PG&E rates set to increase in wake of San Bruno explosion

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The money will be used to help the utility pay to improve gas lines in the wake of the San Bruno pipeline explosion. (KFSN)

Your summer utility bill will be a little higher this year.

The state Public Utilities Commission approved allowing PG&E to raise natural gas rates.

The money will be used to help the utility pay to improve gas lines in the wake of the San Bruno pipeline explosion.

Take a look at the gas portion of your bill and increase it by 12 percent. PG&E says for the average Californian it's about 7 dollars a month.

But that factors all the residents on the coast who don't use much gas for heating. The increase could hit folks in the Central Valley who have to heat their home.

The massive pipeline explosion in San Bruno in 2010 killed 8 people and leveled a neighborhood.

It revealed problems in PG&E's gas delivery system, and the SPUC has voted unanimously to pass the cost of improving that system on to consumers.

That doesn't sit well with customers we spoke with.

"I don't feel we as PG&E customers should have to foot that bill," Harvey Hall said.

"I do not think rates should go up," Alicia Boele said. "I think they should use their own profit to build their own pipeline, that's what I do when my stuff wears out, I have to pay for it out of my own pocket."

The Utility Reform Network, or Turn, opposed the rate hikes.

By Phone, Spokesman Mark Toney in San Francisco told Action News.

"PG&E pipelines absolutely need to be fixed. There's no question about that. The question is, who is responsible for the pipelines neglect its clearly the company it's clearly the shareholders of the company that should be paying because they are the ones that benefited from PG and E collected over the years and never put into pipeline safety but diverted into dividends and bonuses that's why we are against punishing rate payers for the mistakes of the company for decades."

But, the California Public Utilities Commission ruled the increase was necessary to pay for needed safety improvements.
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