FAQ

General
Energy Choices
Enrollment and Opting Out
Rates and Billing
Rooftop Solar
Commercial Customers

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.

Despite offering more renewable and carbon-free energySJCE's default GreenSource service is cheaper than PG&E's standard generation service for three main reasons:

  • Renewables Market: We're taking advantage of low prices for renewable energy, which continue to decrease.
  • Not-for-profit: As a government agency, we do not have to pay dividends to shareholders and pass savings along to our customers.
  • Efficiency: Community Choice Energy programs like SJCE are leaner and operate more efficiently than investor-owned utilities, spending a smaller percentage of revenue on operating expenses.

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.

Customers with electric vehicles are eligible for specialized charging rates. If you are already enrolled in PG&E’s EV charging rate plan, these rates will continue to applicable once enrolled with SJCE. PG&E maintains all customer account information, so all rate change selections are still made through PG&E. If you would like to enroll on an EV rate, contact PG&E’s customer support line. Your rate selection will be communicated to us by PG&E.

View GreenSource Residential Rates for peak, partial-peak, and off-peak EV charging rates.

Our EV rates incentivize customers to charge during low-demand periods; customers benefit from cheaper rates for doing so. Costs are lowest between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., making this the best time to charge your vehicle. Charging should be minimized during peak (2-9 p.m.) and partial-peak (7 a.m.-2 p.m. and 9-11 p.m.) hours as electricity is more expensive during these times.

When to charge your EV

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 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.

Yes, you will continue to receive the credit as an SJCE customer. You don't need to do anything to receive it; it's automatically applied to your bill. Learn more about the California Climate Credit.

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.

No. SmartRate is a program offered only to PG&E electricity generation customers. 

Yes. SJCE supports Time-of-Use rate schedules, which have peak pricing during certain periods of the day, Monday through Friday, and off-peak pricing at all other times. The generation rates SJCE customers pay for peak and off peak usage are 1% below PG&E's generation rates. View SJCE Time-of-Use rates.

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. 

SJCE does not currently offer a Balanced Payment Plan (BPP) or comparable budget billing program. Customers currently enrolled in PG&E’s BPP will remain on the program, however the BPP only applies to the PG&E (electricity delivery) portion of the bill.

Yes. Since PG&E employee discounts are applied to the electricity delivery portion of electricity bills, former and current PG&E employees will continue to receive their employee discount after becoming SJCE customers. 

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.