PG&E announces statewide rate increase

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In a unanimous vote, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a PG&E's general rate case, which means a rate increase on PG&E customers statewide. (KFSN)

With Mother's Day around the corner orders at Tioga's Flower Shop are coming in by the dozen. But while owner Foster Beiswanger is seeing a lot of green, he's also going to spend more of it when his next PG&E bill comes in.

"Nothing ever goes down, everything always goes back up."

In a unanimous vote, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a PG&E's general rate case, which means a rate increase on PG&E customers statewide.

The increase is one-percent for the first year; a spokesperson for PG&E said that rate will go up slight in 2018, then lower again in 2019.

"These changes approved today will continue to improve the way we have disaster response, wildfire response, and the way we are continuing to provide safe and reliable energy to our customers in California and here in the Central Valley," said Donald Cutler, PG&E spokesperson.

The increase is aimed at maintaining infrastructure while making improvements.

This comes months after PG&E announced a change in their tier structure which could cause higher electric rates for some customers.

"The way Californians are being charged for energy is changing. Part of that has to do with how the tier system is being changed, it's flattening and balancing," said Cutler.

But not everyone is looking forward to the increase.

Beiswanger said, "It's not going to be easy, to be honest with you."

Beiswanger said last year, his PG&E bill during the summer was higher than past years. With warmer weather starting to heat up the Central Valley, he's already taken steps like only turning on the air conditioning when needed, and shutting off all the lights before he closes shop.

"We just try to save every single penny we can."

PG&E employees said when the new increase will start going into effect is still being discussed, but they said customers could expect to see it within the next couple of bill cycles.

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