For the city's prospective electric rate increase to be legal, California's Constitution Art. XIIIC, as amended by Proposition 26, requires the peoples' vote, for it mandates, “No local government may impose, extend or increase any special tax unless … that tax is submitted to the electorate and approved by a two-thirds vote.” A special tax is one “imposed for a specific purpose.” The electric rate is for a specific purpose. It’s a tax.
Under Art. XIIIC, “tax” is “…any levee, charge or extraction of any kind imposed by local government....” unless it meets one of seven exceptions. Only the second could apply, and then only if it meets the following three requirements: It must be “… imposed for a specific governmental service or product provided to the payor  that is not provided to those not charged and  which does not exceed the reasonable cost … of providing the service or product.”