Press Releases

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to investigate dramatic increases in California natural gas and electricity prices in recent months, particularly due to fluctuations in wholesale natural gas prices.

Despite U.S. natural gas prices being at their lowest levels in more than a year, California home energy bills rose dramatically last month, more than doubling in some parts of the state. Natural gas accounted for much of that increase, with Southern California natural gas providers paying 313 percent more for gas than one year ago, which is passed along to consumers.

Natural gas is used to heat more than 70 percent of Californian households and generate nearly 40 percent of California’s electricity.

These sky-high and unpredictable rates have had grave effects on my constituents,” Senator Feinstein wrote in the letter to FERC. “Low-income residents and those on fixed income simply aren’t able to afford their bills at a time when many are behind on payments coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many face the difficult circumstance of having to pay higher heat and electricity prices at the expense of other necessities such as food or housing costs, or choosing to forgo heating and the use of home appliances.”

The letter to FERC is available here.

The letter to CPUC is available here.