(AP) - Big energy users are set to get a break on electricity while more efficient consumers will see their bills rise, under a proposal being considered by California regulators.
The state Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to vote Friday on a plan that would overhaul the way the state's investor-owned utilities charge for electricity. Legislators in 2001, in response to the state's energy crisis, expanded rate-paying tiers from two to four and froze lowest-tier rates to protect households from spiking energy bills.
The new proposal calls for a return to two tiers, plus a surcharge for the highest electricity users. Utilities have long complained that the steeply tiered system means higher-use households have unfairly subsidized low-use households for years.
Consumer and environmental groups prefer an alternate proposal that would maintain steep tiers.