Edison Granted $130-Million Rate Increase
The Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday gave Southern California Edison permission to hike its electricity rates by $130 million over the next nine months.
Edison said the temporary increase--amounting to $1.48, or 3%, on the average monthly residential bill--combined with the recent sharp drop in the price it pays for natural gas will enable it to withdraw a separate request to raise rates by $146 million.
The increase approved by the PUC is to make up for a previous “under-collection” caused by higher-than-expected costs for fuel, mainly natural gas, used to fire Edison’s boilers in the past.
Separately, Edison had asked earlier this winter for a $696-million rate hike to pay for what it projected would be an increase in fuel costs this year. When oil prices plummeted and drove down natural gas prices, Edison cut that request to $146 million.
Citing the current “volatile conditions” in energy prices, the PUC declined to act on that request Wednesday. An Edison spokeswoman said the company probably won’t need the second increase anyway.