Jul 04, 2015 06:35 AM EDT

Residents In California Brace For Possible Price Hike In Electricity As Regulators Approve Changes After 15 Years

By Eileen

Change is happening after 15 years as California regulators approved to make changes in the current electricity rates.

Sacbee reported that the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted unanimously 5-0.  The change is going to be the biggest restructuring since the energy crisis back in 2001.

The decision to restructure the current electricity rate is going to affect the customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric Company.

The reason behind the price hike is the rising cost of operations and the rates had been frozen since 2001. And according to PUC, the current rate scheme that they are using now is not efficient because there are some consumers who are paying less than their actual consumption. SFGate reported that the newly approved rates aim to bridge the gap between consumers who use little electricity and those who use more.

According to KTLA, consumers who use less electricity are the one who will experience the price hike in electricity. Consumers who use more electricity can expect to see a lower electricity bill, but it can also go sideways and increase rapidly.

The new rates didn't go unnoticed and some consumer advocates are not happy about it. The Utility Reform Network, an advocacy group located in San Francisco, said that the policy will "give energy hogs a break at the expense of customers who conserve. TURN added that they are sure to ask the PUC to take another look at the scheme.

Another change that consumers can expect is, With the new scheme, the rate for electricity is different for each time of the day. The highest rate is going to be in the afternoon.

PUC Commissioner Carla Peterman said, "There are real people behind these numbers, millions of people behind these numbers. Some people will see their bills go down, but many more will see them go up."

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