PGE customers, listen up! If you’ve been wondering whether you can save on your Pacific Gas & Electric bills, you’re in luck! We’ve researched a multitude of ways you can start saving on your monthly electricity and gas bills. This comprehensive guide details different programs and options for those who qualify.
Check out these helpful payment options from PGE!
If you’re just setting up your account, you can avoid paying a deposit if you have another qualifying PGE customer sign on your behalf. This program is called Bill Guaranty.
Budget Billing provides customers a way to easily pay for their energy costs without experiencing the sting of extremely hill bills. During the summer, it’s normal to expect a higher electric bill, but PGE has found a way to help customers. PGE takes an average of a customer’s previous annual bill and distributes this amount into even monthly amounts.
Your monthly usage will continue to be monitored; however, you only pay your Budget Billing amount rather than your actual energy costs. Apply by using the Budget Enrollment Form. If you qualify for Budget Billing, your billing will take effect the next billing cycle. You may start and end the program at any time.
You can also extend your due date with payment arrangement options from PGE!
Pick the best rate plan for your household.
PGE offers different rate plans to meet your individual needs. For instance, you can choose from the SmartRate Plan and a Time-of-Use Plan: “ETOU-A” or “ETOU-B.” By default, customers are enrolled in a standard plan.
A SmartRate Plan provides you with reduced electric rates between June 1st and September 30th. However, this does not include SmartDays, when electric rates are typically higher. On SmartDays, between the hours of 2 and 7pm, prices go up and customers will need to use less electricity. No more than 15 SmartDays are declared each year, and you will be notified in advance by text, email or by phone. You can opt out at any time.
If you can avoid consuming energy between the peak hours of 3pm and 8pm, you may be interested in the ETOU-A plan. You could receive a reduction on your energy costs of up to 25 percent for all off-peak hours. You also have the opportunity to receive a baseline credit as an incentive. To do this, you will receive a credit per kWh up to your baseline allowance amount.
Customers who can reduce usage between 4pm and 9pm would prefer the ETOU-B plan. Prices can be up to 30 percent less during off-peak hours!
Of course, if you aren’t able or willing to reduce your energy consumption during those peak hours, you’re better off sticking to a standard plan where the rate is the same all day long.
Get help with your PGE bill!
Get assistance from Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help Program (REACH)! The Pacific Gas & Electric Company in California, also known as “PGE,” offers a one-time assistance option for those who are in dire need of services and can’t afford to pay for them right away. You could receive a $200 energy credit!
You can receive REACH funds once every 18 months. If your household includes a senior or someone who is disabled or terminally ill, you may be able to use REACH funds more often. Contact your local Salvation Army for more information.
The California Department of Community Services and Development oversees the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as “LIHEAP.” LIHEAP provides help with heating, cooling and weatherproofing homes.
California Alternate Rates for Energy could provide a reduction on your electric bill! Your electric bill could be reduced by 30 to 35 percent – and you could shave 20 percent off your natural gas bill. To qualify, you must meet certain income and energy use requirements. More than 1 million PGE customers use this program to save money every month! To determine your eligibility, view this application.
If you are not eligible for CARE, you may qualify for the Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA). With FERA, you could receive 12 percent off your electric bill if you have more than 3 people in your home and meet certain income requirements. The income requirements for FERA are much more lenient than those for CARE. The FERA qualifications can be found on this application.
Save even MORE money with FREE home improvements!
If you qualify for CARE, you may also qualify for the Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP)! This program provides free home improvements to homes, apartments and mobile homes that are at least 5 years old. You could receive FREE appliance upgrades, including refrigerators, furnaces and water heaters! You may also receive insulation, weather stripping, energy-efficient lighting and more. You can click here to apply online.
A state weatherization assistance program may also be available through LIHEAP. Weatherproofing homes help to reduce energy costs. Customers with family members who are under the age of 3, elder or disabled or families who spend a large amount of their income on energy costs are considered a higher priority. Find your local LIHEAP service location here.
Everyone can use the convenient, online Home Energy Checkup available on the PGE site! This service helps you identify ways you can save money on your home energy bills! It’s free and it only takes 5 minutes. Click here to get started!
If you have a special medical need, you could qualify for additional help!
Customers with a special energy need due to a qualifying medical condition can receive extra energy at the lowest price through the Medical Baseline Allowance program. You can add an extra 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity or 25 therms of gas per month to your existing baseline by certifying that you or someone in your household meets ONE of the following criteria:
- Paraplegic, hemiplegic or quadraplegic
- Multiple sclerosis
- Life-threatening illness
- Compromised immune system
- Dependent on life equipment such as a respirator, iron lung, hemodialysis machine, suction machine, electric nerve stimulator, aerosol tent, pressure pad/pump, electrostatic nebulizer, compressors, intermittent positive pressure breathing machine or a motorized wheelchair.
A California-licensed physician will be required to certify that you or your household member meets these criteria and has special heating or cooling needs because of the qualifying condition.
You may also qualify for Vulnerable Customer status. These customers receive an in-person visit from a PGE representative prior to a disconnection. Vulnerable Customer status remains for 90 days but can be extended to 1 year with an additional application.
To view more information on how to save more money on your energy costs,