and electricity services from PG&E would rise $5.69 a month, up 3.4 percent from the current average monthly bill for the two services.
Electricity customers would endure an average increase of $4.90 a month, according to estimates provided by PG&E.
Gas customers would see an average increase of 79 cents a month.
The money would be used for a number of programs that PG&E and state officials hope will reduce the odds of a disastrous wildfire.
Eight parties, including two units of the PUC and the consumer group TURN, reached the settlement with PG&E.
“The parties agree that the CPUC should approve funding for PG&E’s ongoing wildfire prevention efforts, risk monitoring, emergency response, increased vegetation management, hardening of PG&E’s electric system, and other new and enhanced safety measures to further reduce wildfire risk,” PG&E stated in a prepared release.