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.
Your rate plan may include a baseline allowance, which consists of an allotment of electricity available at the lowest price based on where you live, your heating source, and the season (summer or winter).
Your rate plan may include a baseline credit. This is a discount on the per kilowatt-hour price for electricity usage below the monthly Baseline Allowance.
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.
Credit on your energy statement representing your share of payments from a state program requiring power plants, natural gas distributors and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases to buy carbon pollution permits. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) created this program and oversees its implementation. Visit California Climate Credit to learn more about this program.
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.
A component of your electric charges designed to reflect tiered residential pricing. It provides a credit to customers who primarily use within the baseline (Tier 1), and a charge for all other usage.
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.
Recovers the cost of bonds issued by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to purchase 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.
The PCIA is a charge to ensure that both PG&E customers and those who have left PG&E service to purchase electricity from other providers pay for the above market costs for electric generation resources that were procured by PG&E on their behalf. ‘Above market’ refers to the difference between what the utility pays for electric generation and current market prices for the sale of those resources. Visit www.pge.com/cca.
Funding programs considered by law to benefit society, such as low-income ratepayer assistance and energy efficiency.
Your bill for electric service includes a charge that has been approved by the CPUC to repay bonds issued for certain costs related to catastrophic wildfires. The Recovery Bond Charge (RBC) rate is currently $0.00798 per kWh. PG&E has also contributed certain amounts to a trust fund which is used to provide a customer credit equal to $0.00798 per kWh (Recovery Bond Credit). The right to recover the RBC has been transferred to one or more Special Purpose Entities that issued the bonds and does not belong to PG&E. PG&E is collecting that portion of the RBC on behalf of the Special Purpose Entities.
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.
PG&E collects this tax as required by San Francisco’s Proposition C and applies to all San Francisco customers, regardless of service provider.
Solar Choice is a program that enables bundled customers to purchase solar energy to match either 50% or 100% of their energy use without the need for onsite installation. Learn more on our Community Renewables webpage and review the current tariff here (PDF, 400 KB).
Plan that enables you to pay higher rates for energy on weekday or weekend afternoons and evenings 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.
Charge on behalf of the State of California department of Water Resources (DWR) to fund the California Wildfire Fund. For usage prior to October 1, 2020, this charge included costs related to the 2001 California energy crisis, also collected on behalf of the DWR. These charges belong to DWR, not PG&E.
PG&E has been permitted to issue bonds that enable it to recover more quickly certain costs related to preventing and mitigating catastrophic wildfires, while reducing the total cost to its customers. Your bill for electric service includes a fixed recovery charge called the Wildfire Hardening Charge that has been approved by the CPUC to repay those bonds. The right to recover the Wildfire Hardening Charge has been transferred to a separate entity (called the Special Purpose Entity) that issued the bonds and does not belong to PG&E. PG&E is collecting the Wildfire Hardening Charge on behalf of the Special Purpose Entity. For details visit: Wildfire Hardening Fixed Recovery Charge (PDF, 192 KB) document.