Seeking class action suit against PG&E



Editor, Index-Tribune:

I don’t know how many people are outraged at the amount of their PG&E energy bills. I certainly am, and something needs to be done about it.

Last year, PG&E informed us that they were instituting a new billing method that would be easier to understand. What they didn’t tell us was that they were going to use a formula consisting of a tier system based on the amount of energy that was used. It consisted of a base allowance for tier 1, and then tiers 2 and 3 would reflect the increased energy used.

August, 2013 was the last month that PG&E applied their old standard billing, using a single method of calculating gas and electricity. There weren’t any tiers. Just one flat amount charged.

I believe the tier system should be declared illegal as it is punitive in nature and is penalizing us based on the amount of energy consumed. Consistent with our current weather, furnaces have been working overtime consuming huge amounts of both gas and electricity. Not to mention other items like water heaters, dishwashers, electric ranges, microwaves, clothes washers and dryers that add consumption of electricity. All are out of our control as they are part of our standard of living. We need these things, but should not be punished for the gas and electricity they require to operate.

Having a dialogue with PG&E would get nowhere. I’m sure the California Public Utilities Commission would be likewise. The courts would be the answer, but one person could not afford the cost of a lawyer. It calls for a class action where numbers would count. Anyone who reads my letter and feels the same can call me at 255-4171.

John Futini


  • Robert Piazza

    John, I’m not a lawyer but in tort law in order to sue someone and an let the court to hear the case, you must show you have been “damaged” in some way. That can be physical or monetary. I don’t see any damage in this scenario.
    I understand your frustration, but it is the CPUC that prompted the tiered system of charges. It’s a progressive method of making those who use more pay more (wealth redistribution).

    If you want to complain write to the CPUC, but I doubt it will do much good. As for a class action suit, the same as noted above applies. If you had in mind to get a lawyer to take the case on contingency that is very unlikely to happen.

  • dd

    VOM Water uses a tiered system for residential but not for Business users. So, individuals are subsidizing Businesses Water Costs big time.. start there please..