California Manufacturers & Technology Association slams CPUC rate increases

First monthly bills kill hundreds of jobs

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 1, 2001 — The California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) today released on its website the first monthly “Energy Casualty Report.”

The report lists dozens of companies that have announced shutdowns, layoffs or other negative impacts caused by State mandated rate increases.

“Every California employee should be quivering in his cubicle with the arrival of their employers’ electric bill,” said CMTA President Jack M. Stewart. “The CPUC has made the electric bill the greatest hazard in the workplace.”

In allocating their 3-cent per kilowatt increase, the CPUC has shifted hundreds of millions of dollars in costs from residential to business consumers. The Commission’s published rate schedules indicate average rate increases of 50 to 87 percent for business customers. However, many first month bills reflect rate increases of more than 100 percent to an astonishing 190 percent. The CPUC rate increase went into effect in early June.

“Now the legislature is preparing legislation to settle billions of dollars in utility undercollections by transferring their debt to the same businesses that have been ravaged by the CPUC,” said Stewart.

“Manufacturers need immediate relief. Rates must be reallocated to ensure that no customer, large or small, receives more than a 50% rate increase. In addition, manufacturers must be given the ability to control their costs through direct access and self generation,” Stewart insisted.

“The CPUC has put many employers in the position of paying their energy bills or paying their employees. Perhaps the state could include a note with each unemployment check that reads ‘We’re sorry you lost your job but we saved you $7 on your home electric bill,”‘ Stewart concluded.

For more information, visit CMTA’s web site at http://www.cmta.net/.

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