PG&E energy bills will see a small increase next year as the utility company implements a rate hike to help pay for the decommissioning of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County.
On Thursday, PG&E announced that the California Public Utilities Commission had approved the $3.9 billion estimated cost to safely decommission Diablo Canyon beginning in 2025, along with the company’s plan to seek a rate increase to help pay for the shutdown.
“At the end of the operating licenses, we are committed to safely decommissioning Diablo Canyon in a fashion that is consistent not only with all laws and regulations, but also is respectful of the environment and reflects the input of our neighboring communities,” Jim Welsch, PG&E’s senior vice president, generation and chief nuclear officer, said in a news release.
“Today’s decision will help us achieve those goals and deliver on PG&E’s purpose of serving our planet and delivering for our hometowns.”
Every three years, PG&E submits a Nuclear Decommissioning Cost Triennial Proceeding to the CPUC, which includes an estimated cost for safely shutting down the plant and how much money the utility company has on hand to pay for decommissioning.
This year’s $3.9 billion cost estimate is based on a comprehensive, site-specific decommissioning analysis and reflects input from interested parties and stakeholders, including The Utility Reform Network, the CPUC’s Public Advocates Office, Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, the County of San Luis Obispo, Women’s Energy Matters and yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini Northern Chumash Cultural Preservation Kinship, according to the news release.
Along with the cost estimate, the CPUC approved PG&E to collect approximately $900 million from customers to fully fund the decommissioning.
This means customers will start to see an increase in their bills in January.
The amount will vary, but for the average customer with a monthly usage of 500 kilowatt-hours, the increase would be approximately $0.59 cents per month, according to PG&E.
The temporary rate increase would last eight years, PG&E says.
— Kaytlyn Leslie is a reporter for the San Luis Obispo Tribune. This story is republished with permission.