PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2021

COVID-19 Response

Energy Affordability

At PG&E, we’re committed to meeting the needs of our customers while providing affordable energy. Our wide range of energy efficiency programs help customers reduce their energy use and save money. We also offer several financial assistance programs to help customers who are facing financial challenges, who live in disadvantaged communities or who face issues of environmental and social justice.

Our Approach

Energy efficiency programs play an essential role in energy affordability. Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s website includes an extensive set of energy-saving tips and lists of appliances and equipment that are eligible for rebates. It also provides tools, like Home Energy Checkups and Home Energy Reports, that help customers analyze their usage and pinpoint ways to save.

PG&E is also transitioning toward a new program model that will result in an updated portfolio of energy efficiency programs that are proposed, designed and delivered by third parties. The goal of the initiative is to scale energy efficiency cost-effectively and make energy efficiency offerings easier to access for customers.

Beyond the rebate programs, PG&E offers an Energy Savings Assistance Program designed specifically for customers with an income under 200% of the federal poverty level. This program provides an array of weatherization, energy efficiency solutions and appliances at no cost to qualifying households. This program serves approximately 100,000 customers annually.

In addition, PG&E works closely with customers facing financial challenges so they can continue to receive gas and electric service. PG&E supports programs designed for those in need, including:

  • The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program, which offers a monthly discount on energy bills for income-qualified households and housing facilities. Qualified households can save 20% to 35% on their energy bills.
  • Budget Billing, which spreads costs out evenly over the year and eliminates swings in customers’ monthly energy bills caused by seasonal changes in usage.
  • The Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH) plan, which pays up to $300 of the energy bill for income-qualified customers experiencing a crisis that prevents them from paying their gas or electric bill. This assistance program, funded in part with charitable dollars from shareholders, as well as donations from customers and employees, is administered by Dollar Energy Fund.
  • The Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program, which provides an 18% monthly discount on electric bills for income-qualified households of three or more people.

In addition, discounts are available for customers that have special energy needs due to certain qualifying medical conditions through our Medical Baseline Program.

PG&E also offers an Economic Development Rate to businesses considering locating in California, relocating from California to other states or closing their existing California operations.

2020 Milestones

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we provided a range of support to customers, including a moratorium on service disconnections for non-payment, and continued to aid customers in need through our financial assistance programs:

  • CARE: About 1.57 million customers received discounts through the CARE program. Since the program’s inception in 1989, PG&E CARE customers have saved more than $10 billion on their energy bills.
  • Budget Billing: Approximately 181,000 customers participated in the Budget Billing program in 2020. This program helps customers with high seasonal bills even out their energy payment so that they are more manageable.
  • FERA: Approximately 35,000 customers, or 21% of those who were estimated eligible at the beginning of 2020, received discounts through the FERA program. Since the program’s inception in 2004, PG&E FERA customers have saved more than $71 million on their energy bills.

We continue to contribute to local economic and community vitality through our economic development rate. Sixty-five companies have signed up for the rate since 2014, creating more than 9,000 local jobs and enhancing economic vitality in communities across PG&E’s service area.

Measuring Progress

PG&E’s Energy Savings Assistance Program helps income-qualified customers who are also CARE customers reduce energy use and better manage costs through a variety of energy education and energy efficiency measures, including home weatherization to reduce air flow in and out of the home and guidance to help reduce water use.

Home Weatherproofing Improvement Projects through Energy Savings Assistance Program
2007 63,319
2008 61,034
2009 81,308
2010 133,329
2011 128,071
2012 115,229
2013 123,566
2014 123,539
2015 100,573
2016 74,319
2017 87,052
2018 85,168
2019 106,064
2020 86,466

PG&E benchmarks our average residential bills for gas and electric service, using figures compiled by leading trade associations.

The average PG&E residential bundled electric customer paid $117.98 per month, which was about 2% more than the national average of $115.63. Data is from 2019, the most recent year for which comparative data is available.

The average PG&E residential gas customer paid $49.89 per month, which was about 16% less than the national average of $59.34.

Average Monthly Electric Bills Footnote 1 (2019)
U.S. Average $115.63
PG&E $117.98
Mountain $98.94
East North Central $101.57
Pacific Contiguous $102.50
Middle Atlantic $102.54
West North Central $110.09
New England $121.58
West South Central $128.17
South Atlantic $129.77
East South Central $134.81
  • 1. Source: EIA-861- schedules 4A & 4D and EIA-861S Footnote 1
Average Monthly Gas Bills Footnote 1 (2019)
U.S. Average $59.34
PG&E $49.89
West South Central $44.41
Mountain $45.14
Pacific Contiguous $46.77
East South Central $49.77
South Atlantic $57.00
West North Central $59.63
East North Central $64.72
Middle Atlantic $82.47
New England $106.40
  • 1. Source: EIA-176, residential 10.1 (excludes residential transport only) Footnote 1