PG&E Lie of the Week

The $400 figure has no basis in fact

The latest flyer from the No on H campaign, paid for by Pacific Gas and Electric Co., includes a world-class whopper: Public power, the utility says, will raise your electric rates.

"Your increased bill averaging over $400 is just the price of taking over PG&E," the flyer says.


The $400 figure has no basis in fact; it's just a large number PG&E ginned up. The truth is that public-power systems all over California offer lower rates than PG&E. According to a rate comparison put together by the American Public Power Association, Californians who buy their electricity from private companies pay an average of 15.3 cents per kilowatt-hour. Public power customers pay 10.9 cents.

Our own analysis several years ago showed that the city could buy out PG&E, cut electric rates 20 percent, and still run a surplus. (see

Prop. H requires the city to study whether public power would decrease the city's reliance on fossil fuels and what the financial impacts would be. That study will almost certainly show that public power rates will be lower. Why do you think PG&E is spending so much money to stop it?

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