City Council Pondering Excessive Residential Electricity Use Tax – May 16, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012



May 15, 2012 Environmental Services Department 


 City of Arcata Considers 

Tax on Excessive Residential Electricity Use 

The Arcata City Council is considering a ballot measure to add a tax on excessive residential energy use. During the last 12 years, electricity usage in the City of Arcata increased 30 percent. Residential household electricity consumption in the rest of California has remained constant for the past 30 years.

Arcata has a community goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2012. The increase in residential sector energy use actively works against this goal. By applying a 5 cent, 10 cent or 15 cent per kilowatt hour tax only on residential electricity use above 300 percent of PG&E’s baseline allocation, the City hopes to reduce residential electric energy use, provide a disincentive for excessive use, and develop a way to fund projects that reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions, such as neighborhood solar projects, that offset the environmental and community effects of increased residential electricity usage.

Would this tax affect you? If you have gas heating, the electric portion of your PG&E bill in the winter would have to exceed $296 per month. Additional tax will be applied to usage above $296. If you have electric heat, your winter electric bill would have to exceed $726 per month before the tax would be applied.

If you have questions, suggestions or concerns, the City invites you to share them with the Energy Committee on Monday May 21, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. at Arcata City Hall, 736 F Street. Feel free to bring your PG&E bill with you if you have questions.

For more information, please contact the Arcata Environmental Services Department at (707) 822-8184 or email 


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