Tips on How to Avoid Shock of High Summer Utility Bills

Every three months the average is recalculated.

San Diegans looking to avoid a spike in their utility bills over the summer can register now to pay an average rate, San Diego Gas & Electric said Friday. 

More than 100,000 customers were hit with a high usage fee in the summer of 2018 so SDG&E wants to remind everyone about its Level Pay Plan.

"Getting on the program now, you’ll have the lower average you can sustain through the summer time," SDG&E Communication Manager Wes Jones said Friday.

Customers won't save money. Instead, they will pay the average for their meter's previous 12 months of use, calculating the average monthly bill when taking into account air conditioning use in the summer with utility use during the milder months.

“It’s taking the highs and the lows and evening them out,” Jones explained. 

The plan is free to enroll but it's important to note you cannot join in retroactively. For example, if you get a bill in August that is twice what you normally pay, you cannot ask to pay the average. 

Customers can be on Time of Use and Level Pay at the same time, Jones said. However, net energy and solar customers are not eligible. 

Also, every three months the average is recalculated. 

Jones said there are approximately 20,000 customers on Level Pay currently.

Other tips include sealing cracks around doors and windows, changing out your A/C filter and buy fans insteaed of using a room air conditioner. 

He added that anyone hoping to avoid a high usage charge should look into SDG&E's Time of Use plan. 

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