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The Growth of Accessible Electrification

Updated: Jun 2

Fossil fuels are one of the main contributing factors that affect our global climate. From gas cars to gas stoves, many things that people use in their daily lives contribute to the greenhouse effect and add to the mounting problem of global warming. The switch to an alternate energy source is needed more than ever before and electric appliances and vehicles are one of the main solutions. 

For some perspective, the national average rate of cents per kilowatt-hour is about 16.1 cents. In California, that cost is doubled at 31.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. Many California residents have been discouraged from buying electric vehicles and appliances because of the high rates. Especially when people will have to switch to electricity which has added a cost for installing the new product. There has also been a major disparity between low and high income people when it comes to purchasing EVs. EVs and electric appliances have been closed off to people from low income housing and families which make it hard for people in that income group to make the switch. This is why the CPUC has formulated a plan to try and encourage people to consider other options that aren’t gas-powered. 

The CPUC plans to set a fixed charge to residential bills of $24.15 while also providing lowered per-unit rates for use of electricity. For low income households this rate could be as low as $6 per kilowatt hour. The fixed bill also helps to alleviate more of the cost for non-low-income residents in order to encourage more people to make the switch. “This new billing structure puts us further on the path toward a decarbonized future while enhancing affordability for low-income customers,” says Alice Reynolds, who is the president of the Utilities Commission.

These new rates and fixed prices are scheduled to go into effect in early 2026 for PG&E and late 2025 for Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric Co. (SDGE). With these new changes, the hope is that more people will switch to electricity for many things. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which is in charge of roughly 70% of all electric companies in the state, has also approved a plan to encourage people to use more electricity instead of fossil fuels. These changes will also bring attention to the use of fossil fuels and encourage companies to be more aware of the damaging effects of fossil fuels. The hope is that people who have a lower income or can’t afford to switch to EV appliances will be able to afford the new rates which will help to alleviate their carbon footprint and impact on climate change. 


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