Learn how PG&E’s 2024 rate increase could impact you and how you can lower your bills.
The winter season is when many Californians receive some of their highest energy bills of the year. Often, this is the result of increased energy usage – the sun sets earlier, and the cold temperatures mean more people are running heaters to keep warm. Some of this year’s increase will also be the result of PG&E’s recently approved rate increases, which also affect RCEA customers.
PG&E’s budget for 2023-2026 was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission on November 16, 2023. This budget includes an increase of $13.5 billion in 2024 which will be funded through an increase in customer rates. All PG&E electric customers including those that receive service through RCEA will pay these rate increases which went into effect on January 1, 2024. You can view information about the PG&E approved budget items here.
How much is the PG&E rate increase for the typical customer?
A residential customers bill will increase approximately 17.4% in January of 2024 which equates to about $34.62. Typical residential customers enrolled in CARE* will see a bill increase of about $22.27. Customer bills may vary based on location, energy use, rate plan, program enrollment, weather, and other factors. New rates take effect January 1, 2024. However, customers may not see the change in their bill until February depending on their billing cycle.
|Electricity Bill Increased
|Bill Increase Percentage
|Rate Impact (cents per kWh)
|Average Residential Customer
|Average Residential CARE* customer
Per PG&E AL 7116-E (page 40), all bill calculations assume an average monthly usage of 500 kWh.
*The California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) program is a monthly discount of 20% or more on gas and electricity. Participants qualify by meeting income guidelines or enrolling in certain public assistance programs. Visit here to learn more and see if you qualify.
Why did PG&E increase rates?
PG&E has announced that they are making several changes to ensure the safety and reliability of their services including big investments in undergrounding electric lines to decrease wildfire risk. The upgrade of the grid infrastructure, safety and reliability investments are the main costs drivers of PG&E increase in their rates this year. PG&E increased costs for both delivery and generation. These increases affect all customers including RCEA customers.
Why do PG&E rate increases affect RCEA customers?
Electricity service can be thought of in two parts: generation and delivery. RCEA provides just the generation portion of your electricity service, ensuring more renewable energy is generated on behalf of customers like you. PG&E continues to deliver the electricity, maintaining the lines and wires that distribute electricity to your home or business. Rate increases on PG&E delivery services will still impact RCEA customers.
RCEA’s generation rates are set based on a discount applied to PG&E’s generation rates. Therefore, increases to PG&E’s generation rates will affect RCEA customers. However, RCEA’s generation rates are less than PG&E’s. In 2023, RCEA’s generation rate discount saved customers a total of $1.2 million.
PG&E is also responsible for all gas services and increases apply to all customers. RCEA does not supply any gas services.
In an interview with KMUD, RCEA’s Deputy Executive Director Eileen Verbeck explains the rate increase.
How can I lower my bill?
- Find out if you are eligible for California’s discount programs, like CARE or FERA, which can save you up to 35% on your bill. Visit our website here or get in touch with us with the information in our caption below to see if you qualify.
- Try to reduce your energy use every day from 4-9pm when rates are the highest. Actions like preheating your home before 4pm, running major appliances like your washer, dryer, and dishwasher before starting work in the morning, and charging EVs with scheduled charging programs can all make a big difference in your bill by using energy when the rates are lower.
- Turn devices off when not in use by using power strips with an on-off switch. Energy usage from devices that are left plugged in when not in use can be up to 10% of your annual energy usage. That adds up fast!
- Check out RCEA’s Top Ten Energy Tips here for more information.