Frequently Asked Questions

The SmartRate Plan is a great option for customers who want to manage their energy costs while helping their community. Simple changes to when you use energy can mean a lot.

SmartRate becomes even easier to participate in for customers who are also signed up for the SmartAC program:

  • During 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on SmartDays™ – when the $0.60/kWh surcharge is in effect – PG&E sends a signal to activate your SmartAC device automatically, allowing your air conditioner to run at a slightly lower capacity, while maintaining the comfort level in your home.
  • This automatic adjustment to your air conditioner frees you to concentrate on other energy-saving activities, helping you to save energy and money with the SmartRate Plan when SmartDays are called. If you wish to save even more energy, consider raising your thermostat a few degrees.

Newly enrolled participants receive bill protection for their first full summer on SmartRate. With automatic bill protection you will not pay more on the new pricing plan than you would pay under your previous plan.

Here's how automatic bill protection works. Each month, you will pay your PG&E energy costs as you normally would. At the end of the SmartRate Plan period PG&E will evaluate your monthly costs to determine your total electricity costs on the Plan. If your cumulative SmartRate costs over the summer are more than they would have been on your previous pricing plan, we will automatically reimburse the difference with a credit on your November energy statement.

After you have completed your first full summer season, bill protection will no longer apply. You will receive two notifications before your bill protection expires:

  1. 60-90 days before your first summer season without bill protection and
  2. During May of your first summer season without bill protection

You can opt out of the new pricing plan at any time and revert to your previous pricing plan by calling 1-866-743-0263.

SmartDays are called on hot summer days when the average temperature reaches a certain threshold in five different areas of PG&E’s service territory or when demands on California energy reserves are approaching the limit. If we are experiencing an unusually cold summer, the average temperature level required to initiate the program can be adjusted downward or even upward if the summer is unusually hot. There will be no more than 15 SmartDays called between May 1 and October 31. SmartDays are not called on weekends or holidays or for more than three business days in a row.
  • SmartRate Plan customers will receive a credit of $0.02992/kWh for energy usage from June 1 through September 30, with the exception that the credit will not be given for energy usage that occurs between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on SmartDays.
  • All participants will receive an extra credit of $0.01/kWh for tiers 4 and 5.
  • Participants will be charged a $0.60/kWh surcharge in addition to their regular rate between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on each SmartDay.
  • If a SmartDay is called in May or October, the surcharge will apply from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. However, you will not receive any credits in these months.
  • The SmartRate Plan is a voluntary electric pricing plan that you can opt out of any time by calling 1-866-743-0263. You'll revert to your previous pricing plan within five business days, and this change should appear on your next billing statement.

Residential energy charges are calculated by using your previous pricing plan with the following SmartRate adjustments:

  • Participants will receive a credit of $0.02992/kWh for all usage between June 1 and September 30, except during the SmartDay High-Price Period (2 p.m. to 7 p.m.) on SmartDays.
  • From June 1 through September 30, SmartRate participants receive an extra credit of $0.01/kWh for usage in tiers 3 and 4.
  • SmartRate participants are charged a $0.60/kWh surcharge in addition to their regular rate for just five hours (from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.) on each SmartDay.
  • SmartRate offers you the opportunity to save money over the SmartDay season if you can effectively minimize your electricity usage between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on SmartDays.
  • SmartRate Credit is a discount on your rate given for all energy usage from June 1 through September 30, except for the energy usage between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on a SmartDay. The credit for residential customers is $0.02992/kWh.
A SmartDay surcharge of $0.60/kWh in addition to your regular rate will apply between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on a SmartDay. No more than 15 SmartDays will be called each season.

By voluntarily selecting this rate plan, you are accepting higher electric charges in each tier up to 15 days during the SmartRate participation period. If your bills are higher during your first full summer of participation, you will receive Bill Protection and PG&E will automatically reimburse you the difference in November of that year. Accounts without bill protection may have a higher annual bill than may otherwise occur, but bill savings are also possible.

You have the potential to save money each month if you can lower your electricity usage between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on SmartDays.

  • To access your hourly and daily energy usage graphs for recent usage, follow these simple steps:
    • Log in to My Energy (Note: if you have not set up your account online, you must first do so).
    • Once logged in, click on "Usage" in the upper left-hand corner.
    • Then click "Hourly/Daily Usage."
    • You can also see historical hourly and daily usage graphs on My Account by navigating to "Usage History" under "Usage," and clicking on the "Hourly/Daily" links in the right-hand column.
    • SmartMeter™ is a trademark of SmartSynch, Inc. and is used by permission.

Your November billing statement will include a comparison of your SmartRate Plan usage and what your rate would have been under your previous pricing plan. You may want to review this information before making a decision about opting out of SmartRate. You may opt out of the new pricing plan at any time and revert to your previous pricing plan by calling 1-866-743-0263.

To learn more about how you can shift or reduce your energy usage to manage electricity costs on the SmartRate Plan, visit the Tips section of this site or call 1-866-743-0263.
 

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  • Customers who are notified one day prior to a SmartDay have the best opportunity to save on their bills because they have time to prepare.

    Receive up to four notifications per household (two by email and two by phone).
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SmartRate Tips

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