PG&E monthly bills decrease, but electricity costs rise

PG&E monthly electricity bills rose on March 1, the company said Monday — but, thanks to a drop in cost for natural gas usage, overall bills are headed for their first decline in years.

On March 1, electricity bills for PG&E customers rose to an average of $111.59 for the typical residential customer who consumes 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month, a 0.2 percent increase.

“However, for residential customers, this increase will be largely or entirely offset by a higher California Climate Credit for 2018, part of the state’s overall effort to fight climate change,” PG&E spokesman Matt Nauman said.

. . .Overall PG&E bills, including costs for both natural gas and electricity, have soared in recent years.

At the end of 2015, PG&E monthly bills averaged $137.66 for the average residential customer with both gas and electric expenses. By the end of 2016, that had increased by an average of $14.14 —a jump of 10.3 percent in a year. In 2017, an 8.8 percent rise led those monthly bills to reach an average of $165.10 a month.

Even with the modest overall decrease in early 2018 for PG&E’s combined gas and electricity bills, compared with 2017, monthly utility costs are still 18.6 percent higher than what PG&E customers faced in 2015.

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