SDGE Baseline Electricity

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If you live in SDG&E service territory whether you are on a Tiered or TOU (Time-of-Use) rate structure, your electric bill is largely based on your Baseline Electricity Allowance. This is an allowance for what SDG&E believes is enough electricity for your basic needs such as heating, cooking, lighting and refrigeration. Once you have consumed 130% of this allowance any additional electricity used is charged at almost double your baseline rate. In 2017 a new “Super User” surcharge was implemented by SDG&E for any electricity used in excess 400% of baseline. This electricity is billed at over twice the baseline rate.

There are three main factors that determine your baseline.

  • Where You Live SDG&E’s service territory is divided into four different climate zones. (1) Coastal, (2) Inland, (3) Mountain and (4) Desert. Each climate zone territory is assigned a different daily baseline allowance.
  • The Time of Year The baseline allowance varies by season. The summer season starts on June 1st and ends on October 31st. The winter season starts on November 1st and ends on May 31st.
  • The Type of Service You Have Customers with both natural gas and electric service (basic service baseline allowance) have a different baseline allowance than customers with all electric service (all electric baseline allowance). All Electric baseline allowances are for customers with permanently installed electric space heating or have electric water heating and do not receive energy from another source.
Basic Allowance Coastal Inland Mountain Desert
Summer (June 1st to October 31st) 9.0 kWh’s 10.4 kWh’s 13.6 kWh’s 15.9 kWh’s
Winter (November 1st to May 31st) 9.2 kWh’s 9.6 kWh’s 12.9 kWh’s 10.9 kWh’s
All Electric Allowance Coastal Inland Mountain Desert
Summer (June 1st to October 31st) 8.3 kWh’s 10.1 kWh’s 16.5 kWh’s 18.5 kWh’s
Summer (June 1st to October 31st) 13.5 kWh’s 15.8 kWh’s 26.0 kWh’s 20.0 kWh’s

The following is an example of how a customer living in Del Mar, California with gas and electric service under a tiered rate structure that used 1200 kWh’s (kilowatt hours) in the month of June would be charged for electricity. Referring to the graphs we find that the customer would fall into the Coastal Climate Zone within the Summer Months.

  • June (30 days) X 9.0 kWh’s per day = Baseline of 270 kWh’s
  • 130% of Baseline = 1.3 X 270 kWh’s = Tier 1 Billing of 351 kWh’s
  • 400% of Baseline = 4 X 270 kWh’s = 1080 kWh’s “Super User” Threshold
  • 1200 kWh’s (Junes Total Usage) – 1080 kWh’s “Super User” Threshold = “Super User” Billing of 120 kWh’s
  • 1200 kWh’s (Junes Total Usage) – Tier 1 Billing of 351 kWh’s – “Super User” Billing of 120 kWh’s = Tier 2 Billing of 729 kWh’s
With this information and using current rates we can calculate the electric bill for the month.
  • Tier 1 Charge = 351 kWh’s X 27 cents per kWh = $94.77
  • Tier 2 Charge = 729 kWh’s X 48 cents per kWh = $349.92
  • “Super User” Charge = 120 kWh’s X 55 cents per kWh = $66.00
Now we can determine the bill for the month of June by adding the 3 different charges.
  • $94.77 (Tier 1) + $349.92 (Tier 2) + $66.00 (Super User) = $510.69

Under a TOU plan your baseline allowance is calculated the same way but the way you are charged for the allowance is much more complicated. With the installation of the “smart meters” a few years back SDG&E is now able to see not only how much electricity you are using but when you are using it. This allows them to charge you more during their “peak” periods. So, if you are using most of your power during the peak period (between 4PM and 9PM) you will be paying 33 cents per kWh for your baseline electricity!

If you have any questions or would like information on how you can reduce your energy costs give us a call or fill out a contact form and someone will contact you to answer any questions you may have.

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Consolidation from 4 tiers to 3 tiers Introduction of $10 mini- mum monthly charge Consolidation from 3 tiers to 2 tiers Solar Net Metering 1.0 reaches cap Introduction of “Super User” Surcharge 10 to 25% rate increase effective December 1st Legacy Solar TOU rate option sunsets Legacy Solar tiered rate option sunsets March 31st All residential customers switched to TOU Roll out of 11% rate increase through 2022



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