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People with lower incomes should pay more for energy

Letter-to-the-Editor-698x408

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Editor, Index-Tribune:

This information is the latest I have on the complaint with PG&E, and its use of the tier system authorized by the state legislature in assembly bill AB327.

The author of the bill was Henry Perea of Fresno, and it was unanimously approved by his committee and passed on to the legislature for a vote. It instructs the PUC to formulate a rate structure that would be “fair and equitable to energy users.” In reality, the bill analysis indicates it favors helping investor-owned utilities, which includes PG&E, to help them offset what they have to pay in acquiring energy. Another fact is that it is tied to the Consumer Price Index that makes the rates volatile and could change them from month to month.

The take in this is that it looks like we, who pay the higher rates, are dupes who are supporting the utilities. Those so-called low income, in the California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) program, are getting a break, on us, and not from the utilities. I wonder how many cheaters there are who have found ways to qualify for CARE. To try to abolish the tier system means getting a legislator to author a bill calling for its removal, and getting the PUC to replace it with a single flat rate. If we could get a legislator to do this it would take loads of time, possibly a year or more, so that idea is out of the question to pursue.

I’m dumbfounded that more people who are paying dearly with the higher rates for gas and electricity haven’t responded to my previous letter to the editor and been aroused in the fight against PG&E. I don’t think there should be a low-income program. I believe those with lower incomes should pay more, and the rest of us should pay less, and reach a happy medium that’s fair to all.

John Futini

Napa