California’s Latest Hustle: Utility Bills Based on Ratepayers’ Income

Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Jane L Johnson

“Utility bills — for electricity, natural gas, water, and garbage—have by long-standing tradition been based on customer usage, measured in kilowatt-hours of electricity, therms or Btu of natural gas, hundred cubic feet of water, or number of garbage cans. Every residence and business has electric, gas, and water meters that measure utility usage. But changes are afoot in the utility business as federal and state governments urge Americans to convert from fossil fuels to electricity for home heating, appliances, and transportation. From this transition will undoubtedly follow changes in utility rate-setting models. … California, home to 10 percent of the total US population and often considered a state laboratory where policies begin before adoption across the nation, offers a glimpse into the future of utility rate setting as the two-part tariff pricing model has now taken on a new wrinkle.” (03/25/24)