Understanding Higher Winter Energy Bills & Payment Assistance Resources 

Understanding Higher Winter Energy Bills & Payment Assistance Resources 

This new year, you will see higher monthly electricity bills. Here are some reasons why and how you can find resources to help you save energy and money.

As your community-owned electricity provider, Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) is committed to providing clean energy at competitive rates to our customers. In December 2023, the SVCE Board of Directors voted to maintain a 4% electric generation rate discount for customers on its base plan, GreenStart. Despite this discount, several other factors mean you’ll see higher bills through next year.

Understanding Your Bill

SVCE sources where your energy comes from, and you pay for your clean electricity on the “electric generation charges” on your PG&E bill. This amount is not an added charge on your bill, instead, it replaces what PG&E would charge you to generate your electricity, but at a lower rate. The rest of your bill – electricity transmission and delivery charges, gas and other fees – are services you pay to PG&E for providing.

In November, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a request from PG&E to raise their electricity rates by 13% above 2023 rates. PG&E said this increase will fund wildfire mitigation projects including efforts to underground roughly 1,230 miles of power lines in high fire-risk communities. The rate hike will increase your electricity transmission and delivery charges.

Winter weather also typically means customers see higher bills this time of year. As temperatures drop across Silicon Valley, households and businesses will likely to raise their thermostats while spending more time indoors.

Ways to Save

How can you reduce your bills? Increase your home’s energy efficiency! The SVCE DIY Home Energy Savings Toolkit is free for all residents and helps you identify ways to save energy, and includes energy saving measures to keep like weather strips and LED light bulbs. Borrow one from your local library today!

Residents can also follow some simple tips to lower bills. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees, keep windows and doors closed, draw your blinds and curtains, wear layers and turn off the heat or lower the thermostat to 58 when you’re not home if possible.

Homeowners and business operators can also use SVCE rebates to replace old gas equipment with energy efficient heat pump appliances that can save money when paired with a time-of-use electric rate. Visit svcleanenergy.org/offers-services for more information.

Additional financial support may be available through payment assistance programs like CARE/FERA, or setting up a payment plan directly with PG&E. To explore programs, visit pge.com/en/account/billing-and-assistance/financial-assistance/california-alternate-rates-for-energy-program.html.