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Understanding Your Residential PCIA Fee

What Is PG&E’s Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) Fee?

PG&E’s Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) fee is an “exit fee” charged to CCA customers as authorized by state law. The PCIA fee is charged on a “per Kilowatt-hour”(kWh) basis. You will find the PCIA fee on each month’s bill. PG&E is authorized to recover the difference in value between energy resources already contracted by PG&E before the shrinking of its customer base due to popular customer adoption of Community Choice Aggregators, like Pioneer Community Energy. PG&E uses what is known as a “Vintage Year” to determine this difference.

During 2022, PG&E increased its rates several times. As a result, customers felt the impact of rising rates, and rate increases will continue through 2026 as a power supply shortage, infrastructure repair and inflation drive energy prices higher.

PG&E has published its intended 2023 rate changes. If approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E’s pending request would result in a revenue increase of $3.125 billion for 2023 and additional increases of $1.018 billion in 2024, $755 million in 2025 and $561 million in 2026. Find out more here.

Fortunately, Pioneer customers will experience a significant decrease in both the 2017 and 2021 Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) vintage fees.

Table Showing Changes in PGE Generation Rate and PCIA Vintages

Placer County customers who have been with us from the start are classified as “2017 PCIA Vintage” in the chart below. El Dorado County customers who joined in early 2021 are classified as “2021 PCIA Vintage.”
2022 Avg.
($/kWh)
Jan. 2023
($/kWh)
Difference
($/kWh)
Difference
(%)
PG&E Generation Rate
$0.12532
$0.14305
$0.01773
14.1%
2017 PCIA Vintage
$0.01969
$0.00289
$(0.01680)
-85.3%
2021 PCIA Vintage
$0.02554
$(0.00397)
$(0.002951)
-115.5%

The PCIA is decreasing because many of the expensive power-purchase agreements PG&E entered into, which are used to calculate the PCIA, have termed out. At the same time, an increase in power supply prices has made existing PG&E assets more valuable. These factors create downward pressure on the PCIA rate.

This is great news for Pioneer customers, who will save money on PCIA and generation rates in 2023.

What is Vintage Year?

The Vintage Year is typically the year that your community made the decision to join a CCA, like Pioneer. The Vintage Year is identified by PG&E. Placer County has Vintage Years that range from 2017 through 2022, depending on the geographic area and start of CCA service. El Dorado County has Vintage Years of 2021 and 2022. Future customers may have different Vintage Years.

What Is Your Specific PCIA Fee?

Rate 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
E1/TOUC
$0.00289
$0.00263
$0.00021
$(0.00166)
$(0.00397)
$0.01309
$0.01309

The rate table above was updated on January 10, 2023.

For customers with another rate tariff or another Vintage Year, please visit PG&E’s Rate Tariff Webpage.

To determine your applicable PCIA, please look at your PG&E bill. If you need assistance, do not hesitate to call the Pioneer offices at (916) 758-8969.

Medical Baseline and PCIA

In prior years, the PCIA was waived for all Medical Baseline customers. Starting in 2022, PG&E announced that medical baseline customers will begin paying a portion of the applicable PCIA fee. The implementation plan calls for a ramp-up schedule as follows:

  • 2022 – 25% of applicable PCIA fee
  • 2023 – 50% of applicable PCIA fee
  • 2024 – 75% of applicable PCIA fee
  • 2025 – 100% of applicable PCIA fee


Pioneer customers on Medical Baseline will continue to realize additional savings over PG&E’s rates.

What Is Pioneer Doing About the PG&E PCIA Fees?

Pioneer is the community voice and customer advocate. We are working toward protecting our customers’ right to choose energy providers, gaining more transparency of the PG&E PCIA fees and advancing legislation that benefits our communities at the state level and with PG&E. Pioneer Community Energy continues to challenge the PG&E PCIA fee methodology by:

  • Engaging with the other Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) across the state, through the California Community Choice Association, to reduce the PG&E PCIA fees.
  • Requesting that the CPUC make public the data that PG&E uses to create the various PCIA “exit fees,”
  • Eliminating PG&E Utility-Owned Generation from the PCIA calculations.

How do Pioneer Generation Rates with the PCIA Fee compare to PG&E Generation Rates?

Vintage Year Pioneer (E1)* PG&E (E1)** % Savings
2017
$0.13272
$0.156140
15.0%
2018
$0.13246
$0.156140
15.2%
2019
$0.13006
$0.156140
16.7%
2020
$0.12820
$0.156140
17.9%
2021
$0.12591
$0.156140
19.4%
2022
$0.14284
$0.156140
8.5%
2023
$0.14284
$0.156140
8.5%

*Pioneer (E1) column includes generation rate, franchise fee surcharge (FFS), and power charge indifference adjustment (PCIA).

** PG&E (E1) column include generation rate and power charge indifference adjustment (PCIA).

Contact us, we are here to help.

If you have any further questions about PCIA fees, Vintage Years or energy-saving questions, please contact your Pioneer team at info@pioneercommunityenergy.org or call (916) 758-8969.  

It’s your power and your choice. For stable and reliable energy rates, opt-in to Pioneer.

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