How to Save Money on Your Portland General Electric Bill

(Last Updated On: July 30, 2019)

Looking for ways to save on your Portland General Electric bill? Cynthia asked and we found answers! For more than 125 years, Portland General Electric has been serving 1.8 million people in 52 cities across 4,000 miles… and for many years, there have been opportunities to save money on your Portland General Electric bill. Did you know about these?!

Avoid unnecessary fees. 

Looking for an easy way to save on your monthly bill? If you’ve been paying with a credit or debit card, it’s as easy as switching your payment method. Paying with a checking or savings account will allow you to bypass the BillMatrix service charge.

If you’re on a fixed income or get paid on specific dates, due dates can be a headache… and can lead to late fees! For example, I’m only paid once per month. I try to pay all my bills as close to payday as possible to ensure that nothing is missed before the money runs out. Fortunately, PGE offers a nifty Preferred Due Date program that allows you to request a due date that fits with your paydays. If you’re current on your account, you can apply for this program today!

You can also avoid late fees by signing up for Auto Pay. This service will automatically deduct the amount you owe from your checking account. Be sure not to pay twice, though. Your monthly statements will say “Do Not Pay” when auto pay is enabled.

Avoid unpredictably high bills throughout the year.

Like most companies, Portland General Electric offers a convenient budget billing program that helps you level out your seasonal bills. When you enroll in Equal Pay, Portland General Electric will average the amount of electricity you’ve used over the last 12 months. That average will become your new monthly amount. At the end of each year, the account will be reviewed to see if the amount was correct. Any under or over payments will be factored into the payments calculated for the next 12 months. To qualify, you must be a PGE customer in good standing, be on Rate Schedule 7 and have been a PGE customer for at least one year.

If your PGE account is less than a year old, you can still participate in the Average Pay program. This program is similar to Equal Pay except that the amount is recalculated every month to account for your recent usage. There will be small fluctuations in the amount due but it will be much more equal than regular monthly billing.

Choose your ideal rate plan.

Portland General Electric allows customers to choose the rate plan that best suits their needs. They claim that the average customer pays just $99 per month for their electric bill – and they offer several specific rate plans to help you save as much money as possible. 

Basic Service is what most customers use. The rates are 6.850 cents per kWH up to 1000 kWh. Over that amount, and the rate spikes to 7.572 cents per kWh. Your monthly bill also includes a  base charge, distribution cost and required adjustments. For more information about the charges and fees on your bill, please click here.

If you primarily use electricity on nights (10pm – 6am) and weekends, you may benefit from switching to the Time of Use Rate Plan. By minimizing electrical use during peak hours, such as weekday morning, you could save a bundle! Off-peak prices are just 4.399 cents per kWh. However prices are higher for mid-peak (7.572 cents per kWh) and on-peak (13.197 cents per kWh) usage. Get the details on peak hours and more here. 

In addition to these rate plans, you need to be aware of the residential rate riders and adjustments. These riders and adjustments can cause changes to the usage rates you are charged. There are currently over 50 residential rate adjustments listed at Portland General Electric’s website.

The most interesting one I discovered was Schedule 6: Residential Pricing Pilot which enables customers to potentially receive a peak time rebate if you reduce energy consumption during Peak Time Rebate Events. Check out PGE’s Flex program for more information.

Get help making your payments.

If you’re having a hard time making your payments, PGE encourages you to call (800) 542-8818 to speak to a customer service specialist. They can help you and may be able to provide arrangements, even if you’ve already received a disconnect notice.

You can also apply for assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Oregon Energy Assistance Program (OEAP), or the Oregon Energy Fund (OEF). For income guidelines and application instructions, please click here. 

Get FREE energy efficiency products and customized advice to help you save even more money!

The easiest way to identify ways to save money on your Portland General Electric bill is by using PGE’s Energy Tracker. This free energy monitoring service reveals how and when you’re using electricity and how you can save money. All you have to do is sign in to your PGE account for more information!

PGE also offers a nifty list of 10 free and 10 low-cost actions you can take today to help save money on your electric bill. If 20 suggestions just isn’t enough for you, you can also check out our extensive list of money-saving options.

If you’re able to invest in improvements, you can also receive cash back from the Energy Trust of Oregon for qualifying energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects. If you’re working on weatherization, heating, cooling, water heaters, or installing new appliances, you’ll want to check this out. 

Better yet, you may even qualify for FREE weatherization services! If you meet the income guidelines, you can contact your local participating agency to receive a free in-home energy audit. During the audit, a qualified employee or contractor will assess ways you can save money on your bill and complete appropriate weatherization work. If you’re renting, your landlord will need to approve your participation. If your furnace or heat source isn’t working, you may be eligible for faster assistance. Click here for more information, including income guidelines and application instructions.

 

Unexpected FREEBIES!

If you’re in an area where PGE is working, you can get free wood chips! These wood chips are not a decorative bark material but the mix is ideal for compost, garden fertilizer, walking paths, erosion correction and more. The mix includes evergreen and deciduous wood, bark, needles and leaves. To request wood chips, fill out this form.

I was also excited to see that Portland General Electric offers free materials and download guides for teaching kids about electricity! My kids are going to LOVE this!

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