Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

Rates FAQ

We provide our customers with a variety of rates, based on customer size and their needs. Choose from the commonly-asked questions below for more information about your rates, meter reading, and more.


What rate options do you offer? Can I qualify for a different rate?

Residential Rates
Our basic Domestic Rate applies to our residential customers. Discounted rates available for qualifying residential customers are listed below. Learn about these residential rates, or call 1-800-655-4555.

Medical Baseline Allocation is for customers with a qualifying medical need.

California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) is for customers who qualify under income guidelines established by the CPUC.

Time-of-Use (TOU) Rates for homes where most electricity is used between 8:00 PM and 8:00 AM.

Multi-Family Dwelling Rates are for qualifying residences in submetered multi-family dwellings.

Mobile Home Park Rates are for qualifying residences in submetered mobile home parks.

RV Park Rates are for qualifying full-time residences in submetered RV parks.

Electric Vehicle Rates are for homes where qualifying electric vehicles are charged. Learn more about plug-in electric vehicles.

For more information or an application form for any of these rates, call 1-800-655-4555.

Non-Residential Rates
We have a variety of rate options available for our Business Customers as well as Agriculture & Pumping customers. There are also options available to customer for Electric Vehicle Charging and street & Outdoor lighting. For more information visit rates or call our customer service line at 1-800-990-7788.

Can I increase my baseline allocation?

The CPUC determines baseline allocations based on the percentage of average residential use for a given season in a particular climate zone and whether your primary source of heat is electric.

As a result, in most cases, your baseline allocation cannot be increased.

Why is energy use sometimes "estimated"?

Occasionally, we are unable to read a customer's meter due to severe weather, a pet loose in the yard, a locked gate, etc.

When that happens, we may estimate your energy use for the billing period based on your average historical usage. The next time we read your meter, we will determine your actual energy use and bill you accordingly.

When do you read my meter?

Normally, we read your meter every 27-33 days for billing purposes. The next scheduled read date appears in the top section of your SCE statement. 

Where is my meter located?

Your electric meter is probably located on an outside wall of your house or apartment, about 5 feet off the ground, and accessible from the street or sidewalk.

It should be near the main electrical panel of breakers or fuses.

How do I read my meter?

The smart meter cycles through different screen displays, and each of these screens stays visible for five seconds. Look for the screen that displays “001” in the upper left-hand corner of the meter display. This screen will provide you with the recorded total kWh consumption value.

Every time you use one kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity, the meter screen display (the 4-digit code on the right of the screen) will increase by one number. The speed at which the kWh value increases depends on how much electricity you are using at a given time. The digital display represents a “cumulative” read and works like a car’s odometer (i.e., the total number of miles your car has been driven).

To figure your total kWh energy use for a given time, simply subtract an earlier reading from your current reading.

What are the rate charges?

Every residential customer on the Residential Plan pays one or more of the following CPUC-approved charges:

  • Generation — These charges reflect the amount included in your rate for recovery of energy procurement and generation costs.
  • Transmission Charges — These charges recover costs for transporting electricity over long distances, such as from generating stations to substations in your neighborhood.
  • Distribution Charges — These charges recover costs for transporting electricity from your neighborhood substation to your home.
  • Nuclear Decommissioning Charge — This state mandated charge serves to recover costs for dismantling its nuclear power plants after they are retired from operation.
  • Public Purpose Program Charge — This charge recovers costs for administering state mandated programs such as the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) discount and energy efficiency programs.
  • Other Charges — These charges include the CPUC reimbursement fee, city taxes, state taxes, and affiliated billing charges.
  • Basic Charges — These charges recover a portion of costs for services such as meter reading, customer service, and customer billing.


What is baseline?

"Baseline allocation" is an amount of electricity provided for each residential customer at a lower rate than is charged for electricity above that level.

The baseline amount is determined by the CPUC based on the number of days in the billing period, the season, the climate, and whether your primary source of heat is electric. You receive this allocation automatically on your statement.

"Medical Baseline Allocation" is an additional baseline allocation for qualifying customers.

If you or someone who lives in your home fulltime requires use of electrically-powered medical life support or mobility equipment, you may be eligible.

Contact us to request a Medical Baseline Allocation brochure and application. Complete your section of the application, have your doctor fill in the certification, then send the information to us.

