PG&E rate hike aimed at improvements to ease fire risk

Associated Press: Pacific Gas & Electric’s household customers will be hit with an average rate increase of 8% to help the once-bankrupt utility pay for improvements designed to reduce the risks that its outdated equipment will ignite deadly wildfires in its Northern California service territory.

The higher prices, approved Thursday, take effect March 1 and are expected to boost the bills of PG&E’s residential customers by an average of $13.44 a month. That may further strain the budgets of people struggling to make ends meet during a recession caused by the pandemic that is causing governments to curtail commerce and corral people at home in an effort to ease the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

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