If you can afford a 19 percent increase in your electric bill, and are reading this column in a newspaper, you can move on to the sports section. The following will not be of interest to you.
However, if you are a low income, fixed income or even a middle class Californian, you are under assault from Sacramento. Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, has persuaded his colleagues to approve his bill to make energy even more expensive. The current mandate that energy companies get 20 percent of their power from “renewable” sources, will be raised to a third over the next eight years. This will result in an average utility rate increase of 19 percent, according the California Air Resources Board. This is on top of the existing mandate so that the total increased cost to Pacific Gas and Electric customers will be 44 percent, to Southern California Edison customers 34 percent and to those served by the Los Angeles Department of Water a Power it will be 74 percent.