As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact your daily life, we understand the increasing struggles facing our customers as schools and businesses close. With more people remaining at home, you may see an increase in energy use. We offer flexible payment plan options. Find out more at

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
To help you avoid the surcharge, PG&E offers a variety of useful tips, tools and programs below.

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.

Learn more about your Tier 1 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.


Manage your energy use and costs

Energy Alerts

A High Usage Alert gives you early warning if your usage is projected to trigger a surcharge. You can then reduce your energy usage to avoid the surcharge.

A Bill Forecast Alert sends a notification if your bill is expected to exceed an amount you specify.

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.

Personalized rate analysis

Visit your online account where we’ll compare your usage pattern against the various rate options. You can choose the rate plan that’s best for you.

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.

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.

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.

Receive residential rebates

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

Adopt clean energy

Lower your energy bill and reduce your carbon footprint.


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