MOUNTAIN AREA — Pacific Gas and Electric Company residential customers will receive the California Climate Credit on their bills during the April billing cycle. The credit totals $62.91 for PG&E residential customers receiving both natural gas and electric service. For natural gas-only residential customers the credit will be $27.18, and for electric-only residential customers the credit will be $35.73.
This is not a credit from PG&E, it’s a credit returned to the utility’s customers from the state. PG&E is the administrator of the program on California’s behalf.
This credit is especially timely given that many residential customers under stay-at-home orders may be using more energy than usual, which could increase their energy bills.
“During the COVID-19 public health crisis, we know that many of our customers may face uncertainty and financial instability due to school and childcare closures, job loss and other economic impacts. We want customers to be aware that the semi-annual California Climate Credit will help reduce their energy costs this month,” said Laurie Giammona, PG&E senior VP and Chief Customer Officer.
“We also have numerous tips, tools and programs for customers to help lower their energy usage and bills. We encourage customers to evaluate those options and take advantage of them,” said Giammona.
California requires power plants, natural gas providers and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases to buy carbon pollution permits from auctions managed by the California Air Resources Board. The California Climate Credit is customers’ share of the payments from the state’s program. The California Public Utilities Commission oversees the program. The state’s investor-owned utilities and Community Choice Aggregators administer the credits to customers.
Help Managing Energy Usage
In addition to the Climate Credit, PG&E wants its customers to know it offers multiple rate plan options, assistance programs and tools to help manage their energy usage and costs, as many residential customers are spending more time at home during the statewide stay-at-home order and may be using more energy than usual.
Customers can view a personalized rate plan comparison at www.pge.com or by calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to help determine which rate plan is best for their household. Customers can also view their daily energy usage patterns online. This information may help them determine which rate plan is best for them, or help make other behavioral changes in their energy usage to reduce their costs.
If a customer is experiencing financial hardships and has trouble paying their bill due to the economic impact of COVID-19, PG&E can help. The company continues to offer flexible payment plans to support customers during these difficult times. Customers can learn more at www.pge.com/helpmepay.
Moratorium on Service Disconnections
In addition, PG&E has implemented a moratorium on service disconnections for non-payment. This suspension applies to both residential and small business customers and will remain in effect until further notice. PG&E will also suspend Medical Baseline removals. Customers on the Medical Baseline program will not be asked to re-certify through a doctor or other eligible medical professionals for up to one year.
Customers can also take advantage of the following financial-assistance programs.
Save on Monthly Bills
PG&E’s California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program gives almost 1.4 million income-qualified households discounts on their energy bills.
Customers can apply for CARE online at www.pge.com/CARE. Applying is easy and only takes about five minutes. Qualifying customers will begin receiving the CARE program discount within their next billing cycle.
Separate from CARE, income-qualified households with three or more persons can apply for the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program for an 18 percent discount on their electric bill.
The federally-funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides financial assistance to help offset eligible household energy costs, including heating, cooling and home weatherization expenses. To learn more, dial 211 for LIHEAP income guidelines and a list of participating agencies.
Receive Energy Support for Medical Conditions
Residential customers requiring electricity-powered medical equipment may qualify for Medical Baseline, which is not based on income. Per month, eligible customers can receive an extra baseline allotment of 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity and/or 25 therms of gas. Certification by a doctor is required.
No disruption in gas or electric service is anticipated due to the public health crisis. For more information, please visit www.pge.com/covid19 to read more about PG&E’s response to the virus.
About the California Climate Credit
The California Climate Credit originated out of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as Assembly Bill (AB) 32, and it is part of the state’s efforts to fight climate change. Power plants, natural gas distributers and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases are required to buy carbon pollution permits.
Costs are reflected in customer bills – in generation rates for electric customers and in transportation rates for natural gas customers. The Climate Credit is designed to help to offset bill increases for customers.
The California Public Utilities Commission oversees the program. The state’s investor-owned utilities, Direct Access and Community Choice Aggregator providers administer the credits to their customers.