The rates will not affect the majority of customers, but those we talked to say an increase, however small, is a big deal to their families.
Gabriel Gonzales is a PG&E customer who is also enrolled in the company's CARE program. Gonzales says the program makes a huge difference for his family. He says, "It helps with clothing my children and providing the heat and air conditioner we need and making a car payment." Gonzales has not worked since he was diagnosed with cancer.
Starting November 1st, a portion of the utility company's customers will see an increase in their bill. Company spokesperson Denny Boyles says, "Based on our analysis 75 percent of the customers in the program will see no increase on their bill or a very slight increase of five dollars on their bill." Boyles says the change will only affect the highest energy users. He says the hike is designed to motivate people to watch their energy use.
PG&E says about 3% of their customers will see an increase above $20 a month.