Electricity rates on the rise again

POSTED: 04:47 PM PST Nov 30, 2012    UPDATED: 05:33 PM PST Nov 30, 2012 
Southern California Edison

 A five percent increase may not sound like much, but for the average household it's an additional seven dollars a month for electricity. Something many struggling families just can't afford.
     Kay Devine of Rancho Mirage is a Southern California Edison customer, and she disagrees with the rate increase. "I think that with the economy the way it is, I don't think they should be raising it, if anything they should be reducing," she told us.
     The new rate begins in January of 2013, with rates going up again the following two years. Making Southern California Edison more than five billion dollars in additional revenue.
     The company says the money will help pay to improve the infrastructure, ensuring a secure power delivery system for customers.
     But some people, like Carla Walker of Rancho Mirage, don't buy it. Carla told us, "I would really love a good plan to have the grid secured, but I'd love to see that plan in writing, that that's actually going to happen and there's a budget for it and it's laid out that there is some securing plan."
     The rate increases for everyone across the board, including businesses. Which means increased costs are passed on to consumers on everyday purchases, like groceries.
     Grocery stores use large amounts of electricity for everything, from the large freezers to the cash registers. So small increases to rates, translate to large increases in overhead.
     We spoke with the manager of Jensen's Finest Foods in Palm Desert, Dave Viefhaus. "Anytime there's an increase in business expenses, it ultimately will result in falling towards the consumer. How much, how soon, it's really difficult to tell. Percentage wise it will affect consumer pricing, we're just not sure how soon," Dave said.
     Overall, SCE rates remained relatively unchanged for the last two years. But, with many people still suffering from a slow economic recovery, this increase hits where it hurts the most.
     In the next few days, SCE customers may receive a courtesy call from Edison to let you know about ways you can reduce your energy costs, something you may want to consider.