profit records for utility companies after rate hikes

Utility Companies’ Profits Surge Amid Rate Hikes | Solar Panels, Battery Storage, Roofing, HVAC

Welcome to the electrifying world of utility companies, where profits are surging like a high-voltage current and customers are feeling the shock with every bill. In a year that saw Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announce a nearly 25% increase in profits, reaching over $2.2 billion, residents across California are left pondering the balance between essential service costs and corporate earnings. This staggering figure serves as the spark for our exploration into why utility bills are climbing and how the giants of the energy sector are faring amidst growing public scrutiny. Strap in as we illuminate the complex dynamics of power, profit, and public opinion in today’s energy landscape.

Sempra Energy and SDG&E’s Financial Performance

Sempra Energy’s Profits in 2023

Sempra Energy, the powerhouse behind San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), recently announced it made close to a cool $3 billion in profits last year. Yes, billion with a “B.”

SDG&E’s Contribution to Sempra’s Profits

Drilling down, SDG&E itself pulled in over $936 million in profit, up from the year before. Interesting to note, Sempra mixed up its reporting style this year, combining SDG&E’s numbers with those of another subsidiary, making it a tad harder to see SDG&E’s exact impact. Sneaky, right?

Public Response and Advocacy

Protests Against Sempra and SDG&E

Not everyone is cheering for Sempra’s victory lap. Power San Diego, a group advocating for energy fairness, took to the streets, demanding a shift to a non-profit utility model. Their point? If public utilities can charge less, why can’t we get a piece of that pie?

The Case for Municipal Utilities

The argument is pretty straightforward: if the city runs its own utility, it wouldn’t need to chase profits, potentially leading to lower bills for us folks. Imagine more money for fun and less for kilowatts.


PG&E’s Profit Increase and Customer Reaction

PG&E’s Profit Surge in 2023

Moving north to PG&E territory, the plot thickens. PG&E announced a nearly 25% jump in profits, crossing the $2.2 billion mark. This hike comes hot on the heels of rate increases that had customers steaming more than their morning lattes.

Customer Dissatisfaction

For many PG&E customers, the service doesn’t seem to match the price tag. Outages remain a sore point, leading some to wonder where all that extra money is actually going.


Calls for Regulatory Changes

Advocacy for Rate Increase Caps

With tensions boiling, groups like The Utility Reform Network (TURN) are calling for a cap on rate increases. Their idea? Tie hikes to something we all understand – the cost of living adjustment for social security.

Utility Companies’ Future Plans

Despite the backlash, companies like PG&E are talking up their investment plans, promising to keep future increases within inflation rates. But for many, that promise is as comforting as a flickering lightbulb in a storm.


As we flick off the switch on our exploration of the utility sector’s rising profits against the backdrop of increasing customer bills, a few illuminating points stand out. The stark contrast between PG&E and Sempra Energy’s ballooning profits, including a nearly 25% increase to over $2.2 billion for PG&E, and the palpable frustration of Californians grappling with higher rates, highlights a growing tension between energy providers and the communities they serve. While utility companies like Sempra defend their rate hikes as necessary for investment in safety, reliability, and green energy, customers and advocacy groups are calling for transparency, fairness, and regulatory reforms to ensure that utility services remain affordable without compromising on quality and environmental commitments. The debate over public versus investor-owned utilities, underscored by movements like Power San Diego, adds another layer to this complex conversation, suggesting a potential shift in how we think about and manage our energy resources. As we move forward, the energy narrative in California and beyond continues to evolve, balancing the scales between profit, people, and the planet remains a critical challenge that demands attention, action, and accountability from all stakeholders involved.


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