Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is projecting an increase of 2.8%, or $3.38, in the combined natural gas and electric bills of typical residential customers to start the new year.
PG&E said the increase is due to rate changes, effective Wednesday, to pay for higher wholesale energy purchase costs and for work to maintain and modernize the utility's infrastructure.
The utility said average residential electric rates will increase about 0.6% system-wide, equating to 23 cents, compared with current rates. PG&E cited higher forecast costs for buying electricity, including renewable energy to meet state mandates.
PG&E said average rates for residential gas customers will increase 7.3% in January over current rates. Under normal weather conditions, the utility said a typical residential customer bill based on average usage would increase by $3.15.
More than half of that increase, PG&E said, is a product of a sharp jump in forecast market prices for gas.
PG&E noted that it offers various services such as bill-payment plans/assistance, energy efficiency rebates and energy-monitoring tools. More information on those services can be seen at www.pge.com.