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Input sought on PG&E rate hike
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STOCKTON – Concerned about the future rates you’re going to be paying for residential power?

Now is your chance to speak.

On Monday, the California Public Utilities Commission will be hosting a forum at Stockton City Hall focusing on a recently approved rate structure overhaul intended to promote conservation and address the emerging solar market and advances in technology that have made harnessing the sun’s rays something that nearly anybody can take advantage of.

The existing four-tier California power rate structure that has been in place since the state’s energy crisis in 2001 would be compacted down into a two-tier system that focuses on the time-of-use of energy – something that the regulator is pushing PG&E and other power providers to plan on incorporating.

Preliminary incorporation of the new system is planned for January of 2019.

And if PG&E gets its way, power rates will be going up on the interim between now and then.

Last month the San Francisco-based utility proposed a $457 million rate hike that will extend through 2019 that is in addition to the $685 million that the utility is asking for to install 25,000 electric car charging stations throughout California.

The new hike is being challenged by the South San Joaquin Irrigation District that’s seeking to  purchase the electricity distribution network for Manteca, Ripon and Escalon after getting approval by LAFCo late last year.

And they’ve been successful in challenging rate hikes in the past.

When PG&E requested a rate increase in excess of $1 billion in 2010, a challenge by the irrigation district ended with more than $100 million getting shaved off of the overall total – a joint effort between it and California ratepayer groups that were concerned about the impact that would passed on to homeowners.

The forum, which will take place on Monday, Nov. 16, at Stockton City Hall – located at 425 N. El Dorado Street – will also include customer service representatives from the CPUC that will be on hand in the lobby to discuss how the proposal will affect ratepayers and also provide information about how to enroll is customer subsidies and savings plans.