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Your Rates Are Changing

We want to keep you informed about significant changes that may be coming to residential rates. These changes, with a proposed phase-in over several years, are currently being considered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Our proposed changes, if approved by the CPUC, will impact the structure of today’s residential rates. Here’s why we’d like for these changes to happen:

  • For many years high-usage customers have subsidized low-usage customers. With these changes, costs will be more evenly spread among all customers.
  • Today, a large portion of fixed transmission and distribution network costs are recovered through energy charges. Implementing a higher fixed charge will better align the pricing structure with the cost to provide service. This allows for a more equitable recovery of “fixed” costs through fixed charges, and will include a reduction in the price charged per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. That should help avoid some of the bill volatility some customers experience during hot weather.
  • If our proposal is adopted, residential customers would see bill increases or decreases depending upon their monthly usage levels, their rate plan, and other changes in our authorized cost recovery.

Our request to implement these changes will not change the amount of total revenue we collect, which is determined through other proceedings.

What does SCE want to change about how I’m charged for electricity?

The CPUC has determined that the current steeply tiered structure is unfair to many residential customers, and is considering what changes to make so that the system is fairer. Here’s what we suggest to phase in beginning in 2015: changing the number of tiers from four to three; implementing a higher monthly fixed charge with a corresponding reduction in kWh pricing; and reducing the price difference between the tiers. The combination of these measures will still continue to encourage energy efficiency while making customers’ bills more equitable, stable and predictable.

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Updating the Tiered Structure

The current steeply tiered rate structure was put in place during California’s energy crisis over 10 years ago and has higher-usage customers (those in Tiers 3 and 4) paying a larger portion of costs than lower-usage customers (those in Tiers 1 and 2) - often resulting in summer bill spikes that disproportionately affect the higher-usage customers . A significant number of these high-usage customers are low-to-moderate income families with children, or seniors who are on a fixed income.

The CPUC currently has a rate design rate design proceeding underway. In that proceeding, we’re proposing to make the rate design more equitable by reducing the number of tiers from four to two over a period of a few years– this means that customer’s bills will be more stable and predictable by removing the higher “variable” costs associated with reaching the higher priced tiers.

Monthly Fixed Charge

The kWh price for energy usage in the first two tiers of the Residential Rate Plan has remained relatively unchanged for the past decade; historical price increases since then have been, for the most part, applied to Tiers 3 and 4. This resulted in about 25% of our customers paying for most of the investments needed to create and maintain a 21st century power grid , as well as the costs associated with transitioning California to cleaner energy resources.

A higher fixed charge would ensure that everyone more fairly contributes to maintaining and upgrading the power network we all rely on. This higher fixed charge would be offset by a lower price per kWh for the remaining tiers. It’s important to note that a higher fixed charge will not result in more revenue for us –it simply and more equitably ensures that everyone is paying their fair share.

Changes for Solar Customers

Net Energy Metering (NEM) is used to encourage investments in renewable energy generation by allowing a customer-generator to receive a financial credit for power generated by an on-site system, such as rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

NEM customers are currently not only able to avoid generation charges by producing renewable energy, but they also avoid other costs involved with providing them electric service, including transmission and distribution costs that we incur even when the sun isn’t shining. Under the current rate design, the infrastructure and related costs to provide these customers with electricity when their systems aren’t generating electricity are absorbed by other residential customers.

Recent Rate Changes & Your Monthly Bill

Price increases took effect in June 2014 as part of the annual ERRA proceeding to recover the higher costs to generate and purchase power. This resulted in increases to tiers 3 and 4.

In July 2014, the first phase of residential rate reform was implemented which resulted in lower-usage customers (those in Tiers 1 and 2) experiencing larger bill increases as the revised tier pricing took effect. Higher-usage customers (those in Tiers 3 and 4) saw smaller bill increases than they would have seen without these changes. There are additional changes pending review at the CPUC for the Residential Rate Plan to more evenly distribute costs among all customers. If approved, these changes are anticipated to be phased in over the next few years.

