Proposal to raise PG&E rates not well-received by customers at public hearing

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- PG&E has requested from the Public Utilities Commission a $1 billion revenue increase in 2020.

The company says that would result, on average, customers paying 6.4 percent more or at least $10.57 a month on your power bill.

Customers came to City Hall to ask the PUC not to approve the increase.

"If you guys are increasing this PG&E, then people they're either making a choice to either eat or have lights," said one customer.

The state has blamed PG&E transmission lines for starting the Camp Fire, California's most destructive wildfire.

The company says the rate increase would not be used to settle wildfire legal claims or pay employee salaries.

RELATED: Governor Newsom proposes $24 billion plan to help fight wildfires, tackle PG&E bankruptcy

"Our proposal will help bolster wildfire prevention, risk monitoring and emergency response. It will also add new and enhanced safety measures," said PG&E representative Roland Trevino.

But ratepayers who showed up were against any rate increase.

"West Fresno is one of the highest poverty areas in the state of California. And for increases, even if it's $5 or $10, for some of our residents, it's going to be very difficult because they're struggling now just to get by," said Fresno resident Mary Curry.

Representatives with the PUC were open to the feedback at the meeting.

"Your comments will help the commission gather information to determine whether PG&E's proposed rate increases are reasonable," said Gerald Kelly.
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