New High Usage Charge

A new state-mandated High Usage Charge will go into effect on November 1, 2017.  This charge will apply to electricity use that is more than four times the amount of Baseline Allowance

How much is it?

The High Usage Charge is a higher price per kilowatt-hour above tier 2.  

What amount of electricity use results in the new charge?

The High Usage Charge threshold is based on your baseline.  Here are some estimated amounts of electricity use that reach the High Usage Charge levels.  If you pay above these amounts for electricity you are likely to incur the High Usage Charge.

Coastal Zone      1,435 kWh, or about $460 a month for electricity

Inland Zone        1,498 kWh, or about $475 a month for electricity

Mountain Zone    2,012 kWh, or about $650 a month for electricity

Desert Zone        1,700 kWh, or about $560 a month for electricity

(Based on current winter rates and baseline allowance for a home using natural gas and electricity.)

Know your baseline

Baseline Allowance is the amount of electricity allotted for basic needs and varies by season, where you live and if your home has just electricity, or both natural gas and electricity.  

Calculate your baseline

Get alerts to save

Subscribing to High Usage text or email alerts so you'll know when you are approaching or have reached energy use triggering the High Use Charge. 

Sign up for alerts

What should I do?

First, use the calculator above to determine what level of electricity use results in the new charge.  

Compare this amount of usage to your bill to see if you're close to or have reached this level.  

Second, sign up for alerts if you feel your electricity use could reach these levels.

Third, take steps to manage your energy use to avoid the charge.

  • Manage your energy use

    Use online saving tools 

    • Compare your electricity pricing plan choices. You may save by choosing another plan.
    • Set a spending goal and get email or text alerts when you've reached it.
    • Subscribe to a weekly email alert summarizing your energy use each week.

    Go to

    Shop, compare, get rebates

    • Comparison shop for the best price on energy-efficient products. You can also get price-change alerts.
    • See estimates on annual energy savings and popularity ratings for these products.
    • Apply for rebates through an easy online process.

    Shop now at

    Earn Reduce Your Use Rewards:

    • Set up Reduce Your UseSM alerts within My Account
    • Get an alert the day before a Reduce Your Use day.
    • Save energy between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on the actual day.
    • Automatically earn reward credits when you save enough energy.


  • Important information for CARE customers.

    As a CARE customer, you're currently receiving a monthly bill discount of up to 38%. However, high electricity use may make you ineligible to continue receiving this discount. If you exceed four times the amount of your baseline allowance, you're subject to both the High Usage Charge and eligibility re-verification. The re-verification process will start with a separate letter sent from our CARE Program team.

    Consider making changes to your home's energy use so you can avoid the High Usage Charge. If you're eligible, the Energy Savings Assistance Program could provide you with free energy-efficient home improvements that can make your home more comfortable and save you money now and for years to come.

  • Where can I find out more about baseline allowance?

    Additional information about baseline allowance is available here.  

  • How can I avoid this charge?

    The High Usage Charge is based on electricity use. To avoid the charge you need to use less than 400% of your baseline allowance. Be sure to sign up for alerts so you're aware of your energy use during the month. And you can follow these tips to save energy.

    Time-of-use pricing plans are not subject to the High Usage Charge. You can evaluate your available options in My Account. Please be aware that the current peak hours of 11 am to 6 pm are changing to 4pm to 9 pm in December 2017.

  • How many people does this affect?

    There are about 100,000 customers in the region that will reach this level of electricity use one or more times in a year. There are about 1.3 million residential customers overall, so this is slightly less than 10% of all customers.

Consider Solar

You may be able to avoid the charge by considering solar.  For more information visit: