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Your Rates Are Changing
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously voted on July 3rd, 2015 to adopt a new residential rate structure for the three major investor-owned utilities regulated by the CPUC. The new structure is more closely aligned with the actual costs of providing electric service, and it will provide customers living in high-temperature areas long-overdue relief from punitive high electric rates. Under the current structure adopted in 2001 as a result of the energy crisis, 25% of residential customers, often those with larger families, or who live in areas with high summer temperatures, have paid the vast majority of all rate increases.
This decision also helps to alleviate some of the subsidies resulting from the energy crisis era rate structures, where higher-usage customers have been subsidizing lower-usage customers, while the rates of lower-usage customers were essentially frozen. The reformed rate structure seeks to mitigate volatile bills for many customers, especially during the hotter summer months when more electricity is typically used.
The CPUC’s decision reduces the number of tiers from four to two tiers over four years, creates a surcharge for extremely high-use customers beginning in 2017, establishes that residential customers be defaulted to time-of-use rates beginning in 2019 and postpones consideration of any increases to SCE’s current monthly fixed charge. Under the decision, the more electricity that customers use, the higher price they will pay, which is also true today.
Some highlights of the recent decision that will impact customer rates include:
- Implement a $5 minimum bill amount for customers enrolled on the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) program, and Medical Baseline program. A $10 minimum bill amount will be applied to all other accounts.
- Implement a fixed monthly discount of 12% for customers participating in the FERA program.
- Protections for low-income customers remain in what is known as the CARE program (California Alternate Rates for Energy).
2016 and beyond
- Reduce the number of tiers from four to two (reducing to three tiers in 2016, and to two tiers in 2017).
- Apply a new monthly surcharge for extremely high-use customers who use more than twice the average amount (more than 400% of the baseline allowance) starting in 2017.
- Prepare to transition customers to default time-of-use rate plans in 2019 and beyond.
Learn more about CPUC’s July 3rd decision.
Tools & Resources
We have a variety of energy saving programs and helpful tools to help you better manage your your monthly bill.
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.
***Savings will vary depending on the amount of energy used during a Save Power Day event, and the number of events called each year.