Understanding Energy Use and Prices


Many factors affect the cost of providing your electricity. One of the most important factors, and certainly the one you can do the most to control, is your contribution to how much energy California is using.

Different types of customers use different amounts of energy at different times of the day or days of the week. For example, many small commercial customers will be closed on weekends, while many residential customers might use even more energy over the weekend than they do during the week. Pacific Gas and Electric Company develops and maintains average hourly load profiles for "typical" customers, representing each broad customer class. You can use these profiles to see the pattern of average customer energy use over different hours of the day and different days of the week.

Weather also has a large influence on energy use. During the summer, hot weather increases the demand for electricity. This can require the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to purchase expensive energy supplies. During the winter, cold weather will contribute to increased gas and electric usage. If demand exceeds supply, the CAISO may need to order rotating block outages. The average customer load profiles provided on this page are updated weekly, reflecting the effects of the most recent weather conditions.

Learn More About Energy Use and Prices

  • System Hourly Loads: The California Independent System Operator posts current system demand and resource conditions, including any emergency stage alerts. It also posts the forecast of tomorrow's peak demand.
  • Map Rate Schedules to Load Profile ID: A cross reference between Rate Schedules and Load Profile ID
  • Wholesale Prices: California Energy Commission Wholesale Price Review (Suspended).
  • Hourly Energy Prices: Accurate information about real-time hourly energy prices paid by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is not currently available. However, the California Energy Commission (CEC) has indicated that it plans to begin publishing daily real-time pricing market prices soon, in consultation with DWR and the CAISO. The CEC has indicated that these prices will be reflective of a number of day-ahead market considerations, but will be prepared in such a way as not to reveal market information that DWR believes is important to hold as confidential. Pacific Gas and Electric Company will provide links to the real-time pricing market prices published by the CEC when it becomes available on a regular basis.
  • Static Load Profiles: This page gives access to the static load profiles and describes static load profile estimation process.
  • Tariff Book: Consult Pacific Gas and Electric Company's tariff book for information about the electric energy procurement charges that are billed under your rate schedule. These will include the generation component of the charges that are billed under your rate schedule, and also the energy procurement surcharges billed under Schedule E-EPS.
  • Residential Tips: Find out how you can manage your energy use at home and save money.
  • Business Tips: Here are some ways for business customers to reduce their bills or use energy more effectively.

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