Senator Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa), together with members of Senate Republican Caucus, sent a letter today to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) asking what steps were taken to mitigate the effect the projected natural gas costs would have on Californians, especially our vulnerable populations. The letter also asked for all the information that was publicly shared and anything required of the utility companies regarding the tools ratepayers can use to lower their bills.
“The energy prices my constituents are facing are troublesome to say the least,” said Senator Ochoa Bogh. “Through a survey I sent to my district, 98 percent have responded their quality of life has diminished due to the skyrocketing energy prices. I demand the CPUC respond swiftly and mitigate these ludicrous costs that have Californians strained and stressed.”
Here are some comments my office has received from constituents about how the steep rate increase has affected them:
- “I'm a senior citizen. My bill increased over $100.00 in 1 month. I'm on a budget and have a lifeline with reduced rates. I cannot afford a $100 increase in one month. I have never had a gas bill this high.”
- “I will not be able to retire this year... my bill went from $75.00 to $480.00 with no warning.”
- “Our gas bill increased 1000% since last year. Food and gasoline prices are sky rocketing. This effects everything.”
- “Hard. As my husband just lost his job, too.”
- “Forced us to make tough choices about either heating our home or getting groceries, etc. Very tough for myself and so many others in an already tough economic time.”
- “With higher energy costs, my family and I must not only choose between meat and medicine, but also between heat and hospital (doctor) visits and the costs associated with them.”
In addition to the letter to the CPUC, Senator Ochoa Bogh has also sent a letter to the Chair of the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee requesting the committee conduct a hearing regarding the affordability of natural gas, electricity, and gasoline.
“The immense hardships families face due to the rising costs of housing, taxes, and energy is proving unbearable for most,” said Senator Ochoa Bogh. “Leaving families to choose between food, heat, or medications is cruel and goes against everything we stand for. While steps have been taken to support families across the state through relief programs already, we must continue to do everything we can to review what has caused this situation and work to ensure that we protect Californians from additional rising costs.”
Click here to download the full letter to CPUC.
Click here to download the full letter requesting a Legislative hearing to discuss the affordability of utility prices in California.