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Palo Alto set to receive $24M over utilities litigation

Original post made on Mar 21, 2023

Palo Alto is expecting to receive about $24 million from the federal government following litigation between a consortium of northern California utilities and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, March 20, 2023, 9:57 AM

Comments (4)

Posted by Moctod
a resident of University South
on Mar 21, 2023 at 11:46 am

Moctod is a registered user.

So, Palo Alto residents were overcharged $24,000,000. but only 1/4 of that will be returned to those who paid the bills? The second headline which indicates residential electric rates may be reduced by 5% is deceptive as the recent recommendation from the Utilities Department and the Utilities Advisory Commission is to raise electric rates on July 1, 2023 by 14% while cutting the 20% raise in electric bills due to hydro surcharges only one half.

Here are the residential rate proposals that were passed with little debate by the Utilities Advisory Commission:

Sewage- 9% per year for each of the next five years.

Water rates- 3% increase

Gas- Transfer 18% of yearly gas revenues to the general fund for the fiscal years 2021 to 2024.
Increase the gas cost rates for tier one and two by 21.4%
Increase gas distribution rates by 8%, 7%, 5%, 5%, 5% for the fiscal years 2024-2028.

Electric- The recent Hydroelectric rate surcharge decreased by 50% on July 1, 2023.
However, all residential electric rates increased by 14% effective July 1, 2023.

I doubt that that I will see a significant drop, if any, in my electric rates after July 1 and will be looking at significant increases to our natural gas, water and sweage rates.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 21, 2023 at 12:42 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Also coming soon is a 4.75% tax /fee on telecon services lsuch as cable tvl, cell phone, landline and internet service. I guess they forgot about the lawsuit where they were ordered to pay us back similar fees because they had nothing to do with our telecom service.

The pitifully small "rebates" the city is considering "giving" on gas and electric are so small as to be laughable and don't even scratch the surface of all the increases we're paying -- a $28 rebate on CPAU bills of that doubled to $1,000 a month!??

Posted by Palo Alto Supporter
a resident of University South
on Mar 21, 2023 at 4:26 pm

Palo Alto Supporter is a registered user.

The ONLY equitable move is to return the money to those who paid it. If that is impossible, the remainder should be spared across all utility bills to benefit the community of utility payers. For too long as the City played games with our money. This money needs to go to the local businesses and residents who paid the now illegal fees. Our businesses need the money as much as the residents. Businesses pay arbitrarily higher rates for the same electricity so the City can generate a profit and sweep the money into the General Fund (yes they lost that lawsuit) to spend as they wish. The City needs to be honest with us and not take our money. They need to stop being the problem as created by Pat Burt who made himself king and decided only he could solve our problems and make our city better...and that has had a terrible outcome. Linda Kou has shown independence from the thumb of Pat and seems to be focused on improving our safety for us all and on being an aid to business instead of blaming business for the city's challenges. I hope Mayor Kou will lead and others with join her to stop making the city the problem and start making the city a supporter of those who live and work here and want to restore pride and dignity to our city.

Posted by mjh
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 21, 2023 at 10:26 pm

mjh is a registered user.

Don’t forget the city pads our utility bills by approximately $20 million a year which is siphoned off to the city’s general fund.

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