The California Public Utilities Commission is hosting two virtual public hearings on Monday about San Diego Gas & Electric's plan to adopt a billing structure based on your income.
The meetings are at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. You can join online here or call in at 1-800-857-1917 with the passcode 6032788#.
SDG&E customers may also send in written public comments during the meeting here.
The idea behind the proposal of "fixed-rate" electricity plans is that you would pay a flat fee based on your income.
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SDG&E came up with this plan to comply with a new state law requiring utilities to implement income-based billing.
The utilities company says it should decrease rates for residential customers and small commercial properties while increasing rates for agricultural customers.
How would it work?
Your bill is basically made up of two parts – the amount of energy you use, and fees. Right now, the amount you pay for those fees is based on how much energy you use each month.
Under the new proposal, that would change, and you would pay a flat rate for fees, based on your income.
- Households earning less than $28,000 a year would pay $24 a month.
- Those coming in between $28,000 to $69,000 would be on the hook for $34 a month.
- If your income is between $69,000 and $180,000 it’ll be $73 and incomes above that will be paying $128 every month.
SDG&E says every income bracket, except the highest one, will pay less each year.
Critics of the proposal say it doesn’t encourage families to conserve energy and believe those with solar panels will actually see higher bills.
You’ll still pay for the amount of electricity or natural gas you use, and if you buy your energy from a third-party supplier such as San Diego Community Power, only the SDG&E portion of your bill would be impacted - the third-party will still determine your usage rates.
There were in-person public hearings earlier this month at the Escondido City Council Chambers.