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The way we are paying for energy is changing

In the summer of 2015, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a new electric rate structure that’s being phased in through 2020.

The goal of this rate reform is to make electric rates easier to understand, as well as establish more equitable and transparent energy

What’s changing?

Here are changes to your electric bill that are happening by year:

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

Consolidation from 4 tiers to 3 tiers

Minimum monthly bill

Consolidation from 3 tiers to 2 tiers

CARE adjustment

Baseline adjustment

High Usage Charge

CARE adjustment

Residential Time of Use pricing plans

CARE adjustment

Residential Time of Use pricing plans

CARE adjustment

CARE adjustment


Originally a four-tier structure, it has been consolidated down to two tiers


The discount for the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program is transitioning from 41% in 2016 to 35% by 2020.


Baseline allowances will be adjusted to meet state requirements. If you receive natural gas and electric service it will be a one-time reduction. If you have all-electric service the reduction will take place over five years.

Electric rates can be confusing. For a simplified look at what makes up electric rates – including tiers and baseline – check out Understanding Rates.

How this affects your electric bill

Changes to your electric bill will depend on your energy use,
where you live and whether you’re enrolled in CARE.

Low-energy users

People who use lower amounts of electricity (about 75% of households) may see a
$1 to $7 per month increase.

High-energy users

People who use higher amounts of electricity (about 25% of households) may see a decrease of $5 or more.


CARE customers may see a $1 to $5 per month increase.

*Figures provided for illustrative purposes. Actual changes to your bill may vary.

Manage your energy bill

Get customized suggestions to help manage your energy use by answering a few questions at MyPlan

Go onto My Account to get an at-a-glance view of your energy use and analyze your energy. You can also get a personalized plan to manage your energy costs by clicking on My Energy.

SDG&E offers assistance on paying your bill or through our bill discount programs. Level Pay Plan gives you a more predictable bill each month. CARE offers you monthly discounts on your energy bill for income-qualified households. For more details on these two programs and others click here.

Solutions to help you save


Sign up for My Account

You’ll be able to do much more than just pay your bill online, you can: Get an "at-a-glance" view of your energy use and analyze your energy. You can also get a personalized action plan to manage your energy costs. Sign up now


Replace regular bulbs with CFLs or LEDs

Lighting can be up to 20% of your home’s energy use. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LEDs provide the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs using less energy. CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescents, can last up to 10 times longer and can save you up to $500 a year. More information


Use a power strip

Save up to $300 a year by using smart strips and unplugging items not in use. Many appliances are still drawing power, even when switched off. Using power strips or unplugging things like DVRs, sound systems, game consoles and flat screen TVs can save on your bill. More information


Adjust your thermostat

Set your thermostat to 78°F for summer AC and 68°F for winter heat if your health permits. For every 2 degrees you turn down your thermostat in winter or up in summer, you can reduce costs by up to $200 a year. More information


Lower your water temperature

A 20°F reduction can save you over $80 a year. For most uses, a water heater temperature of 120° F works fine. More information


Use an energy efficient, variable speed pool pump...

to save up to $500 a year on your pool’s energy costs. For additional savings, SDG&E® offers a $200 rebate on select models. Try to limit filtering to between 4 and no more than 6 hours. If you heat your pool, make sure it’s covered to keep the warmth where it belongs. Qualifying pool pumps


Try cold water wash

Save up to $42 per year on electric water heating costs by washing with cold water. Save even more with a $50 rebate on select washing machines and a $100 rebate on select water heaters. More information


Save up to 50% on outdoor lighting

Reduce outdoor lighting costs by up to 50% with a motion sensor. Just one 150 watt outdoor security floodlight can cost up to $125 a year. A string of six low voltage landscape lights can cost more than $90 a year. Use a timer to turn these lights off after bedtime to save while you’re asleep. More information


Buy energy-efficient appliances

Save up to $80 a year on energy costs by choosing ENERGY STAR® appliances, such as a refrigerator. Increase your savings with $50 SDG&E rebates on select appliances. Recycle your old, working refrigerator with SDG&E for $35 and free pick-up. View our Buyers Guide


Seal and insulate your home

You could lower your heating and cooling bill over $250 per year by having proper insulation, a time-tested step that can help save energy year-round. A rebate of $0.15 per square foot is available from sdge.com/rebates.

Need more information?

Rate Reform - For more information on the CPUC decision on Rate Reform, click here

High Usage Charge – to get details on who may be impacted by the High Usage Charge, click here

Time of Use Pricing Plans – For more information on the new Time of Use pricing plans for residential customers, click here

Baseline Allowance - To understand your Baseline Allowance and how to calculate it, click here