What is the High Usage Surcharge?


In March 2017, a mandated High Usage Surcharge was introduced to encourage energy conservation. The High Usage Surcharge is an increased price per kilowatt hour (kWh) on any electricity usage that exceeds four times the customer's Tier 1 (Baseline) Allowance. It only applies to the Tiered Rate Plan (E1).


Based on recent analysis, less than 10% of residential customers will likely incur the High Usage Surcharge.


Tiered Rate Plan Changes

Tiered Rate Timeline Chart

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How to read an energy statement (FAQ)

Will you be impacted by the Surcharge?

The High Usage Surcharge applies only to customers on a Tiered Rate Plan (E1) who exceed four times their Tier 1 (Baseline) Allowance.


Each customer on a tiered rate plan has an allowance of electricity that is charged at the lowest possible price; this is called Tier 1 or your Baseline Allowance. The High Usage Surcharge is applied if a customer uses more than four times their Tier 1 (Baseline) Allowance in a monthly billing period.

Learn how to conserve energy and money

We provide tips and tools to help you use less energy and reduce your risk of incurring the High Usage Surcharge.

Home Energy Checkup

Find out how your home uses energy and receive a personalized list of energy efficiency improvements with our free, 5-minute Home Energy Checkup.

Residential rebates

Learn about rebates for energy-efficiency products, including water heaters and other appliances for your home.

Winter savings tips

With simple tools and tips from PG&E, you can have more control over the energy you use while keeping bills down and your home warm and bright.

Clean energy

Lower your energy bill and reduce your carbon footprint. Learn about clean energy.


Already using solar? Learn how the High Usage Surcharge applies to you.

Explore more programs to help manage your costs

Sign up for High Usage Alerts

Sign up for High Usage Alerts

Get notified when you’re at risk of incurring the High Usage Surcharge, so you can take immediate steps to curb your energy use and avoid the surcharge.

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Get a personalized rate analysis

Did you know you can choose your PG&E rate plan? Start by signing in to your account. Analyze your usage pattern against the various rate options and learn which rate plan is best for you.

Note: The feature is not currently available for CCA customers.

Learn about the Home Upgrade program

Make your home energy efficient

Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade evaluates your home to determine which upgrades can reduce your energy use, improve the comfort of your home.

Get financial assistance information

Get discounts through the CARE Program

You may be able to join the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program to get a discount on your energy bills. Learn whether your household qualifies.

Learn about Medical Baseline Allowance

Discover discounts available for customers with medical conditions

If you have special energy needs due to a medical condition, you may qualify to receive extra energy at a lower price. Learn if you're eligible for assistance.

Apply for Energy Savings Assistance

Get help making energy-saving improvements

The Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) Program provides qualified customers with energy-saving improvements at no charge.

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Understanding the High Usage Surcharge

Learn more about the surcharge in our short 2-minute video.


Audio description and transcript also available for this video.


Access an audio descriptive version
Download a transcript (PDF, 36 KB)

Understanding the High Usage Surcharge

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Learn more about the surcharge in our short 2-minute video.


Audio description and transcript also available for this video.


Access an audio descriptive version
Download a transcript (PDF, 36 KB)

Frequently asked questions