What is the High Usage Surcharge?

Beginning in March 2017, a new state-mandated High Usage Surcharge will be introduced. Its purpose is to encourage energy conservation among customers whose electricity use is far higher than typical households.


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.


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


Understanding your energy statement and reducing your energy usage can help you avoid this surcharge.


How to read an energy statement



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 and appliances such as water heaters and pool pumps.

Winter savings tips

Save energy and money in the colder months with ideas to make your home more energy efficient.

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

Enroll in Energy Alerts

Sign up for Energy Alerts

Receive an alert if your energy statement is expected to exceed an amount you specify. You'll know what to expect so you can adjust your use and avoid any surprises.

Visit your account

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: not available for CCA or NEM 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.

Frequently asked questions