You may have noticed a credit on your electric and natural gas bills this month.
Every spring and fall, millions of California residents receive credits on their electric and natural gas bills. It’s called the California Climate Credit and it’s part of California’s efforts to fight climate change.
It made San Luis Obispo resident Patty Geiselhart do a double take when paying her energy bills this month.
“I get little notices on my phone from the utility companies when my bill is due, so I got one and I was about to grab my checkbook and write it in and realized, ‘Oh, it's a credit balance so I don't owe anything this month',” she explained.
SoCalGas customers will see a credit of $44.17 on their natural gas bill this month. PG&E natural gas customers will receive $47.83 in credits this month, in addition to $39.30 if you’re also an electric customer.
“Every little penny helps. You know, I’m a part-time worker so yes, I definitely appreciated it,” Geiselhart said.
The California Climate Credit is from a state government program that requires power plants and natural gas providers that emit greenhouse gases to buy carbon pollution permits from auctions managed by the state air resources board.
The money docked off your bill is your share of the payments.
“Not only was it a credit, it was zero and we're really happy about that,” said Julie Parker of San Luis Obispo. “We're on a fixed income and with prices going up and gasoline, it helps, every little bit helps.”
“I just received my credit this month and the exciting thing about my credit this month is, it was more than my bill,” said Cynthia Rozamus of San Luis Obispo.
Those who have carryover balances can expect it to be applied to next month’s bill. But all customers will receive the same amount in credit regardless of the amount of energy used.
It’s an incentive the locals we talked with say they look forward to year after year, especially this time around.
“All of a sudden, I find myself looking for every bargain I can in town and so when I get a credit like this it's so nice,” Rozamus said. “I'm thankful for it. I always can't wait for October and April.”
Electric customers will receive another credit this October.
As of right now, the California Climate Credit is expected to continue through 2030.
PG&E electric customers have received roughly $449 in California Climate Credits since 2014. PG&E natural gas customers have received roughly $154 in credits in recent years with SoCalGas customers receiving about $142 in credits.