Who qualifies for baseline?

All residential customer accounts served on a domestic rate schedules.

How can I tell how much baseline allocation I receive each month?

Your baseline allocation is provided on page 3 of your bill under the "Additional information" section.

Who determines how much the baseline allocation is?

State law directs the CPUC to establish baseline allocations. Baseline quantities were determined as a result of an extensive study of average residential electricity usage across climatic regions adopted by the California Energy Commission as modified by the CPUC. Baseline regions identify climatic areas based on temperature and altitude where electric consumption patterns are similar, and takes into account seasonal variations in energy consumption.

How can I determine what the baseline allocation is in baseline regions and communities other than my own?

In October 2009, the CPUC approved SCE's request to change the number of residential baseline regions from 6 to 9, and re-map the baseline regions to more closely match the California Energy Commissions climate regions, building codes and population. Please review the chart showing baseline allocations for all of SCE's service territory. To learn more about all of SCE's 9 baseline regions, where they are and what communities belong to each region, see the baseline regions map and the index of communities

Why does baseline cover 50–70% of the average residential use in a baseline region?

Baseline was never intended to cover 100% of average residential use, but rather to provide a significant portion of the reasonable energy needs to be charged at the lowest rate, and to encourage conservation of energy.

The CPUC established that the baseline quantities be allocated at 50% to 60% of average residential consumption for basic services such as lighting, cooking, heating and refrigeration, except for residential gas and all-electric residential customers, the baseline quantity is established at 60% to 70% of the average residential consumption during the winter heating season.

Why does Baseline Region 15 receive so much more summer baseline allocation?

In SCE's 1985 General Rate Case, the CPUC adopted a proposal from the Coachella Valley Association of Governments, establishing a higher baseline quantity during the summer season due to the extreme heat experienced in that region.

How often are baseline quantities adjusted?

The CPUC reviews baseline quantities generally every 3–5 years, during the utilities' rate case proceedings. The CPUC does hold public participation hearings as part of the proceedings to afford consumers the opportunity to voice their concerns. Notification of public hearings are included on your bill when a utility rate case is being considered.

What if a bill was estimated….will baseline still be applied?

Yes. All estimated bills automatically include the full amount of the baseline allocation for the account.

If one customer uses more energy than a neighbor because there are more people or the home is bigger, shouldn't they get more baseline?

Baseline was purposefully established based on the average residential consumption within climatic regions, with variations during the winter and summer seasons. Because the baseline allocations were set at the average, it takes into account the variety of differences in family size, appliances, etc.

Doesn't baseline punish residential customers for using more electricity?

The legislature intended that the baseline allocations provide from 50% to 70% of the average residential use within a climatic region during the summer and the winter seasons. It is the intent of baseline to encourage conservation and reward customers for conserving with a portion of their electricity charged at the lowest rate.

What about people who need life support equipment?

Qualifying customers dependent on electrically-operated life-support equipment receive additional allowances. If a residential customer provides certification from a medical doctor or osteopath (on SCE's Medical Baseline form) that a full-time resident of the household requires the regular use of an electrically-operated, medical life-support device essential to sustain, restore or supplant a vital function, or mechanical equipment which is relied upon for mobility both within and outside of buildings, they are eligible to receive a standard year-round medical baseline allocation of 16.5 kWh per day in addition to the standard baseline allocation. Customers with life-support devices that require more than the standard daily medical baseline allocation may apply for a higher allocation.

How will medical baseline and critical care customers be notified in case of rotating outages?

In the event the California Independent System Operator (CA- ISO) declares a Stage 3 Emergency and calls for firm load reduction, SCE will implement its autodialer system to notify its medical baseline customers for which it has a telephone number. The notification is made first to customers identified as critical care, then to the remaining medical baseline customers. The notification is a pre-recorded, 30-second message warning of the Stage 3 Emergency and to be prepared for a rotating outage. Customer account and telephone numbers are updated to the autodialer list on a weekly basis.

What can I do to change baseline and get more allocation at the lowest rate?

During rate case proceedings, the CPUC does review baseline, along with other consumer programs, to determine if changes should be made. The CPUC also holds public participation hearings so consumers will have the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns. Notification of hearings are included on the customer bill. The CPUC also posts hearings dates and locations on their website

Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)