Southern California Edison’s electrical rates – currently the highest electricity rates in the country – are set to go up again. According to the LA Times California already has electricity rates 50 percent higher than the national average, Edison is back asking for another 12.1 percent increase on rates to raise revenue by $222 million by January 2018, with an additional increase of $533 million in 2019, and $570 million in 2020.The voice of the public is now needed to help stop this large increase. Arbitrarily raising electricity prices on Southern California families is unfair and unreasonable.

These price increases will most impact working men and women who likely have not received anything close to a 13 percent pay raise. Especially hard hit will be seniors and retirees on fixed incomes whose budgets just cannot absorb another massive hike in utility rates.

If the CPUC approves the application, it would increase SCE revenue by 5.5 percent next year to $5.9 billion. For customers who use an average 600 kilowatt-hours per month in 2018, the increase is expected to be $3.75 a month. In 2019, the rate would increase to about $5.65 and in 2020 to approximately $7.29. This increase is more than three times higher than the national rate of inflation.

SCE states the increase is necessary to enhance and modernize parts of the power grid, ensure electric grid safety and reinforce grid reliability and resiliency. This is important as more customers install renewable energy systems, including rooftop solar, battery storage and smart inverters.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Vote Solar have major concerns about SCE’s proposal. Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s Vice President of State Affairs: Major Southern California Edison states, “SCE is underestimating the positive and exaggerating the negative impact of distributed energy.” The extremely costly proposal would not take full advantage of distributed energy resources to limit costs to ratepayers.

Labor unions oppose the rate hike because California power rates are currently 50 percent higher than the national average. The proposed increase would hike rates nearly 53 percent since 2009.

Representatives such as those from The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) plan to protest the increase saying such a hike hurts ratepayers and working families.

They note SCE refuses to let its Laborers Union and other building trades compete for billions of dollars in company infrastructure projects paid for by ratepayers.

“We represent thousands of skilled middle class workers in Southern California trying to make ends meet while Edison consistently increases rates far beyond inflation,” said Armando Esparza, business manager for the Southern California District Council of Laborers, said in a statement, “It’s time for Edison to propose reasonable rates for working Californians who are already financially impacted by high living costs.”

“We think that $17 a month is real money for people struggling to make ends meet these days,” Mark Toney of the utility watchdog group TURN told KPCC.

Before the rates take effect, they must be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission customers are asked to sign the petition while their voices can still be heard on this important issue. Letting CPUC know how much a major increase will affect citizens may help them at decision time and they will reject Edison’s latest attempt to jack up rates on Southern California working families and retirees of fixed incomes. Concerned ratepayers are asked to visit and sign the petition to oppose the rate increase.

Sign the Stop Edison Petition today!