While rates are the same across PG&E's service area, the amount of electricity required to move up the tiers over a month is different for each customer depending on their location, the season, and whether home heating is electric or natural gas. The amount assigned to the first tier is called a "baseline" and represents the minimum level of usage needed to satisfy a substantial portion (50%-60%) of the electricity needs of the average customer in a specific service area called a "climate zone."
A monthly baseline quantity or Tier 1 Allowance is indicated on each bill you receive, based on the number of billing days in your cycle (which you can find on the Details of Electric and Gas Charges page of your monthly energy statement). Energy use below the baseline amount is billed at a lower rate than energy use over the baseline. To determine your monthly baseline quantity, do the following:
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Roll your cursor over the region where you live to determine your baseline quantity amount.
Your Baseline Territory can be found on the Details of Electric and Gas Charges page of your bill, in the right-hand column.
*Electric baseline quantities went into effect August 1, 2014; Gas baseline quantities went into effect on November 1, 2015.
PG&E's service area is divided into "Baseline territories." Customers in each baseline territory are allocated a daily quantity of kilowatt hours (kwh) of electric power and therms of natural gas that can be billed at a lower, "baseline" rate.
The Public Utilities (PU) Code establishes baseline quantities for average residential gas and electricity use within each baseline territory. The PU code specifically requires that baseline quantities fall between 50 and 60 percent of average use for basic-electric (no permanently installed electric heat) customers in both the summer and winter and for all-electric (with permanently installed electric heat) and gas customers in the summer. The PU code also requires that baseline quantities fall between 60 to 70 percent of average use for all-electric and gas customers in the winter.
|Energy (Rate Plan)||Baseline Summer Season||Baseline Winter Season|
|Gas||April 1 – October 31||November 1 – March 31|
|Electric (E1, E6)||May 1 – October 31||November 1 – April 30|
|Electric (ETOU-A, ETOU-B)||June 1 – September 30||October 1 – May 31|
Daily baseline quantities are recalculated and submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval approximately every three years, and may be phased-in on an annual basis if necessary.
Though baseline quantities vary by territory, season and customers' heating sources, the prices at each tier are the same for all residential customers on the same rate schedule--regardless of the size of each individual home or its number of occupants. Some customers may be eligible for additional medical baseline quantity allowances if established criteria are met.
Customers are billed at the baseline rate for electric use up to the baseline limit. Use beyond this level is charged at the "over baseline" rate, which is priced at a higher level. (The Details of Electric and Gas Charges page of your monthly energy statement illustrates this).
|Tier 1: Each monthly billing period begins at the lowest price per kilowatt for your electric usage. Tiers are defined by usage amounts. Once you reach that allotted amount, you are moved into a higher priced tier. |
|Tier 2: Costs more than Tier 1 per kilowatt of electricity used. |
|Tier 3: This is the most expensive tier and is more than double the price of your Tier 1 electric costs. |
Gas usage remains at a two-tier structure. Rates for Tier 1—the baseline tier—will continue to be billed at the baseline rate; Tier 2 rates ("over baseline") apply to gas use beyond set baseline quantities. Customers are billed at the baseline rate for gas use up to the baseline limit. Use beyond this level is charged at the "over baseline" rate, which is priced at a higher level. (The Details of Electric and Gas Charges page of your monthly bill illustrates this).