Silicon Valley Power (SVP) is talking about a new, mid-year rate increase, about six months after the last increase.
In May, SVP is expected to bring the issue to the Santa Clara City Council. The utility wants to increase rates by 5% starting July 1, 2023.
According to the City press release, “As you may have read in the headlines, unforeseeably high natural gas prices have had a significant impact on electric and gas utilities throughout California. Natural gas prices increased by 500%, which caused power prices to rise 150% higher than usual.”
SVP says it has already “tightened the budget, pared down spending” and is using the reserves during this time. Even after all of that, the utility says a rate increase must happen.
To help offset the cost to residential customers, SVP is proposing a one-time efficiency/climate credit.
SVP proposed raising rates by 8% in December of last year. The City Council approved the rate increase and it went into effect on Jan. 1 of this year.
At the time of the Jan. 1 increase, SVP said the average residential customer using approximately 420-kilowatt hours per month would spend $4.40 more per month on their bill.
In spite of recent increases, SVP still offers lower utility rates than other utilities such as PG&E. SVP crews have been busy this winter and spring, dealing with dozens of downed power lines caused by the recent string of winter storms. Of note, the issue on Homestead Road earlier in March, when several power poles snapped because of the winds.
SVP offers online resources for customers that want to reduce their energy usage and lower their monthly electricity bills. There are also appliance rebates, energy-saving tips and access to a tool library that will help you measure the plug loads of items such as televisions, video game consoles and computers.
Visit SiliconValleyPower.com/Residents for more information.
Income-qualified customers in Santa Clara may be eligible for a rate discount of up to 40%. For more information and income eligibility requirements, please visit SiliconValleyPower.com/Assist.
I thought SVP power was 100% green power. If so, then natural gas prices shouldn’t affect it. Is that not true?
SVP provides residential customers with one hundred percent of power from renewable sources. But not commercial customers and the overall mix of SVP power is about fifty five percent renewable.
SVP gives customers the option of choosing renewable energy sources, but it is more expensive so it’s only an option.
There’s an annual mailing that details what percent of energy comes from what source. I’m sure this information is available on the website if you look.
Why are they proposing an increase to residential rates, if they are already 100% renewable (and not dependent on natural gas prices)?