By Cynthia Andary
In 2022, PG&E prices have increased to $39.90 per household, compared to $17.20 in 2021. The purpose of a 9% increase is for PG&E to reduce fatal and catastrophic fires. Due to a global energy shortage caused by the pandemic, natural gas prices have risen by 25% in the last year, increasing gasoline costs. Gas costs for the average residential user are likely to total $69 per month, reaching up to $7 or 11.3% more than the previous price of $62. Electricity rates for the average residential ratepayer are expected to go up $12 and total $152 per month, an 8.6% rise over the previous average bill of $140. The typical ratepayer’s combined electricity and gas bills are projected to average $221 per month, up $19 or 9.4% from the previous average payment of $202. The decrease in gas supply is causing an increase in price. This imbalance between supply and demand is a major contributor to the problem. As costs were already high, Californians are feeling the greater impact of these increases. The True-Up Statement is sent to homeowners for every 12-month billing cycle, it states all accumulated energy charges, credits, and compensation. In order to maintain a low True-Up bill, consumers need to be more conscious of how energy is used. Around 2% of your heating bill can be saved for each degree the thermostat is lowered. Setting your thermostat to 120 degrees or lower can prevent overheating water and will, in turn, lower the amount of energy required to produce and keep it. Another simple fix can be using a microwave to reheat leftovers: not only does it save you time but uses up to 80% less energy than using a conventional oven. For qualifying customers, PG&E offers programs to save money, such as home energy checkups, budget building, CARE and FERA, Medical Baseline program, and Energy Savings Assistance program, which you can apply for online.