Fixed Fee Fighters

The saga of the income-graduated electricity fee continues. Thanks go to our California Representatives Assembly Member Tasha Boerner and Senator Catherine Blakespear, along with 18 of their colleagues, for co-authoring a bill, AB 1999, that would repeal the income-based graduated fixed fee, which was included in a hastily added trailer to AB 205 last year. That trailer was only added to AB 205 a few days before the vote, and legislators had no time to realize that it was added. The fixed fee in that legislation could add up to $170/month to your electricity bill according to the first proposal by the utilities. These twenty brave elected officials in Sacramento are bucking the powerful utilities and the Public Utility Commission to call for a repeal of the income-based fee and instead replace it with a fixed fee of $10/month. If AB 1999 passes in the state Assembly and Senate this year, the income-based fixed fee would be dead. You can view the press conference here: Legislators all said that the fixed fee imposed by AB 205 would disincentivize energy conservation, disincentivize new rooftop solar, and would raise energy bills for lower/middle income people above the “CARE” low income pricing as well as for all those who are conserving energy already.


Don’t hold your breath. We will not know the fate of this new bill for some time. It first needs to pass through several committees in the Assembly, and then if it passes, and it will be voted on by the full Assembly. If successful, the bill will go to the Senate for the same long process there.  Then, if it passes there, the governor needs to sign it into law. So, still a long path forward but there at least is hope.