PG&E is here to Help Customers Take Control of their Energy Use and
Manage their Energy Costs
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
A statewide process to change the way Californians are charged for their
energy will take another step towards completion on March 1. The goals
of the changes are to help ensure the price customers pay for energy is
more closely aligned with the cost of providing them with safe, reliable
and clean energy service, to simplify rate structures and to encourage
The process to modernize and simplify California’s electric rate system
aims to balance rate tiers and eventually moving to a time-of-use rate
structure. These changes were developed jointly between PG&E and the
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and supported by many
consumer interest groups.
What is Happening
The March 1 changes will simplify the structure for Pacific Gas and
Electric Company’s (PG&E) rate plans:
Reducing the number of tiers from three to two tiers, to simplify the
The introduction of a High Usage Surcharge to encourage energy
In addition to the structural changes, electric transmission rates will
increase on March 1, with residential customers seeing a 2.1 percent
increase in this portion of their bills. Even with these increases, PG&E
customers’ bills are still below the national average, based upon the
most recently available data.
Why is it Happening
The current electric rate structure was established during the 2001
energy crisis. It’s outdated, complex and confusing for customers.
For years, in order to encourage energy conservation and efficiency, the
costs of PG&E’s service to maintain the energy grid and ensure reliable
electricity service were disproportionately placed upon customers who
found themselves in the higher tiers – most often impacting those who
live in hotter climates.
While conservation and efficiency programs have been and continue to be
very successful, the electric rate structure resulted in an imbalance
between how customers in the lower and higher tiers pay for what it
costs to provide them with service.
How Changes Impact Customers and Support a Cleaner California
The March 1 changes may help those who find themselves in higher tiers
due to the need to cool their homes during hotter months. After the
changes are implemented, customers who need to use more energy may see
lower bills, while customers who typically able to use less energy may
see higher bills.
“Since 2010, KernTax has advocated for these types of structural rate
changes. We are pleased to see meaningful progress towards a more fair
and equitable electric rate system. KernTax will continue to work with
PG&E, the CPUC and others to make sure that the goals to more closely
align the costs we all pay for energy is reflective on what it costs to
deliver that service to customers, regardless of climate zone, are
reached,” said Michael Turnipseed, executive director of the Kern County
Taxpayers Association, one of the consumer groups that supported these
These changes are designed to support California’s ambitious clean
energy goals to combat climate change. Customers who use more than four
times the baseline amount of electricity will receive a High Usage
Surcharge. The baseline amount of electricity for each customer depends
on their location, the season and their home heating system. Less than
10 percent of residential customers will likely incur the High Usage
Surcharge. The surcharge:
Only applies to customers on PG&E’s tiered electric rate plans.
Is intended to encourage energy conservation among customers whose
electricity use is significantly higher than typical households.
“We understand that any change to the way our customers are accustomed
to being charged for energy may cause some questions. We want all of our
customers to know that we’re here to help them understand these changes
and manage their energy costs. We offer new rate options as well as free
programs and tools to help customers take control of their energy use
and make smart choices,” said Deborah Affonsa, vice president, Customer
Ways to Take Control of Energy Use
The most powerful tool customers have at their disposal to take control
of their energy use and manage their bills is their online account.
Customers should signup to access cost and usage analysis tools with
information down to the day, get personalized information on the right
rate plan for themselves and their family, and more. To learn more and
how to signup, customers can visit pge.com.
Automated PG&E Bill Forecast Alerts include other tools that
help customers manage costs by notifying them when their usage is
approaching their personal budget thresholds. These alerts are then
delivered via email, text or a phone call. Sign up in less than five
minutes at pge.com/energyalerts.
Customers can also sign up for the High Usage Alert to be
notified when they may incur the High Usage Surcharge. Sign up today at pge.com/highusage.
PG&E also has a number of programs that help customers manage their
costs. For more information about tools to manage energy costs and
programs for low income and medical needs, please visit pge.com.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E
Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas
and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San
Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of
the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and
Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/
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Source: Pacific Gas and Electric Company