California regulators are considering allowing utilities to charge more in high-risk wildfire zones. The President of the Public Utilities Commission is questioning the fairness of forcing all customers to pay the cost of preventing utility lines from sparking wildfires in rural areas instead of just the people who choose to live there.
Michael Picker tells the "San Francisco Chronicle" it isn't a formal proposal yet, but it's an idea worth discussing. Consumer advocates say rural residents often pay higher upfront costs to start service, but they should pay the same ongoing monthly rates so the cost of maintaining the grid is evenly spread.
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