SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Angeline Rothwell makes sure to only run the heater for a few hours a night to break the chill, and avoid burning her bottom line.
But in the last three months, her bill has left her with sticker shock.
It jumped from $20 to $90 a month for the first time in the 12 years she’s lived here in Folsom, a 350% increase.
“I’m scared you know; one of these days I’m coming home they cut [me] off ’cause I didn’t pay yet,” she said.
Mindy Spatt of the utility watchdog group TURN says advocates are hearing from more and more Sacramento area users with skyrocketing bills and colder weather isn’t the only culprit.
“You’ve got the storm of higher rates, winter baseline in effect, and colder weather,” Spatt said.
Temperatures in Sacramento for the month of December were slightly cooler than they were in 2015, off by about a degree on average.
PG&E tells CBS13, rates went up last summer an average of $7 dollars per month, but that’s not enough to triple someone’s bill. A spokesman sent us a statement, reading in part:
“While average residential customers’ bills are still well below the national average, we want our customers to know that we are here to help them make smart energy choices and manage their costs.”
“PG&E apparently isn’t doing enough to help customers this winter,” said Spatt.
PG&E says it can perform energy audits of any user’s home to trace the source of their high bills.
Spatt encourages concerned consumers to call a utility advocate at the Utility Reform Network for help analyzing their bills…comparing overall usage from year to year.
Angeline says she’ll just suck up this bill, and maybe turn off the heater altogether…to see if that makes a difference.