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Switching Back to PG&E Can Cost Much More Than Expected

Customers Report a 250% Increase in Monthly Bills After Returning to PG&E Electricity Service.

Pioneer believes your power should be your choice, and we are proud to offer an alternative to PG&E, the investor-owned former electricity monopoly in our service area. 

While we save our customers 10% or more compared with PG&E, there is still much confusion about what we do and what our line item means on your bill (it is not a new fee). 

For customers who are considering opting out, we want to explain PG&E’s imposed fees for opting out of Pioneer. While there is no fee from Pioneer for opting out of energy service with us, there is a PG&E-added rate charge that customers will incur that can increase bills significantly depending on how a customer chooses to opt out.

WHAT IS THE TBCC?

PG&E’s rules can be confusing. According to PG&E’s website, Transitional Bundled Commodity Cost (TBCC) prices “apply to Direct Access customers, as well as CCA customers, who: (1) elect Transitional Bundled Service (TBS) as prescribed in Rule 22.1 (Direct Access Service Switching Exemption Rules) or (2) take Bundled Service prior to the end of the mandatory six-month notice period required to elect Bundled Service as prescribed in Rule 22.1, and will be used to calculate the customer’s Transitional Bundled Commodity Cost (TBCC) charge.” 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR CUSTOMERS WHO WANT TO RETURN TO PG&E?

PG&E’s TBCC (transitional) rate is based on energy market prices. This additional rate can vary over the six-month period, and though it may be either higher or lower than standard rates, this rate is currently much higher than standard rates. To avoid this additional cost, customers who choose to opt out must understand how the option they select will affect their bill.

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR OPTING OUT?

We encourage all customers to review our Understanding Your Bill page, our Placer County rates page or our El Dorado County rates page, as Pioneer customers typically pay at least 10% less for electricity generation than with PG&E. We encourage you to call our customer service team at (916) 758-8969 to talk through your bill over the phone.

If you are one of the few customers who does not save money or enjoy the benefits of a locally owned energy provider, here are the limited opt-out options offered by PG&E that will affect your bill: 

  • Option A: Immediate Opt Out
    Opting out immediately will return you to PG&E rates at the end of your current billing cycle, five business days after your request is submitted. Instead of Pioneer-purchased electrical power, your service will be replaced by PG&E-purchased electricity. Going back to PG&E with very short notice (“immediately”) allows them to bill you at a transitional rate for six months. PG&E’s transitional rate is based on energy market prices and can vary over the six-month period; these rates may be either higher or lower than standard rates. As of January 2023, customers who opt out with this method are experiencing a generation rate increase of over 250% that is causing their bills to rise significantly.
  • Option B: Six-month Opt Out
    By providing PG&E with a six-month advance notice that you plan to opt out of Pioneer, you can avoid transitional rate increases. Customers selecting this option will be returned to PG&E-purchased electricity six months after the end of their current billing cycle, and this six-month period begins five business days after your request is submitted. PG&E rules prohibit customers who opt out and return to PG&E rates from switching providers again for 12 months.

HOW MUCH WILL PG&E CHARGE ME TO RETURN?

The TBCC is defined as market rate. By visiting PG&E’s website, you can calculate the TBCC that will apply if you choose to opt out immediately.

NEED MORE INFORMATION?

Our customers and community are at the heart of all we do at Pioneer Community Energy. We’ve heard from our community that energy bills can be a bit confusing. As of January 2023, customers who choose to opt out immediately are experiencing a generation rate increase of over 250% that is causing their bills to rise significantly. One family reported their monthly bill for a family of four went from $500 (before opting out) to $1,200 (after choosing to opt out immediately). 

If you have questions about power generation rates, PCIA fees or your electric utility bill, please contact your Pioneer customer service team by email at info@pioneercommunityenergy.org or call our offices at (916) 758-8969. We’ll be happy to help with your power and your choice.

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