Seeing a larger PG&E bill? You aren't the only one

Vanessa Vasconcelos Image
Friday, July 29, 2022
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If you noticed your PG&E bill skyrocketed, you're not alone. The utility company says the commodity portion of your bill is up by 75 percent.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A more than $500 PG&E bill was something Joe Martinez wasn't expecting this month.

"I can't believe my bill was so high when I'm doing everything I possibly can to save on my energy bill," he said.

In addition to shutting off lights, using the AC and major appliances sparingly, he's enrolled in PG&E's income-based CARE program.

Still seeing his bill higher than he wants, he signed up for Fresno EOC's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.

Martinez said, "That was designed to reduce waste of energy in my household but at the same time, lowering the energy bill at no cost."

Energy efficiency counseling is something Lupita Horner benefited from.

The Valley native has been part of the OhmConnect since 2019.

Horner said, "At the time, I had two teens in the house. We had to cut corners and we had to make sure the coupons were clipped."

She found the app through a couponing blogger and sees a savings of $50-$100 per month -- that's in addition to cash rewards and other energy-saving perks.

"You're authorizing OhmConnect to view your statement so they can see how much wattage you use every day. And they can compare that to the energy you're saving during OhmConnect hours," she said.

Reducing energy usage during those select hours earns you points for rewards.

Amidst the longest stretch of triple digits this year, many PG&E utility bills are soaring.

"The commodity portion of a customer's electric bill is going to be about 75% higher this summer than it was the same time last year, said PG&E Spokesman Denny Boyles.

He adds that the commodity portion accounts for about half of your bill.

California's drought means less water generating hydroelectricity, making the utility more reliant on natural gas to get electricity to customers.

Boyles said, "It's driven essentially by how much electricity customers using their home because it's that commodity price that is the biggest factor in the increases in bills."

Energy costs fluctuate based on demand as well, so Boyles suggests loging into your account on the PG&E website to monitor your usage and use the rate simulator to see if you're in the right rate plan.

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