Legislation advanced that would allow ratepayers to pay their bills by credit card and let investor-owned utilities add the credit card surcharges into those customers? bills. AB 746 by Sam Blackslee (R-San Luis Obispo), passed on a 7-1 vote by the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, would require the California Public Utilities Commission to assess the reasonableness of the credit or debit card fees and determine whether allowing this payment option results in savings for the utilities. Currently, utility bills cannot be charged to credit cards. Changing current law is supported by Southern California Edison—the bill?s sponsor—Pacific Gas & Electric, and Sempra. The utilities bill a combined $25 billion a year, representing a very profitable market for credit card companies, the committee analysis states. If a 2 percent processing fee were allowed, up to $500 million could fill credit card companies? and banks? coffers. At the same time, utilities could reduce their billing costs by reducing the number of checks processed. Additionally, ratepayers could rack up frequent flier miles and take advantage of other card ?rewards? if they could put their utility bills on their charge cards. The bill also would require the CPUC to assess whether utilities should be able to spread credit card fees among all ratepayers.