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Your monthly bill might have increased during the summer of 2014 due to rising costs, including:

  1. Cost to generate or buy power. Investor-owned electric utilities, such as SCE, are required to predict what they will spend to buy energy from a variety of sources including renewable power and natural gas, and set rates accordingly. If we spend less than we forecast, the money is returned to customers as offsets for other costs. If we spend more, then we need to recover the difference. Recently, energy costs were higher than we predicted, so we need to collect the additional money to cover the costs of the electricity sources. Costs to generate or buy power are passed through to customers without a price mark-up. We do not make a profit from this.
  2. Infrastructure Investments: Investing in our infrastructure. We’re building a smarter power network that will make power safer and more dependable. This includes:
    • Updating cyber security to keep the grid safe from hackers.
    • Modernizing the power network to integrate more renewable energy. We’re working to ensure that 33 percent of the power we deliver will come from renewable resources, such as wind and solar energy, by 2020.
    • Maintaining and improving the network infrastructure of about 1.5 million poles and 100,000 miles of wires to ensure the power we deliver is safe and reliable.
    • Making investments to reduce our crew’s response time to get power restored more quickly when repair outages occur.

Tools & Resources

We have a variety of energy saving programs and helpful tools to help you better manage your your monthly bill.

  • Budget Assistant
    Set a target for your monthly bill amount and we'll let you know if you're going to exceed it so you can stay on track.
  • My Account
    24/7 access to energy-saving tools, as well as your daily usage and costs, and a forecast of your next bill.
  • Energy & You
    Watch this friendly interactive video to find out how to save energy, understand your bill, and take advantage of the tools and programs we offer to make your life easier.
  • Save Power Days
    Earn up to $100*** for reducing your usage between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on energy event days.
  • Rebates & Incentives
    Get rebates and incentives for upgrading your home appliances to energy efficient models.
  • Income-Qualified Programs
    You may be eligible for bill credits if you meet certain income requirements.
Energy and You Learn about your usage and ways to save

Energy & You

How Rates Are Set

If you’ve ever been confused by your bill or just want to know how to reduce your energy costs, this helpful interactive video can answer some of your questions. Plus, it includes tips and suggestions about how to take advantage of some of our most powerful energy saving programs.

Learn more

Rates are set through a transparent process of proceedings with the California Public Utilities Commission, the body that regulates SCE and other investor-owned electric utilities in the state. It includes public input and participation, and all investor-owned utilities use this same process.

Learn more

Investments

Reliability

Sophisticated technologies will help keep outages to a minimum, and prevent them from spreading, while automated monitoring tools will help to better predict outages and proactively resolve them.

Learn more

We’re expanding and upgrading our transmission and distribution networks to meet the region’s growing demand for electricity, and improve grid performance, as well as California’s ambitious renewable power goals.

Learn more

Have Questions?

Below are answers to common questions about the rate change. If you have additional questions, give us a call at 1-800-798-7723 and we'll be happy to answer them. Have feedback about this page? Send us an email - we're always looking for ways to improve.

How will I be impacted?

Each customer’s bill will be affected differently, depending on the amount of electricity they use and the climate where they live. For more information on average bill impacts, please see the ”How Much Are Rates Increasing?” section above.

I participate in the CARE program. How am I affected?

View the charts below to see how CARE customers will be impacted by the rate changes.

Income-Qualified CARE Rate Plan
Tier Energy Usage Allocation (Baseline) Current Price per kWh (rounded) Summer 2014 Price per kWh (rounded)*
1 Baseline (kWh usage up to your baseline allocation) $0.09 $0.10
2 kWh usage from 101% to 130% of baseline (1% to 30% over your baseline allocation) $0.11 $0.13
3 kWh usage from 131% to 200% of baseline (31% to 100% over your baseline allocation) $0.20 $0.21
4 All usage exceeding 200% of your baseline allocation $0.20 $0.21
Map showing SCE's service territory broken down in to mild, moderate, and hot climate zones.

Bill Impact by Climate Zone

This map shows our service territory broken down by three climate zones: mild, moderate, and hot. The table below reflects the average increase for low-, mid-, and high-usage CARE customers in each climate zone.

Bill Impacts By Climate Zone for CARE Customers
Climate Zone Usage (kWh)* Bill Before
Rate Change (rounded)*
Bill After
Rate Change (rounded)*
Change (%)* Change ($)*
Mild
1-300 $18 $21 18% $3
301-700 $52 $58 12% $6
701+ $163 $176 8% $13
Moderate
1-300 $21 $24 17% $3
301-700 $51 $57 12% $6
701+ $149 $162 9% $13
Hot
1-300 $18 $22 18% $3
301-700 $51 $57 12% $6
701+ $137 $150 9% $13

*The factors and pricing provided in the tables above are based on averages across residential bills in each of the climate zone areas but do not reflect the specific differences across more granular baseline regions, which will cause variations in actual bill impacts for individual customers.

 

Are rates also changing for business customers?

Yes. Learn more about business rates.

***Savings will vary depending on the amount of energy used during a Save Power Day event, and the number of events called each year.