On March 27, the Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a new Proposed Decision establishing income-graduated fixed monthly charges on customers of investor-owned utilities.   

AB 205 (Ch.61, 2022) repealed the cap on fixed charges that utilities may recover from customers to pay for infrastructure-related costs.  The proposal is intended to ensure that customers who rely on distributed generation (like solar energy) do not shift infrastructure maintenance costs onto non-solar customers.  Controversial proposals by PG&E, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas &Electric would have imposed new fixed monthly charges quadruple that of the Commission's Proposed Decision; in PG&E’s service territory this would have amounted to $92/month.  

The CPUC’s Proposed Decision is estimated to cut the volumetric rate customers pay by 5-7 cents per kilowatt hour to still encourage energy conservation, and will instead shift certain infrastructure costs to a fixed monthly charge, as follows: 

  • $6/month for customers enrolled in the California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) Program; 

  • $12/month for customers enrolled in the Family Electric Rate Assistance Program or who lived in affordable housing restricted to residents with incomes at or below 80% of the area median income (e.g. $140,000 for residents of Marin County compared to $67,000 for Tulare and many other rural counties); 

  • $24.15/month for all other customers. 

Fixed rates for non-low-income residential customers for Bear Valley, Pacificorp, and Liberty Utilities would vary from $23.40-$33.98 per month. 

The CPUC anticipates voting on this item on May 9, 2024. RCRC is not a party to this proceeding. For more information, see here. For questions, contact RCRC Senior Policy Advocate John Kennedy or Policy Advocate Leigh Kammerich.