Legislators fight proposed California utility fees

California’s big utilities promise that a proposed change in customer energy bills would help low-income families. But now Democratic lawmakers are joining Republicans in saying that the move is unfair to their constituents and will set back energy conservation.

The debate centers on “fixed charges” — set fees included in your monthly electric bills that are added on top of what you’re charged based on usage. These fees go toward operating costs for the state’s electric grid.