FAQ

General
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SJCE offers renewable and carbon-free electric generation services that are very cost competitive with traditional sources of energy from PG&E, even though renewable energy tends to be more expensive. We are committed to offering you rates that are stable and affordable, and to keeping costs as low as possible for all of our customers. For detailed rate information, please see our Residential Rates page and our Commercial Rates page.

No. PG&E must provide the same rates for all customers in its service area.

No. We work together with PG&E so you will get just one bill from PG&E each month. The only difference is you will see San José Clean Energy included as a line item for electricity generation on your PG&E bill. SJCE charges for generating the electricity you use. When you begin receiving electric generation from SJCE, the charges for generation that previously went to PG&E instead go to SJCE. PG&E will continue to charge for transmitting and delivering electricity, along with a variety of other regulatory and program charges at the same rates they always have. There are no duplicate charges for electricity generation.

The San José City Council sets rates according to agreed-upon goals of the program and the cost of its energy contracts during that period. Our top goals include rate stability and affordability, so your rates will always be as competitive with PG&E rates as possible. Rates are developed, discussed, evaluated and approved at public meetings, where the public is welcome to speak and give feedback.

The Board is committed to providing the cleanest electricity at the most competitive prices possible. The price of electricity does fluctuate. As a public agency, SJCE’s mission is to serve and benefit all of the residents and businesses in the City. We do not have shareholders that we need to serve, which helps us keep rates lower. We work for you, our customers. We anticipated that SJCE generation rates established in June 2018 will remain in effect until spring 2020.

Yes. CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline are available to SJCE customers, as well as PG&E customers, and provide the same discount regardless of which service you use. Customers enrolled in SJCE automatically continue to receive their CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline discount within their PG&E delivery charges; there is no need to reapply. New CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline enrollments or renewals must still be done through PG&E's customer service center or website, as usual.

Yes, SJCE customers are still eligible for PG&E's electric vehicle rebate since they remain PG&E customers for electricity delivery service. Learn more about the $800 rebate.

Yes. The California Public Utilities Commission authorizes PG&E to collect fees (called public goods charges) from all customers to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy incentive programs. PG&E will still collect these fees and SJCE customers can receive these incentives and services.

All fee and charges are factored into SJCE’s rate setting process so that, in total, customers will still save money compared to PG&E’s rates. PG&E charges SJCE customers a Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) fee, sometimes called an “exit fee,” and a Franchise Fee Surcharge. Both are calculated based on the number of kilowatt-hours used each month. The PCIA involves multiple variables and its calculation is overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). It is intended to ensure that SJCE customers pay the difference between what PG&E paid for power already contracted to serve them before to their switch to SJCE, and the current market value of that power. For most SJCE customers, the PCIA is currently two to three cents per kilowatt-hour, depending on when you switched and whether you are a residential or a commercial customer. PG&E assesses other fees such as non-bypassable charges and taxes exactly the same for customers receiving their electric generation service from SJCE or PG&E.

Right now, the CPUC doesn’t set an expiration date for how long the PCIA can be charged to CCE customers. The PCIA is being recalculated as part of current CPUC proceedings, and Community Choice Energy programs, including SJCE, are collectively advocating for a fairer calculation and clear “end date” for PCIA charges.

Just staying with SJCE over PG&E already saves you 1% per month. To save more:

  • Try reducing your energy usage.
  • Consider changing your rate plan. There are two main types: tiered and time-of-use (TOU). 94% of San José homes are on tiered plans, where the price of electricity is based on how much is used. The remainder are on time-of-use (TOU) plans, where the price of electricity is based on when it's used. About 75% of San José residents save money on TOU plans compared to tiered plans. SJCE rate plan options mirror PG&E's. You can learn more, compare your usage on different plans, and choose a new rate plan at pge.com; PG&E will communicate your selection to us.
  • BayRen offers FREE energy saving kits to residents, which include products like LED light bulbs and advanced power strips. Just take a free online home energy evaluation to receive your kit.

Low-income households can receive discounts on their electricity bills through state programs.

  1. California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE): minimum 20% discount
  2. Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA): 12% discount

Applications are handled through PG&E, but the full discounts also apply to SJCE customers. Learn more about state electricity discount programs.

You can view SJCE rates and compare them to PG&E’s on our rates page. Use this worksheet to calculate how much you save with SJCE.

Your electricity service has always been split into two parts: generation (the source of the electricity) and delivery (how that gets to your home). Before SJCE launched in February 2019, everyone had just one choice for these services: PG&E. These services were bundled together under one “electric charges” line item on your bill.

Now, generation is provided by SJCE or PG&E. Delivery is provided only by PG&E, so everyone pays the PG&E delivery charge, even if they’ve opted out of SJCE. And now on your bill, generation and delivery are split into separate line items.

SJCE only provides electricity generation; we are not involved in metering services. We don’t have any control over whether or not our customers receive Smart Meters from PG&E. If you wish to opt out of a Smart Meter, please contact PG&E directly at 1-800-743-5000.

Yes, they do. Your electricity service has two parts: generation (the source of the electricity) and delivery (how it gets to your home). Generation is provided by SJCE or PG&E, while only PG&E provides delivery. So, everyone pays PG&E delivery charges. SJCE generation for our base service is cheaper and emits less carbon than PG&E.

As an SJCE customer, you will continue to receive one bill through PG&E. If you previously signed up for automatic bill pay, this will continue under SJCE – you don't have to do a thing. 

If you have questions about the San José Clean Energy portion of your bill, you can call us toll free at 833-432-2454 or email us at customerservice@sanjosecleanenergy.org If you have questions about the rest of your PG&E bill, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.