In March and April, residential electricity usage skyrocketed between 15% to 20% compared to the same period last year, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.
Last month, PG&E and other utility customers received a break on their energy bill as a result of warmer weather and the state issuing a climate credit of about $35 to most ratepayers. While the state has moved up what is normally a second climate credit in October to be split over May and June, energy bills for a full month of extra power usage resulting from the coronavirus shutdown come due in May. For many Californians, it may not be pretty. Power providers say people are already falling behind on their payments.
California is offering assistance to those who are going through economic hardship and need help in paying their power bill. Both PG&E and community power aggregators are also offering support in the form of a suspension of collections and unenrollments, flexible payment plans, and other programs.