FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Rates for PG&E customers in Fresno could go up once again in 2023, pending approval by the California Public Utilities Commission. 

Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer says over the next few months rates for PG&E customers will increase by 3 to 5 percent. But by September, if approved, PG&E customers could see a rate increase of 23.5%. together. It all adds up to an over 36% increase in prices in just one year.

“Quite frankly I didn’t think the prior rates would pass. But we’ve seen a 39% increase over the last three years,” Dyer said. 

Dyer said he’s concerned many in Fresno can’t afford these rate hikes. 

“We have people in our city that are barely making ends meet. 1 out of 4 people live in poverty in the city of Fresno. And when you start talking about a 75 percent rate increase in PG&E rates over a 4-year period, that’s unacceptable,” he added. 

He said he is planning on speaking to people with the company later this week. 

A spokesperson from PG&E issued a statement about the rate hikes, but would not schedule an on-camera interview. 

“PG&E does not mark up the cost of the gas and electricity that we purchase on behalf of our customers,” spokesperson Denny Boyles said. 

In the statement, Boyles also said, IF voted on by the California public utilities commission, some people may even get money back from pg&e in the form of a statewide climate relief credit. 

Still, Dyer said PG&E is unfairly raising rates and is getting away with it because there’s no competition. 

Dyer also said, the extreme heat we see in Fresno also causes residents to have higher energy costs. 

In the meantime, Dyer said the city is looking into a few options for solutions if the rates keep increasing. Including the possibility of Fresno starting a municipal energy company. 

“We have a request for proposal out for a study to be done, for someone to provide us with information in terms of what are our options as a city when it comes to having a sole energy provider like PG&E. It is very apparent to me that when you have a monopoly like PG&E that is willing to continue to increase their rates regardless of what we believe regardless of whether or not we are able to afford those rate increases, something else has to be done,” Dyer said. 

If you’d like to leave a comment or concern for the California public utilities commission about the PG&E proposed rate hikes, click here.