PALMDALE – Consumer watchdogs are getting the word out regarding an upcoming Public Utilities Commission hearing for Antelope Valley residents that will address proposed rate increases.
Johnathon Ervin, president of the Antelope Valley Community Alliance (AVCA), stated in a news release that local residents will have their chance to speak out on a possible rate design and rate increase at a PUC meeting held in their own backyard this Thursday.
Sponsored by the AVCA and The Utility Reform Network, the public hearing on Southern California Edison’s rate increases is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 2 at Palmdale City Council Chambers, 38300 Sierra Highway in Palmdale. The hearing will offer two sessions for residents, with the first session at 2 p.m. followed by a second at 6 p.m.
Ervin said the meeting is the result of a community bus ride to a PUC meeting held in Temple City in May 2014. More than 30 Antelope Valley residents traveled to the San Gabriel Valley to advocate against unfair rate increases. The Temple City trip ultimately convinced the commission to plan a hearing for High Desert residents, Ervin said, which is an opportunity to speak out against rate increases.
“This is the Antelope Valley’s chance to be heard by the Public Utilities Commission on how we feel about the Southern California Edison rate design/increase,” Ervin told the AV Times in an email. “Please don’t let this opportunity to have your voice heard pass you by. In fact, bring your electric bills; SCE needs to see how each increase affects our families.”
AVCA has partnered with The Utility Reform Network (TURN) to arrange a hearing with the PUC in the Antelope Valley. And according to TURN’s executive director, Dr. Mark W. Toney, local residents need to tell PUC officials that Antelope Valley consumers should be rewarded with lower bills for saving energy – not penalized with higher bills.
“It’s just not fair for Edison to punish customers who conserve energy with higher bills so that energy hogs can get a break,” Toney told the AV Times in an email.
Toney explained that his organization is demanding that the PUC reject Southern California Edison’s “greed in demanding a $1.6 billion rate hike.”
“If you are having a hard time keeping up with your bills, if you ever had your lights shut off, if you have not received the service you paid for, you need to tell your story at the Oct. 2nd public hearing,” Toney said in a released statement.
Partnering together to encourage Edison customers to attend rate hike public hearings across Southern California, the AVCA is described as a non-partisan community team seeking to improve the quality of life for Antelope Valey communities, while TURN is a consumer advocacy group that holds utilities accountable to protect consumers.
For any questions regarding the upcoming public hearing, contact Johnathon Ervin at 661-754-1505.
Previous related story: AV residents speak out on Edison’s pending rate hike
About the authorJim E. Winburn is freelance reporter covering news of public interest.