California lawmakers mull proposal to take $10 off electric bills

By Wes Venteicher | 06/20/2024 06:19 AM EDT

The effort comes as electric rates continue to rise, driven primarily by wildfire spending.

A view of power lines in Santa Rosa, California.

The proposal was punctuated by a Pacific Gas and Electric hike of about 13 percent in January, or an average of about $33 per month. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

SACRAMENTO, California — California lawmakers are working on an electricity affordability budget package with a goal of reducing bills by $10 per month, Assembly Utilities and Energy Chair Cottie Petrie-Norris confirmed to POLITICO.

Petrie-Norris said in an interview earlier this week that lawmakers are considering several mechanisms to generate money for bill relief, including securitization and other potential alternative financing mechanisms to cover expenses that utilities put into rates, such as wildfire mitigation.

“It’s a work in progress,” she said at the California Hydrogen Leadership Summit, an industry conference in Sacramento.


Petrie-Norris last week amended her A.B. 3264 — previously a cleanup bill removing references in state code to a now-defunct energy market — to direct the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission to develop a new affordability metric to use when considering utility rate requests. The bill also references financing mechanisms but doesn’t specify a dollar amount to reduce bills by. She said she hopes the package will be included in budget negotiations in the next few weeks.