Understand your energy statements

The following list includes key terms that may appear on your PG&E energy statement. The list also has definitions that can help you understand your energy usage.

Area in which the PG&E service territory is divided. The PG&E service territory is divided into Climate Zones or “baseline territories.” The California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) bases Tier 1 gas and electric prices on the average amount of energy consumed by customers within each baseline territory.

Full-service customer who purchases both PG&E energy delivery services and energy generation. This customer type differs from a customer who purchases energy from a third-party energy service provider, and pays PG&E for transmission and distribution costs.

Charge for legacy electricity contracts, signed prior to 1998, that exceed a CPUC-approved market price limit.

Demand charge based on the capacity rating of the pumps connected to the meter.

Component of electric charges designed to reflect tiered residential pricing. The adjustment credits customers who primarily use energy within Tiers 1 and 2. The adjustment provides a charge or credit to customers who use energy in Tiers 3 and 4.

Fixed fee for service that customers on certain rate plans are charged. The charge is not dependent on the amount of energy consumed, or based on usage.

Charge included in many non-residential rates. Demand is a measurement of the highest usage of electricity in any single 15-minute (or sometimes 5-minute) period during a monthly billing cycle. Demand is measured in kilowatts (kW). High demand is usually associated with equipment start-up. By spreading equipment start-ups over a longer period, you may be able to lower demand and reduce your demand charges.

Charge for the lower-voltage system of power lines, poles, substations and transformers directly connecting PG&E distribution lines to homes and businesses.

Recovery of bond costs issued by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to buy power to serve electric customers during the California energy crisis. DWR bond charges are collected on behalf of DWR and do not belong to PG&E.

Recovery of bond costs issued by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to buy power to serve electric customers during the California energy crisis. DWR bond charges are collected on behalf of DWR and do not belong to PG&E.

Tax that PG&E collects to fund the California Energy Commission based on electric use during a billing period.

Charges imposed pursuant to law to help reduce the costs of financing the PG&E emergence from bankruptcy. One of these charges is the Dedicated Rate Component (DRC). The right to receive DRC revenues was sold to a special purpose entity: the PG&E Energy Recovery Funding LLC. PG&E is collecting this charge on behalf of PG&E Recovery Funding LLC. The charge does not belong to PG&E.

Surcharge that pays cities and counties for the right to use public streets to provide utility services. PG&E collects the surcharges and passes them to cities and counties. This tax (if any) is charged as a percentage of your energy charges.

Utility’s cost to buy natural gas and transport the gas to its local transmission system. The price typically changes on the first business day of each month.

Cost of creating electricity to power your home or business.

Primary heating source that is permanently installed in a home.

Meter charge to recover the additional equipment costs of providing customers with some time-of-use electric rates.

Factor that converts electric meter read differences to kilowatt-hours (kWh).

Factor that converts the gas meter read difference to Therms. The multiplier corrects for differences in elevation, delivery pressure and the heating content of natural gas.

Fee to restore closed nuclear plant sites to as near their original condition as possible.

Correction that ensures that customers who purchase electricity generation from non-PG&E suppliers pay their share of the generation costs required to serve them. The adjustment includes costs prior to the customers’ departures, unless they are otherwise exempt.

Funding programs considered by law to benefit society, such as low-income ratepayer assistance and energy efficiency.

Number that indicates the order in which your power is interrupted in the event of a power emergency that causes the California Independent System Operator to implement rotating outages.

Serial code that determines when a meter is read for billing. Visit the Meter-Reading Schedule to find your meter reading dates.

Plan that enables you to pay higher rates for energy on weekday afternoons and lower rates at other times, instead of a single flat rate. Prices also change by season, with higher prices in the summer and lower prices in the winter. This means that when you use energy is just as important as how much you use.

Cost of transmitting electricity from power plants, over high-voltage lines and towers, to the distribution system.

Tax that PG&E collects for a city or county government. The tax (if any) is a percentage of your energy charges.