As we shelter in place against COVID-19, most of our customers are spending far more time at home than usual, which may contribute to higher-than-normal electricity bills. Here are some special bill credits and programs that can help you cope with the current economic challenges.
California Climate Credit is Coming – Update
All Peninsula Clean Energy customers will receive their second bi-annual, California Climate Credit split between their May and June bills. This electric credit is typically distributed in April and October, but the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has changed the distribution of the October electric credit so that it is applied to your bill earlier this year. This is an action the CPUC is taking to ensure that higher electric bills from staying at home don’t become an added hardship for customers. For May and June, the electric credit is $17.87 each month, and will automatically be credited to your electricity bill.
The California Climate Credit is part of California’s efforts to fight climate change. It comes from a state program that requires power plants, natural gas distributors and other large emitters of greenhouse gases to buy carbon pollution permits. The credit represents your share of the payments from the State’s program.
Please visit: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/climatecredit to learn more about the climate credit.
Peninsula Clean Energy Bill Relief Credit for CARE/FERA Customers – Program Expanded
As part of our effort to help customers during this crisis, the Peninsula Clean Energy Board of Directors approved a one-time bill credit of $100 to our customers who are enrolled in either the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) or Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) programs as of March 20, 2020. This requires no action from CARE or FERA customers. This credit will be applied directly to the balance due for Peninsula Clean Energy Electric Generation charges on your April or May PG&E bill. UPDATE: This program has been expanded to provide an automatic, one-time bill credit of $100 to an additional 6,000 Peninsula Clean Energy customers who sign up for the CARE/FERA rate plans after 3/20/20.
Bill Discount Programs
While the Bill Relief Credit is only available to those CARE and FERA customers as of March 20, 2020, some Peninsula Clean Energy customers may be eligible to enroll in these special bill discount programs to save money going forward. The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program offers a monthly discount of at least 20 percent on gas and electricity. The Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) program offers a monthly discount of 18 percent on electricity. Learn more about eligibility and apply on PG&E’s website.
Lower Your Bill in the Future
To lower your electricity bill in the long-term, you could consider making energy efficiency upgrades to your home or adjusting your electricity rate. Programs like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or The Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) can help assist with reducing energy costs.
LIHEAP provides federally funded assistance in managing costs associated with home energy bills, energy crises, weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs. For San Mateo County, Central Coast Energy Services is the local service provider for the LIHEAP.
BayREN is a collaboration of the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area. Led by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), BayREN provides energy efficiency programs, services, and resources. Start by completing a home energy evaluation and you will receive an Energy Savings Kit.