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PG&E to give customers cash credits as energy bills soar

Two PG&E SmartMeters are attached to a wall with pipes above and below them.
Two PG&E SmartMeters on a Berkeley residence | Adobe Stock | Source: Adobe Stock

Pacific Gas and Electric customers may receive an annual automatic credit as high as $91, the utility company announced.

The credit is given to customers is part of the California Climate Credit program, which the state is issuing as soon as possible this year, rather than in April as usual.

Customers do not need to do anything to receive the credit, it will automatically appear on a customer’s bill under the Adjustments section on the Detailed Charges page.

“For 2023, the commission has accelerated the distribution of the residential spring electric and natural gas California Climate Credits,” the California Public Utilities Commission said on its website. “Accelerating the California Climate Credit will help mitigate large and unexpected bill increases resulting from higher natural gas prices this winter season.”

The credit program is an effort by the state of California to fight climate change, and PG&E is issuing the credit to subsidize customers’ utility bills, which have spiked due to a gas shortage and increased demand.

For natural gas residential customers, the credit will be $52.78, and for electric residential customers, the credit will be $38.39. Customers who receive both services will receive a total credit of $91.17.

PG&E recognizes our responsibility to serve our customers safely and reliably while keeping their energy bills as low as possible. With the price PG&E pays for natural gas rising this year, this credit is great news for PG&E customers, who are likely noticing higher than average bills,” said Vincent Davis, PG&E’s vice president of customer operations, in a press release.

A PG&E electrical substation
In an aerial view, a PG&E electrical substation is visible in front of the city skyline in San Francisco. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images | Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California requires power plants, natural gas providers and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases to buy carbon pollution permits from auctions managed by the California Air Resources Board. The California Climate Credit is customers’ share of the payments from the state’s program.

The credit is part of the state’s Cap and Trade program.

The CPUC was contacted for comment.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at