Author: Deborah

Low-Interrupt Service: A New Utility Is Switching Customers’ Energy to PG&E

Low-Interrupt Service: A New Utility Is Switching Customers' Energy to PG&E

Tear out your lawn, get more free cash. LADWP ups rebates for customers with zero-turnover accounts.

Free to switch

Some homeowners that want to switch their service from PG&E have to pay a $3,000 fee.

“We’ve seen a lot of the customers come through who previously went up, and they ended up with just a credit,” says C.J. Van Dyke with the utility. “We had customers that had been on PG&E for a couple of decades that they would still make our switch because they had already paid the fee.”

However, to qualify for the low-interrupt service, a customer has to have 20,000 kilowatt hours of usage every year.

Here’s how it works: First, a customer pays PG&E a one-time fee of $1,000, but then each month the utility sends the customer a bill. Instead of going to a PG&E representative, a customer calls the company to order service on their behalf. The utility can switch the customer’s service for up to four months—even if the customer doesn’t use as much electricity as they did on PG&E.

If the customer doesn’t switch, the utility has several options: They can either change the customer’s usage to metering that is similar to PG&E’s, or they can give the customer a credit that doesn’t have to be paid back until the next billing cycle. Van Dyke says the latter option has been the one most commonly used.

“They can also choose to credit the customer’s account as a one-time payment,” he says. “So then, over the course of the next 12 months, they can’t use it. If they don’t use it over the next 12 months, the customer pays the credit. If they use enough energy that they need more, then they get a refund at the end of the period.”

“We’re going to switch on a lot of people,” Van Dyke says. “We’re very excited about having people who are currently on PG&E join us this way.”

The change is expected to be made by July 1.

The switch is free to those with an agreement that they’ll get a credit. Customers who don’t switch will have their bills doubled.

Van Dyke says PG&E will get a break on the

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