PG&E offers tips to high energy users during summer heat

Posted at 11:41 AM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-20 14:52:15-04

On March 1, 2017, PG&E changed our electric tiered rate plan to make customers’ bills easier to understand, make sure the price customers pay for energy is more closely aligned with the actual cost of providing that energy, and encourage extremely high energy users to conserve energy. The changes were developed jointly among California utilities, the California Public Utilities Commission and consumer interest groups.

A tiered rate plan has pricing levels, known as “tiers,” which are based on how much energy you use. Since the energy crisis in 2001, rate increases were placed on the higher tiers while prices for lower tiers remained stable. For years, high energy users were paying more than the cost to provide them with electric service.

The March 1 tier balancing reduced the number of tiers from three to two and implemented a High Usage Surcharge to encourage energy conservation for high users. These changes mean that low energy users began to see rates increase on their March bills, while customers in hotter climates may see lower rates this summer.


PG&E is Here to Help

We understand higher than expected bills are frustrating. With six simple steps, residential customers can save as much as $400 on their energy bills over the year. These tips are tailored specifically for gas and electric residential customers in hotter climates to help them reduce their energy usage and lower their energy bills. The below savings amounts are illustrative only. Actual savings will vary.*

  • Seal air leaks: gaps and cracks between the inside and outside of your home can allow cooled air to escape in the summer. Sealing air leaks can save up to $95 on annual cooling costs.
  • Raise thermostat: Customers can save up to $85 on annual cooling costs for each degree the temperature is increased in the summer.
  • Turn off AC when leaving: Turning off your air conditioning before you leave will save up to $65 annually, especially on a Time of Day rate plan or on a SmartRate plan and there's a SmartDay event.
  • Improve shading for windows: Enhancing shade on windows can save up to $60 each year.
  • Maintain air conditioner: Air conditioners use more energy than necessary if not properly maintained. Maintaining it will help the system last longer and save up to $50 each year.
  • Check air filters once a month: Heating and cooling consume the most energy in the average home — up to 50% of total home energy use. Cleaning or replacing filters monthly will improve energy efficiency and save up to $45 each year.