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Assemblymember Berman Joint-Authors Bill to Halt California Public Utilities Commission’s Proposed Income-Graduated Fee

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO –Today Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) signed on as a joint-author of Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin’s (D-Thousand Oaks) bill, AB 1999, that would repeal the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) proposed income-graduated fixed fee. Assemblymember Berman spoke at a press conference announcing the repeal this morning.

“My constituents are fed up, and so am I,” said Assemblymember Berman. “Utility rates continue to rise and accountability continues to fall. The outrageous proposals from PG&E and the other investor-owned utilities (IOUs) disproportionately burden Californians living in high-cost areas like my district.”

“We need to double down on policies that incentivize energy conservation and rooftop solar, and stand up to a CPUC that continues to rubber stamp rate increases pushed by the IOUs. This charge would have disincentivized energy conservation and cut a break to some of the biggest energy users while penalizing smaller, energy efficient homes and working-class Californians.”

The CPUC has had the authority to implement a fixed rate charge, up to $10 a month, since 2015, but has declined to do so.

Last year Assemblymember Berman joined a working group comprised of Assemblymembers who shared concerns about the merits of the proposed fixed, income-graduated rate. As part of the working group, Assemblymember Berman met with key stakeholders in the Governor’ office, the CPUC, utilities, and with the solar industry. The working group sent a letter to the CPUC outlining their concerns with the proposal which can be found below.