FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KSEE) – The mayor of Fresno, city council members, and other elected officials throughout Fresno County all met at Fresno City Hall Monday morning to call out PG&E for their “high rates, and lack of attention” to the Central Valley.

The city is now looking into the possibility of hiring a consultant to see if Fresno can become its own power provider.

On Thursday, Fresno City Council will push to hire a consultant to see which avenue of power better serves the residents of the city. There are several different cities throughout the state that have done this already.

City officials are now applying pressure on PG&E to step up.

“PG&E customers to include the city of Fresno have completely lost confidence with our only gas and electricity supplier,” said Mayor Jerry Dyer.

Mayor Jerry Dyer and several elected officials in the Central Valley are applying pressure on PG&E, calling for the city to look into becoming its own energy provider, citing a lack of attention by PG&E.

“What you don’t see are the million residents in Fresno County who at oftentimes at the hands of PG&E with their unfair rate hikes,” said Dyer.

The price for PG&E’s services in the Central Valley is up 80% in the last 10 years.
In 2022 alone, the average price is up 22%.

“You know the City of Fresno is also a utility provider, perhaps it’s time we provided electricity,” said Dyer.

In a statement released by PG&E before the press conference took place, they cited their own higher costs for the rate increases.

“Requests for new gas and electric service connections are outpacing our forecasted demand…[resources are] more costly due to inflation and continuing supply-chain delays”.

Pacific Gas and Electric

But getting the proper equipment is just a part of the problem.

“Once they get the transformers installed, because they don’t have the crews, they can’t hook up the transformers. It’s 140-150 days out before they can provide the crews, so then people can put in their electric meter and move into their home,” said Mike Pandini, President and CEO Building Industry Association for Fresno & Madera Counties.

“This is in the midst of a housing crisis we have right here, not just in the city of Fresno, but throughout California.”

Garry Bredefeld was the only Fresno council member in attendance at the conference.
He hopes the rest of the council can get behind this initiative.

“Hopefully the council will support this, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t. This is basically defending their constituents who are feeling gouged by PG&E,” said Bredefeld.

PG&E continued in their statement saying, “exploring a public takeover will not benefit customers–whether in Fresno or elsewhere…The optimal solution is one where we jointly address the challenges ahead.”

This will be one of the first items brought to the council’s attention on Thursday morning.