Irrigation district to oppose latest PG&E rate hike

February 1, 2010 12:01am

•  South San Joaquin District says it’s too much, too soon

•  PG&E rates would go up by another $20 per month

Even as it rakes in the money from recent rate hikes, the Central Valley’s largest utility wants more -- $1.1 billion more. But not if the small South San Joaquin Irrigation District in Manteca can stop it.

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company rate hikes would increase the average residential electric bill by $17.44 starting in January 2011. They would also increase gas bills by $3.15 per month on average.

The 10.6 percent increase would be in addition to three rate increases granted the giant utility over the past 14 months.

The South San Joaquin Irrigation District, which serves the Manteca, Ripon and Escalon areas in the Central Valley, says it will formally intervene on the behalf of all ratepayers to challenge the rate hike.

The irrigation district is embroiled in a legal battle with PG&E in an effort to buy the utility’s physical assets in the SSJID area so the district could provide power. The irrigation district contends its rates would be 15 percent lower than PG&E’s.

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