New Electric Rates In Effect

New Electric Rates In Effect

Electric rates recently changed, reflecting a series of decisions approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in various proceedings. We recognize there is no good time to increase rates, but even less so now when our customers may be struggling due to the COVID pandemic. For several years now, SDG&E has been engaged in rate reform efforts and are actively working to help lessen the burden of higher energy bills for our customers.

Rates Help Fund Safety and Reliability

The average residential rate changed from 27 cents per kilowatt hour to 31 cents per kWh.  

These changes in pricing help cover the cost of infrastructure and reliability improvements, fire hardening, operational expenses, climate action, customer assistance programs and energy procurements so we can deliver our customers clean, safe and reliable energy  

SDG&E has ongoing programs to upgrade equipment to improve reliability. For example, we developed new programs to replace outdated underground cables and overhead equipment that are the leading causes of power outages. We are also replacing aging equipment at substations before they fail, so we can prevent power outages.

Assistance Programs

We are committed to helping our customers who may have difficulty paying their bills. A host of programs are available including payment arrangements, debt forgiveness and discount programs. To learn more, please visit sdge.com/assistance.

FAQ

What does the rate increase mean for customers?
The average residential rate changed from 27 cents per kilowatt hour to 31 cents per kWh. The impact of this rate increase on individual customers’ bills will vary depending on when they use electricity and how much they use. The vast majority of our customers are enrolled in Time of Use pricing plans, which enables them to save money by shifting energy use to lower-cost hours of the day. Learn more about TOU savings tips here.  

What is included in the rate change?
The overall rate increase is the cumulative result of several different rate updates that happened at the same time. These updates reflect previously approved costs for infrastructure and reliability improvements, fire hardening, operational expenses, climate action, customer assistance programs and energy procurements. The cost of energy generation, which is a direct pass through to customers (no profit to the company), makes up nearly 40 percent of these changes.

SDG&E has ongoing programs to upgrade equipment to improve reliability. For example, we developed new programs to replace outdated underground cables and overhead equipment that are the leading causes of power outages. We are also replacing aging equipment at substations before they fail, so we can prevent power outages.

Another ongoing program is strengthening our grid against wildfires. Learn more about our efforts here.

What can customers do to reduce their bill?

  • Check Your Pricing Plan. Being on the right pricing plan can make a difference. Customers should pick a pricing plan that best meets their household needs and lifestyle, including electric vehicle plans and Time-of-Use plans
  • Take advantage of lower priced electricity. Most customers are on a Time-of-Use plan that gives them more control over their bill. If they can shift some of their higher-energy use activities outside of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., they can take advantage of lower priced electricity.
  • Replace furnace filters regularly. A dirty air filter can increase your energy costs and cause problems with your equipment.
  • Wash with cold water. Using warm water instead of hot when doing laundry can cut a load’s energy use in half; Use cold water and save even more.  

More savings tips are available here.

Is SDG&E doing anything to reduce rates?
Yes, SDG&E sought and received CPUC permission to spread some of the costs over a longer period of time. In addition, we have asked for permission to delay the implementation of a new public purpose program charge.

SDG&E has been advocating for rate reform and relief measures for a number of years. Last week, we won approval from the CPUC to eliminate the state-mandated High Usage Charge, a higher price for electricity that kicks in when customers’ energy usage exceed a certain threshold.  

Last year, we successfully petitioned the CPUC to adjust the timing of the California Climate Credit to mitigate high summer bills and eliminate seasonal pricing to reduce bill volatility. We know there is more work that needs to be done in this area, and we will continue to look for opportunities to lessen the burden for our customers.

What if customers can’t afford to pay their bills?
We are committed to working with our customers who may have difficulty paying their bills, and have several customer assistance programs in place:

  • Flexible Payment Plans. Customers can call us at 1-800-411-7343 to work out a payment plan. 
  • Discount programs. Customers who meet income eligibility criteria can enroll in the CARE program and save 30% or more on their energy bill, even if they are receiving unemployment benefits.
  • Debt Relief. Customers who are enrolled in or meet the income eligibility criteria for the CARE and FERA bill discount programs may be eligible for debt forgiveness through our Arrearage Management Payment (AMP) Plan. This plan offers eligible customers help with reducing their past due account balance.

Learn more about assistance programs here.