August 3, 2020 Post
This month’s topics: Summer energy saving tips, Dig Alert, customer assistance programs, California Climate Credit, Wildfire Safety Fair, home energy series training
Article 1: SDG&E OFFERS BILL DISCOUNT PROGRAMS TO HELP CUSTOMERS IN NEED
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is offering tips and resources to help its customers reduce energy bill spikes that could occur due to hot weather and an increase in working from home and homeschooling during the pandemic.
If you’d like to lower your energy use and bills this summer, here are a few tips you can consider.
- If you are on a Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing plan, shift some of your energy use to lower-cost hours outside of the 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. peak period. If you don’t know which pricing plan you’re on, visit sdge.com/myaccount.
- When streaming content, choose the smallest device that makes sense for the number of people watching.
- Turn down the thermostat on your water heater a few degrees because gas or electricity are needed to heat your water.
- Make sure you check your AC filter every 1-2 months. Dirty filters cause your system to work harder to keep you cool, wasting energy.
- Get more energy-saving tips at sdge.com/summer.
SDG&E has payment assistance programs that can help residents save on their monthly bills. These programs are available to those who meet income eligibility criteria and include; the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) and LIHEAP, the federally funded Low-Income Energy Assistance Program. More information is available at sdge.com/assistance. Customers who are concerned about higher summer bills can enroll in a Level Pay Plan to smooth out the monthly cost fluctuations. Learn more at sdge.com/LPP. If you need more time to pay your bill, Call SDG&E’s Customer Contact Center at 1-(800)-411-7343 to make payment arrangements.
Article 2: Call 811 Before You Dig to Prevent Damage to Underground Utility Lines
With more people staying home due to the pandemic, home renovations and gardening activities have been on the rise. And while working on projects can be exciting, SDG&E would like to remind their customers to always call 811 before they dig. This will help prevent gas line strikes that can result from unsafe digging from construction and landscaping activities. In the last year, unsafe digging resulted in almost 350 local gas emergencies. SDG&E prioritizes the safety of its customers and community and have made it a goal to reduce the number of these incidents.
Hitting a gas or electric line can result in a serious safety hazard, fires, property damage, loss of utility service, costly repairs and fines. They can also create inconveniences to the public such as service outages for an entire neighborhood. That’s why starting July 1, 2020, the new California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board (Dig Safe Board) will start fining those who don’t call 811 before they dig. These fees can go up to $50,000 and/or require contractors/excavators who hit utility lines to take training classes.
Submitting a request to have underground utility lines marked is easy. Simply call 811 or visit DigAlert.org. Requests should be submitted at least two business days before digging and will be followed by SDG&E marking the location of buried gas and electric lines free of charge. If you ever hit your gas or electric service lines or meters, whether it’s minor or more serious, call SDG&E immediately at (800) 411-7343. No damage to gas or electric lines is too small to report. For more information, visit sdge.com/811 and learn how to detect gas leaks in your home, check out this video: youtu.be/cwL9r4dLZ3A.
Article 3: CALIFORNIA CLIMATE CREDIT HEADED YOUR WAY
Your August1 SDG&E bill will include a statewide electric California Climate Credit. It’s part of California’s effort to fight climate change and work toward a zero-carbon state. The credit comes from a state program that requires power plants, natural gas providers and other large industries that emit greenhouse gasses to buy carbon pollution permits. The credit on your bill is your share of the payments from the state’s program.
In past years, the electric credit was applied in April and October and the gas credit was applied in April. For 2020 and 2021 the California Public Utilities Commission has authorized a temporary shift of the electric portion of the credit to be applied to the months of August and September to provide some bill relief during the hottest months of the year and help reduce bill volatility.
To learn more about the Climate Credit and find out the dollar amount, visit cpuc.ca.gov/climatecredit.
1 Billing periods vary by utility and may not always coincide with a calendar month. If you don’t see a Climate Credit in the bill that arrives this month, it will appear in the bill you receive next month.
SDG&E’S COVID-19 RESPONSE
Visit sdge.com/coronavirus for a comprehensive overview of our COVID-19 response and the latest updates.
Visit sdge.com/assistance for information on bill discount programs, including CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline, available for those who meet income guidelines or have a qualifying medical condition. With many experiencing financial hardships due to the economic impact of the pandemic, more people may qualify for these assistance programs.