- On May 15, the PUC announced a $5.9 billion annual rate increase for the 24 million people served by Edison and PG&E. Before, Edison residents paid 7.2 cents/kwh for electricity and 5.3 cents/kwh for distribution, totaling 12.5 cents/kwh. PG&E residents paid 6.5 cents/kwh plus 4.0 cent/kwh for distribution, totaling 10.5 cents/kwh.
- The rate increases start on March 27, 2001, and will show up on bills starting June 1.
- The overall increase is $3.0 billion for SC Edison to $12.4 billion, on 84 billion kWh in 2001. The new average rate is 14.8 cents/kWh or $148 per megawatt-hour.
- The overall increase is $2.9 billion for PG&E to $11.4 billion, for 82 billion kWh. The new average rate is 13.9 cents/kWh or $139 per megawatt-hour.
- These average to 3.5-3.6 cents/kWh, not the 3 cents/kWh of the original proposal.
- For Edison and PG&E totalled, the new cost of power is 14.3 cents/kWh or $143 per megawatt hour.
- Blackouts may cost businesses $22 billion in lost productivity.
- Exempted are low-income customers (CARE) who already have discounted rates, and make up 12% of residential users.
- The baseline usage (B) in kwh is required to be 50-60% of the average usage, with seasonal adjustments. But it is also described as a "minimum" necessary usage. (My baseline usage was B = 267 kwh in January.)
- By state law AB1X, the rates up to 130% of B cannot be raised, so the first and second tier rates remain the same.
- The SC Edison rates are below:
- First Tier: (0 to 100% of B) Rate of 13.01 cents/kwh.
- Second Tier: (100-130% of B) Rate of 15.16 cents/kwh. (Before, the second Tier and this rate covered all usage over the baseline.)
- New Third Tier: (130-200% of B) Rate of 19.66 cents/kwh.
- New Fourth Tier: (200-300% of B) Rate of 23.66 cent/kwh.
- New Fifth Tier: (Over 300% of B) Rate of 25.94 cents/kwh.
- For fifth tier users, if usage is U kwh, the total increase in cents/kwh is I = 10.78 x (U-3B) + 8.50 x B + 4.50 x0.7xB.
- This simplifies to I = 10.78 x (U - 3 B) + 11.65 x B cents/kwh.
- As an example, if one's rate is at the start of Tier 5 or U = 3 B, with B = 267 kwh, then I = 11.65 x 267 = $31.11 increase.
- If one's rate is at 400% B, so U = 4 B, with B = 267 kwh, then I = 22.43 B = 22.43 x 267 = $59.89 increase.
- If one is the average user at 200% B, the above formula can't be used, and the increase is 4.50 x 0.7 x B = 3.15 x B. Using B = 267 kwh, the increase is $8.41.
- The total bills at the following levels are: 100%B -> 13.01 x B; 130%B -> 17.56 x B; 200%B -> 31.32 x B; 300%B -> 54.98 x B; 400%B -> 80.92 x B.
- At B = 267 kwh, the total bills are: 100%B -> $34.98; 130%B -> $46.89; 200%B -> $83.62; 300%B -> $146.80; 400%B -> $216.06.
- As an example, if an air conditioner, hot tub, or pool runs 2,000 kwh in a year in Tier 5, the cost increase is 10.78 x 2000 = $216 over a year.
- The new Tier 5 rate is almost double the baseline rate.
- Comparing the Tier 5 rate to the Second Tier rate (which previously covered all excess over 100% B), the increase is (25.94 - 15.16)/15.16 = 0.71 or the maximum 71% rate increase.
- My baseline over the past year has changed from 267 kwh to 304 kwh. It is not peaked in summer, and mainly depends on the number of days in the month.
- The new rates will reduce the gap between residential customers and the lower rates paid by commercial and industrial customers.
- The percent increases tend to bring the rates closer to the same for all categories.
- Within Commercial, the time of usage (TOU) rates range from 30.14 cents/kWh on peak summer, to 8.37 cent/kWh off peak summer or winter.
- Within Large Power, (TOU-8-Pri) the TOU rates range from 19.67 cents/kWh on peak summer, to 8.62 cents/kWh off peak summer.
- The total SC Edison revenue increase is $2.96 billion, leading to a new total revenue for 2001 of $12.45 billion.
- Average residential rates will rise by 47% for Edison users over 130%B, and 55% for similar PG&E users (LA Times, May 16).
- The top tier rate increases 71% for Edison, and 80% for PG&E.
- The average industrial user rate is 12.9 cents/kWh for Edison, and 12.3 cents/kWh for PG&E.
- The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights estimates the average monthly increase will be $36 for Edison customers and $39 for PG&E customers.
- The distribution of residential users for both Edison and PG&E is: up to 130%B, 4.06 million, 51%; 130-200%B, 1.96 million, 24%; 200-300%B, 1.25 million, 16%; and more than 300%, 0.75 million, 9%.
- In the non-CARE residential bins, the percentage distribution of the total kWh used for this category is: 0-100%B, 53.0%; (100-130%B, 10.7%; 130-200%B, 16.2%); or 100-200%B, 26.9%; 200-300%B, 26.9%; and over 300%B, 9.4%.
- The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights estimated the average monthly bill will increase $36 for Edison and $39 for PG&E.
- The $5.7 billion rate increase has to be considered within the state's $1 trillion economy, the sixth largest in the world.
- Businesses will pay about $4.6 billion of the increase, and households will pay $1.1 billion.
- The new utility bills will consume 25 to 30% of a large manufacturer's budget, compared to 15% before the increase.
- In June, the baseline rate in Palm Springs is 42.7 kwh per day, or 1281 kwh monthly, compared to Mission Viejo at 9.1 kwh per day, or 273 kwh monthly.

Rate Group | 2001 Sales Percentage | Revenue Increase Percent | New Rate - cents/kWh |

Residential | 29.7% | 17.1% | 16.19 |

Small and Med. Commercial | 36.3% | 35.5% | 15.63 |

Large Power | 29.7% | 49.2% | 12.88 |

Agriculture and Pumping | 3.7% | 17.4% | 11.87 |

Street and Area Lighting | 0.6% | 20.7% | 17.83 |

Total | 100% | 31.2% | 14.86 |