Annual bill credits coming one month sooner; Demand Response program participants also receiving $111 million for reducing energy usage during high-heat events
Southern California Edison is accelerating efforts to help customers navigate energy bill increases this year. SCE’s 5 million-plus residential and small business customers will receive the first of two California Climate Credits on their SCE bill a month early, in their March billing cycle. The first credit from this state program is typically issued each spring, but this year, SCE is pushing up its schedule to help customers whose bills are affected by the dramatic rise in natural gas prices that began late last year.
SCE’s second California Climate Credit remains scheduled for fall. Each of this year’s credits for eligible SCE customers is $71, totaling $142 in rebates. Funding for the California Climate Credit comes from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Cap and Trade Program, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, natural gas distributors and other large industries. The California Public Utilities Commission recently directed utilities to accelerate distribution of the spring climate credits.
In addition, almost 1.9 million SCE customers will receive a bill credit averaging between $40-$60 on their February or March bills, rewarding them for last year’s participation in the Power Saver Rewards program. Business customers who participated in the Emergency Load Reduction Program (the nonresidential counterpart to Power Saver Rewards) will receive credits averaging more than $2,000.
The programs are examples of Demand Response, in which participating customers lower their energy usage — either manually or by an automated device — during a designated “event.” Some Demand Response programs provide customers day-ahead warnings of events so they can prepare as needed.
“These bill credits come at a great time for SCE customers who are managing their way through rising costs of all kinds,” said Lisa D. Cagnolatti, SCE’s senior vice president of Customer Service. “Our Demand Response programs in particular give customers an opportunity for bill savings while also helping to stabilize the electric grid when it’s needed the most.”
By reducing their energy use when the electric grid was under extreme stress, these program participants helped California avoid rotating outages during last year’s heat wave and will now receive a welcome reduction on their energy bill. SCE is issuing $111 million in bill credits to the program participants, who will be notified via U.S. mail and email.
During last year’s heat wave from Aug. 31 to Sept. 9, the California Independent System Operator called 10 consecutive daily events (either a CAISO-issued Flex Alert, Emergency Alert Watch or Emergency Alert). SCE customers who were enrolled in Power Saver Rewards and the Emergency Load Reduction Program scaled back their energy use between 4-9 p.m. during these events for an estimated total reduction of more than 236 megawatts.
These bill credits are the latest in a series of SCE efforts to help customers with their energy bills; in January, SCE issued $218 million in bill credits to nearly 348,000 customers who qualified for the California Arrearage Payment Program. SCE also increased the maximum one-time grant from its nonprofit Energy Assistance Fund from $100 to $200 (and from $200 to $300 for all-electric homes) as of Jan. 1.
Click these links to learn more about the California Climate Credit and about SCE’s customer assistance programs; get more information about enrolling in SCE’s Demand Response programs for residential customers and for business customers to earn credits this summer.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE: EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of approximately 15 million via 5 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.
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Media Contact: Ron Gales, (626) 302-2255