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PG&E electrical rates up 2.4%, gas up 1.8% on Sunday
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PG&E electrical rates are going up 2.4 percent on Sunday.

At the same time PG&E will charge 1.8 percent more for natural gas starting the first day of 2012.

There is a silver lining in the bad news.

The price residential customers will be paying for natural gas is actually 0.3 percent less than in January of 2011. That is because the cost of procuring natural gas has dropped.

Meanwhile, electricity costs are 2.9 percent higher when compared to January of 2011.

The rate hikes approved by the California Public Utilities Commission will allow the San Francisco-based utility to cover the cost of increased energy prices as well as spend funds on equipment and new generating plants.

“These revenues help us serve customers by reducing the frequency of electrical outages, improving the responsiveness of our call centers, providing more convenient services and, above all,” noted Tom Bottorff, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Relations for PG&E.

PG&E stressed that neither rate hike is the result of costs stemming from last year’s San Bruno natural gas line explosion that killed eight and devastated a neighborhood.