PG&E customers can expect brief relief this month from soaring bills

PG&E customers can expect brief relief this month from soaring bills

OAKLAND — PG&E customers can expect some brief relief from their soaring monthly utility bills when a credit is included in their regular statement for October.

The discount arrives in the form of a climate credit that is provided to customers twice a year, according to a web post from the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

“The climate credit provides ratepayers with their share of the benefits of California’s Cap-and-Trade Program,” the PUC said.

The credits this year were applied to the bills during February or March, as well as in October. Residential customers of investor-owned utilities such as PG&E receive the credits. For PG&E, the credit this month is the same as it was during the February-March period, $38.39.

For comparison, PG&E customers who receive combined electricity and gas services from the power company pay an average of $240.73 a month for their utility costs. This means the credit amounts to 15.9% of the October PG&E bill for an average residential customer.

The impact is virtually invisible when measured against the yearly total for PG&E monthly bills, however. The twice-a-year climate credit works out to roughly $76.78 for a full year. The monthly PG&E bill of $240.73, if applied to a full annual period, would total roughly $2,889 a year. That means over a 12-month period, the climate credit amounts to slightly less than 2.7% of what PG&E customers pay during the course of a full year for their gas and electricity services.

And multiple proposals are in the works that could cause PG&E monthly bills to hop even higher, depending on an array of actions that are being pondered by state regulators.