« Biking in B'game: How many lanes are enough? | Main | 1874: Vin de Hillsborough »

April 12, 2023



You already did an April Fool's Day post.


Nope, this one is for real although the April Fool's post is related and applicable as seen by this bit of data from the Merc:

Wealthier residents, liberated from the office by remote work, are leaving the Bay Area at a higher rate than before the pandemic — a trend that could exacerbate a dreaded economic “doom loop” for the region’s slowly recovering job centers and downtown cores.

In 2021, households earning more than $150,000 made up 32% of all those moving out of the nine-county Bay Area, up from 27.6% in 2019, according to a new analysis of census data by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.

Between 2019 and 2021, the San Francisco metro area, which includes the East Bay and Peninsula, saw its population fall 2.3%, while San Jose’s population dropped 1.9% — a collective loss of 147,000 residents.
So why a $92/mo fixed charge? Why not $192/mo? Just wait.


Yep, just like cities were first banning fireplaces only in new construction and everyone installed gas.

Then gas was banned only in new construction and guess what??

Jennifer Pfaff

Humm, I wonder if this is not much different than say, if Safeway Corp., for example, would come up with a sliding scale for their groceries, also considered essential. Depending on your income--For a loaf of bread people in the lower income bracket shall pay 50 cents a loaf, whereas those in a high income bracket shall pay $9 a loaf (?)


Maybe we should all be issued a government lapel pin with an RFID chip in it that has our income coded into it so every business and government agency (think the DMV) can charge a variable amount for goods and services.


Who is at fault for this craziness?!

The voters who keep voting for Democrats.

Lemming R US

President Newsom, of the USSR.


Ken dulaney

This is clearly taxation without representation. This sets a press dent where a private company gets your income so they can charge you different rates. Ok so I will eventually pay more for a pair of jeans in the future because my favorite retailer has my income from the government?

The PUC is out of control. They messed up solar by making it harder to justify despite the state yelling for climate change solutions

Peter Garrison


Illegal for cities to ban gas appliances. This from the 9th circuit US Court of Appeals:

“But Judge Patrick Bumatay wrote in the 3-0 Ninth Circuit ruling that a local ordinance that bans appliances such as gas stoves "impacts the quantity of energy" they consume, which is regulated by the federal government.” CBS News


I'm not giving my tax returns to PGE. Is the government going to give a private company our tax returns to prove our income? Isn't that in itself illegal? I LOVE that Berkeley's gas ban was overturned yesterday. By the 9th circuit no less! What are they going to do now?

Lemming R US

Let's hope the ruling by the three judge panel holds up when it is appealed to an 11 judge panel and then again for whatever comes next (US Supreme Court?) The Berkeley author played this game as reported by AP

Berkeley City Councilmember Kate Harrison, who authored the 2019 ordinance, said she doesn’t know how the city council will respond, but noted that a ban on natural gas or effort to curtail the use of natural gas has spread to 70 communities in California, and even to Seattle and New York City.

“This is a movement that can’t be stopped,” she said. “They’ve conflated a 1970s regulation about the efficiency of appliances with what kind of materials can come into our house. We did not change appliances, we changed the source of fuel that can come into new buildings.”

Nice. We did not change appliances we just stopped allowing you to have the fuel so YOU have to change appliances. That passes for logic in Berkeley.

Paloma Ave

What an idiotic idea.

What idiots at PG&E came up with this? (Names please?)


If this letter to the WSJ yesterday is accurate--and it seems like it is--this is a done deal:

I couldn’t agree more with the letter “California’s Next Scheme: Redistribute Electric Bills” (June 17). Unfortunately, the changes proposed by the utility companies are mandated by Assembly Bill 205, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom a year ago. It’s a done deal, and the utility companies are simply complying with the law. Once adopted, this new billing scheme will require a whole new bureaucracy to collect and match information about personal incomes and enforce compliance.

Dennis Geyer
Martinez, CA


It looks like some Dems are backtracking on their votes to make our electric rates be based on our individual incomes! Marc Berman is quoted in a piece that notes:

Newsom’s commitment to California’s income-based electricity billing plan followed a press conference by a group of Democratic lawmakers who want to reverse the policy, after they voted in its favor as part of a 2022 budget bill.

Citing public outcry, they condemned the plan as another price hike for Californians’ astronomical energy bills that would punish conservation-minded households while also subjecting everyone to invasive income checks.

This emerging rift over a policy that’s been praised by supporters as an "equitable" boost for the state’s transition to zero-emission electricity is a rare hiccup in the Democratic supermajority’s typically lockstep approach to energy mandates.

Opponents include tenants’ advocates, who say the extra fees will add to renters’ already sky-high living costs, environmental groups, and even supporters of solar energy. Other powerful environmental groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, support the income-based system.

The growing public pressure over the issue may signal that Californians, a majority of whom said last year that environmental regulations are worth the cost, have hit a limit to their tolerance for Sacramento’s energy policies.

Electricity rates have risen nearly 70 percent since 2010, when the state started to break from fossil fuels, and California households pay nearly 83 percent more than the average for homes elsewhere in the United States.


The Merc is following the Sacramento shenanigans:

OAKLAND — Multiple efforts are underway on both sides of California’s political divide to short-circuit a 2022 law that would impose new income-based fixed fees on customers of PG&E and other utility leviathans.

Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature have crafted separate measures designed to quash a plan to implement the fee that lawmakers hastily approved in an 11-hour proceeding.

The legislative efforts seek to either overturn or drastically alter the 2022 law, AB 205, a wide-ranging energy bill including a one-sentence provision that directed the utility commission to study income-based fixed charges and then decide on their implementation by no later than June 30 of this year.

The state lawmakers involved in the various efforts to overturn the income-based utility charge plan include Assembly Democrats Marc Berman of Menlo Park and Jacqui Irwin of Thousand Oaks, and Senate Republican Brian Dahle, Shannon Grove, Janet Nguyen, Roger Niello, Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, Kelly Seyarto, and Scott Wilk.

What’s more, 22 state lawmakers wrote to the utility commission’s president in October warning that the powerful California regulatory agency might be racing too quickly — and with no public input — to decide on the income-based fees.
Where is Becker and Papan on this list?


Done deal

For most people, the charge will be $24.15 per month and will take effect starting late next year. Others with lower incomes who are enrolled in one of two discount programs will pay less, either $6 or $12 per month.

In exchange for the new charge, the price of electricity will drop by between 5 cents and 7 cents per kilowatt hour. One kilowatt hour is how much power it takes to use a 1,000-watt appliance - a coffee maker or vacuum cleaner, for instance - for one hour.

Paloma Ave

With the new fixed fee, we will be paying more, unless your usage is at least 1144 kwh per month. I use about 1/3 of that amount because PG&E has encouraged all of us to conserve for decades. Thanks to PG&E and democRAT politicians for forcing their wants and desires on us, as opposed to REPRESENTING OUR BEST INTERESTS!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About the Voice

  • The Burlingame Voice is dedicated to informing and empowering the Burlingame community. Our blog is a public forum for the discussion of issues that relate to Burlingame, California. On it you can read and comment on important city issues.

    Note: Opinions posted on the Burlingame Voice Blog are those of the poster and not necessarily the opinion of the editorial board of the Burlingame Voice. See Terms of Use

Contributing to the Voice

  • If you would like more information on the Burlingame Voice, send an email to [email protected] with your request or question. We appreciate your interest.

    Authors may login here.

    For help posting to the Voice, see our tutorial.