Understanding why prices are going up is a common question we get here at PG&E, and one that we do not shy away from. Increasing rates for our customers is not an easy decision nor one that we take lightly, and as our valued customer, we believe you deserve an explanation for why this is necessary.
In the most recent proposed rate increase, we really have two factors that are driving the need to raise prices. The first is our commitment to end catastrophic wildfires. PG&E has taken a stand that catastrophic wildfires must end, and we are committed to doing our part to meet this. We have been making our systems more fire resistant, increasing our vegetation management programs, and introducing new technology such as Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings (EPSS) that will help in this goal, but we are taking this stand a step further by undergrounding over 1,230 miles of power lines. Undergrounding power lines reduces wildfire risk by 94% and eliminates the need for some of our annual vegetation management programs, resulting in long term savings.
The second factor driving the rate increase is California's push toward electrification. California has committed to reducing carbon emissions and pushing toward a greener future. New communities are popping up all over California that do not have any gas lines, many appliances that were previously fueled by gas will only be available in electric options, and electric vehicles are more popular than ever. This increased demand for electricity means we need a larger electric grid to support the needs of Californians.
The future of California is bright and sustainable with the efforts we are putting forth. We know that these rate changes impact you in your homes and businesses and we are your partner in creating a better future for all Californians. If you are in need of financial assistance, applications to our discount programs can be found by visiting our Financial Assistance page.