CleanPowerSF is working towards a future where clean energy is affordable and accessible to all. The SFPUC recognizes the hardships customers may be facing as a result of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The SFPUC also recognizes that customers may be using more energy than they typically do while sheltering in place at home.
Since the City’s Public Health Order to stay at home went into effect, CleanPowerSF has seen about a 7% increase in residential electricity usage across San Francisco.
The SFPUC remains committed to supporting customers during this time and have put together information on what customer protections, discounts, and assistance programs are available as well as tools and tips to reduce home energy usage. Remember to check Lower Your Bill and COVID-19 pages on CleanPowerSF.org for the latest information.
What changes can I expect on my electricity bill?
- With more time spent at home, you may see an increase in your monthly electricity usage and bill.
- Look for your credit: CleanPowerSF customers will receive bill credits in April, May, and June as part of the California Climate Credit program. 2020 credit dates have moved up and all CleanPowerSF customers will automatically receive the following electricity credits this year: April – $35.73, May – $17.87, June – $17.86.
What kind of bill discount and financial assistance programs are available to CleanPowerSF customers?
- California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program: Reduce your electricity and gas bills by 20% or more. You may qualify if you have faced recent economic hardship and meet certain income requirements. Learn more about CARE.
- Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program: Save 18% on your monthly electricity bill. To qualify, you must be a household of three or more people and meet income requirements. Learn more about FERA.
- Medical Baseline: Receive additional electricity and/or gas per month at no extra cost if you or someone in your household is dependent on electrically powered medical equipment. Learn more about Medical Baseline.
- Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH): Provides income-qualified customers with financial assistance during times of hardship. Learn more about REACH.
What customer support and protections are available during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- No power disconnections: PG&E will not disconnect your power as a result of nonpayment and is waiving deposit requirements and late fees.
- You’ll stay with CleanPowerSF: CleanPowerSF customers will not be unenrolled and returned to PG&E service as a result of late payment.
- Flexible Payment Options: If you need extra time to pay your bill, you can request to push back your bill due date. Contact PG&E about all payment options.
- Budget Billing allows you to avoid big swings in your monthly payments. On this plan, you’ll pay an average cost across 12-months of usage, meaning your bill will stay relatively the same each month. Sign up for Budget Billing today.
What are some tips for reducing my home energy usage and bill?
- Turn off the lights if you are not using them. Open blinds or drapes and take advantage of the spring daylight.
- Unplug appliances when you are not using them, too, as they still use some energy when plugged in.
- Use a power strip! The best way to control wasted power is by getting a power strip, which makes it easy to turn off multiple appliances or gadgets when you go to bed or leave the house.
- Stay cool or warm the eco-friendly way. Open the windows or switch on a fan to stay cool. Stay warm by layering your clothing instead of using an indoor space heater.
- Run full loads of laundry and use cold water when washing your clothes. Using cold water is actually less likely to shrink or fade clothes and also reduces wrinkles.
- Air dry your laundry instead of using the dryer. A nonprofit called Project Laundry List estimates that using the dryer accounts for 6 percent of each household’s electric bills. DYK: Sunlight has natural bleaching and disinfecting properties that can get rid of stains and kill germs. If you do use the dryer, remember to keep empty the lint trap between loads.
- Snacking more? Reheat small portions of food in the microwave or toaster oven, which generally use less energy than an oven or stove.