Officials Propose Higher Electricity Rates for Some Californians

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SAN FRANCISCO-

Electricity rates would go up for many California households under a new proposal going before state regulators.

The proposal by administrative law judges would overhaul a rate structure that charges less for households using less electricity.

California has been giving cost breaks to energy-thrifty households since the 2000-2001 energy crisis.

Proponents say it’s time to make everyone pay prices that are more in line with the actual cost of electricity.

Public Utility Commission members must decide now whether to approve the rate-structure changes.

Commissioners also are being asked to consider authorizing more fixed fees by the state’s biggest utilities on monthly electricity bills.

Evan Gillespie of the Sierra Club says the rate change would mean higher electricity bills for 70 percent of customers of the state’s three biggest utilities.