Sacramento - The California Energy Commission today lowered the surcharge paid by electricity consumers to help fund its activities and those of four other state entities.
The surcharge currently stands at $0.0003 per kilowatt-hour consumed, the maximum allowed by law. An average household consumes approximately 600 kilowatt hours per month, which equates to a surcharge of 18 cents a month.
By a 5-0 vote at its regular business meeting today, the Commission trimmed the surcharge by 27 percent to $0.00022, a reduction of approximately 5 cents per month for the average household.
Today's action represents the first time the surcharge has been lowered, although it was increased from $0.0002 to the maximum last year upon the direction of the Legislature.
The surcharge also contributes to the operating budgets of the Department of Water Resources, Department of General Services, the Electricity Oversight Board and the Board of Equalization as authorized by the Legislature.
Every November, the Commission at a public meeting is required by statute to set the electricity surcharge for the next calendar year. The Commission lowered the surcharge because projected receipts are sufficient to contribute to the operating expenses of the five departments next year.
A Commission resolution on the new surcharge will be delivered to the State Board of Equalization. The agency will implement the new rate effective January 1, 2005, in conjunction with the state's electric utilities.