Important definitions

Understanding your energy statement

The below list includes key terms that may appear on your PG&E energy statement, and definitions that can help you understand your energy use.

Baseline Territory: PG&E’s service territory is divided into Climate Zones or “baseline territories.” The average amount of energy used by customers within each baseline territory is used by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to set the amount of energy that is billed at Tier 1 gas and electric prices.

Bundled service customer: Full-service customers who purchase both energy delivery services and energy generation from PG&E. This is in contrast to customers who purchase energy from a third-party Energy Service Provider, and pay PG&E for transmission and distribution costs.

Competition Transition Charges (CTC): The charge for legacy electricity contracts, signed prior to 1998, that are in excess of a California Public Utilities Commission-approved market price benchmark.

Connected Load Charge: A demand charge based on the capacity rating of the pumps connected to the meter.

Conservation Incentive Adjustment: A component of your electric charges designed to reflect tiered residential pricing. It provides a credit to customers who primarily use within Tiers 1 and 2 and a charge for those who use energy in Tiers 3 and 4.

Customer charge: Customers on certain rate plans are charged a fixed fee for service, regardless of the amount of energy consumed, as well as charges based on usage.

Demand charge: Many non-residential rates include a demand charge. Demand is a measurement of the highest usage of electricity in any single fifteen (or sometimes five) minute period during a monthly billing cycle. Demand is measured in kilowatts (or kW). High demand is usually associated with equipment start-up. By spreading equipment start-ups over a longer period of time, you may be able to lower demand and reduce your demand charges.

Distribution charge: A charge for the lower-voltage system of power lines, poles, substations and transformers directly connecting PG&E’s distribution lines to homes and businesses.

DWR bond charge: Recovers the cost of bonds issued by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to purchase power to serve electric customers during the California energy crisis. DWR bond charges are collected on behalf of DWR and do not belong to PG&E.

DWR power charge: Recovers the cost of bonds issued by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to purchase power to serve electric customers during the California energy crisis. DWR bond charges are collected on behalf of DWR and do not belong to PG&E.

Energy commission tax: A tax PG&E collects to fund the California Energy Commission based on the electric use during a billing period.

Energy Cost Recovery Amount (ECRA): These charges are imposed pursuant to law to help reduce the costs of financing PG&E’s emergence from bankruptcy. One of these charges is the Dedicated Rate Component (DRC). The right to receive DRC revenues has been sold to a special purpose entity, the PG&E Energy Recovery Funding LLC, and PG&E is collecting this charge on behalf of PG&E Recovery Funding LLC. This charge does not belong to PG&E.

Franchise Fee: This surcharge pays cities and counties for the right to use public streets to provide utility services. PG&E collects the surcharges and passes them to cities and counties. This tax (if any) is charged as a percentage of your energy charges.

Gas core procurement cost: The utility’s cost to buy natural gas and transport it to its local transmission system. The price usually changes on the first business day of each month.

Generation charges: The cost of creating electricity to power your home or business.

Heat source: The permanently installed primary source of heating in a home.

Meter Charge: Customers on some time-of-use electric rates are assessed a meter charge to recover the additional equipment costs of providing customers with this type of service.

Meter constant: A factor that converts electric meter read differences to kilowatt hours (kWh).

Multiplier: A factor that converts the gas meter read difference to Therms. The multiplier corrects for differences in elevation, delivery pressure and the heating content of natural gas.

Nuclear decommissioning: A fee to restore nuclear plant sites to as near their original condition as possible once they are shut down.

Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA): Ensures that customers who purchase electricity (generation) from non-PG&E suppliers pay their share of generation costs acquired to serve them prior to their departure, unless otherwise exempt.

Public Purpose Programs: Funds programs considered by law to benefit society, such as low-income ratepayer assistance and energy efficiency.

Rotating Outage Block: In the event of a power emergency that causes the California Independent System Operator to determine that rotating outages are necessary, this number indicates the order in which your power will be interrupted.

Serial: The serial code determines when a meter is read for billing. Find your meter reading schedule >>.

Time of Use Electric Rate Plans: Instead of a single flat rate for energy use, customers on a time-of-use plan pay higher rates for energy on weekday afternoons and lower rates at other times. Prices also change by season, with higher prices in the summer and lower prices in the winter. This means that when you use energy is just as important as how much you use.

Transmission: The cost of transmitting electricity from power plants, over high-voltage lines and towers, to the distribution system.

Utility Users Tax (UUT): A tax we collect for a city or county government. The tax (if any) is a percentage of your energy charges.
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