Letters to editor

Tier power price system unfair

By From page A10 | March 30, 2014

It has been awhile since I launched a tirade against Pacific Gas & Electric Company Co. and condemning their use of a tier system of energy charges. I can’t let them get away with their monopolistic ways and intend to be heard until something is done to change their outrageous behavior.

PG&E’s chief communications officer rebutted my letter, saying that the tier system was mandated by the state. If this means that they got the Public Utilities Commission to push this through the legislature, it smells. He also stated that the main purpose of their tier system was to get us to conserve. Why do we have to conserve? This isn’t water when we have a drought, which is going on right now, where the governor has asked the public to cut back on use of water that is essential to life.

I wondered why PG&E initiated the CARE program for people with low income. I believe their strategy is to let the rest of us make up whatever shortfall it creates. I received a number of phone calls from people who are disturbed by their enormous energy charges. I thought I would get more calls than I did. I don’t understand, especially in these economic times, why there are so many homeowners out there who are paying high rates for electricity and natural gas and absorbing them without complaint.

The tier system is punitive. I question the validity of it. I would like the matter to get into the courts and get a judge to rule as to its legality. I read somewhere that no government can pass a law that would compromise the rights of its citizens. The tier system is one of them.

John J. Futini


Letter to the Editor


Discussion | 4 comments

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  • TylerMarch 30, 2014 - 8:29 am

    Legality? Are you kidding? This is California where the only residents with "rights" belong to one of its many special victim groups. Maybe you can qualify as needy and get subsidized rates.

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  • S KMarch 30, 2014 - 8:48 am

    Man are you right. This tier system SUCKS, and I was also once told by a P.G.&E CSR that it was the PUC that sets those, which I believe is what they are told to say, lying through their teeth, since this benefits them. There is no way to meet those tiers staying on level one, unless you are a single person, living in a 400 sq' or less apartment. My Wife & I (Just us two and are not big energy wasters) live in a smallish 1322 sq' 3 bedroom home. I keep our thermostat at 66/67, and don't have lights on all over the house. Occasionally, but only occasionally, she'll run the electric heater in her fake fireplace when she gets extra cold, but mostly she watches her TV under from under a blanket, yet we hardly EVER just meet tier 1 in electricity, and only meet tier 1 gas, when it has not been excessively cold (Gas furnace and gas range). P.G.&E are total rip off artists, THIEVES with the PUCs permission. Our son lives in Sacto, and SMUDs electric rates are so so much lower. Our only luxury is that we are both watching different TV shows, but both have flat screen energy saving sets.

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  • S KMarch 30, 2014 - 8:52 am

    By the way, PGE used to send us these statements comparing our usage to similar homes in the area. I called and told them to stop wasting their postage & time. Most of those homes, have both PPL working, kids in school, etc. etc. While we are retired and one of us is always usually home. So PGE was comparing Apples to oranges.

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  • KathleenSeptember 21, 2014 - 3:44 pm

    I just found your article here online. We live in Murrieta and are serviced by So Cal Edison. I am FED UP with this system of gouging us on our electric bill. We have a 3 bedroom home, a low-energy pool pump and appliances. Our electric bill sometimes increases 35% in the last 4 days of the billing cycle due to tier rates. We keep our house in the dark unless we have company. We can't even enjoy our home at night because we fear the bill will take grocery money from our budget. We are not poor, but when your electric bill triples due to a couple lights and a heatwave, it just doesn't seem right. We've had our a/c cycled off 5 times in the past 10 days due to the heat wave and our bill is still projected to be $514. Our neighbors behind us are subsidized. Their a/c runs 24/7. I am SO UPSET. Please what can I do to change this? I've even asked our state assembly woman!

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