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Energy Bills From Warm, Dry Winter Forcing Grass Valley Business To Close

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Steve Large Steve Large
Steve anchors the news on CBS13 on the weekends and reports during the...
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GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) — The drought conditions and record-high temperatures could claim a new victim this week—a Grass Valley small business.

The owner of Valentina’s Bistro and Cafe is going out of business and says the weather is the reason why.

It’s the kind of shop where customers feel like family and the drinks are served with style.

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Valentina Masterz bakes inside her shop in the mornings and it can get up to 86 degrees in the restaurant. With warmer temperatures, she’s faced PG&E bills in excess of $3,000.

“Every day I wake up and check the weather forecast, because is it going to be hot or cold?” she said. “If it’s cold, I don’t have to run the air conditioner, and I can save eight hours a day. That’s a lot of money.”

She says until now, she’s paid her high summer electricity bills off in the winter when the bills are typically lower.

“I’ve never used the air conditioner in the winter ever, because here we have snow,” she said.

But this winter is different. With no snow and the sun shining in December in January, temperatures in Grass Valley routinely soared 15 to 20 degrees above normal.

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“And PG&E’s been wonderful with me,” she said. But this winter, I cannot make payments, so I can’t blame PG&E. I blame myself.”

PG&E says it couldn’t comment on Masterz’s specific account, but generally try to work with ratepayers.

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