PG and E bills may be smaller |

PG and E bills may be smaller

You’ll be able to use slightly more electricity at a lower rate this summer.

That could mean a savings of about $1.51 a month for most Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers in Nevada County.

PG&E customers will get an increase in power at the baseline rate on May 1, the California Public Utilities Commission ruled Tuesday.

The baseline is 60 percent of the average of what customers use in a geographic area – what the PUC considers a minimal amount for living, said Lisa Randle, PG&E spokeswoman. People pay less for electricity below the baseline.

Baseline quantities vary by season, climate zone and heat source. For instance, the baseline is set at 70 percent for people who use only electricity, which costs more than gas.

Nevada County contains two of the state’s 10 climactic zones: Y, the lower elevations; and Z, the upper elevations.

Customers in the upper elevations – generally, above Grass Valley – will see their baseline electricity increase from 279 kilowatt hours a month to 324 kilowatt hours a month. The baseline for customers in the lower elevations will go from 192 kilowatt hours a month to 219 kilowatt hours.

The residential rate for electricity below the baseline in lower elevations is 0.11589 cents per kilowatt hour.

Over the baseline, electricity costs 0.13321 cents per kilowatt hour.

On the Net

For more help understanding your PG&E bill, go to

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