Expected Increase in Summer Electricity Bill
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Contra Costa County residential electricity users consume approximately 3.2 billion kWh of electricity annually, according to the California Energy Commission. That is the 9th highest among California’s 58 counties.
If you live in Concord, Antioch, Richmond, or somewhere else in Contra Costa County, read on to learn more about how your electricity costs are changing.
There were 398,299 households in Contra Costa County as of 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If you divide the total residential electricity used annually by the number of households in Contra Costa County, the average annual household electricity usage is 8,069 kWh.
The average monthly household electricity consumption in Contra Costa County is 672 kWh, which you get by dividing the annual usage per household by 12. Contra Costa County ranks 37th in per household monthly electricity usage among California counties.
The average household in the United States uses 877 kWh of electricity per month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Contra Costa County households use 205 kWh/month less electricity than the average U.S. household, according to our calculations, or 26% less electricity than the national average.
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The investor-owned electric utility that serves Contra Costa County is PG&E. For 2021, PG&E reported an average tiered residential retail electricity rate of $0.26/kWh, excluding low-income customers on discounted rates. For 2022, PG&E lists an average tiered residential electricity rate of $0.32/kWh.
Electric bills for residential customers of PG&E are influenced by a number of different factors, including the higher cost of exceeding your monthly baseline allotment (if you have one), and when you use energy if you’re on a Time of Use rate where you pay a higher rate for for “on-peak” usage, typically from 4-9PM, and a lower rate for “off-peak” usage.
If you are on the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, you receive a discount of up to 35% on your monthly electric bill, which isn’t considered in this calculation. If you are a customer of a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program that is responsible for generation of your electricity, your cost/kWh will differ from the rates provided by PG&E.
Your actual electric bill could be much higher or lower based on these factors.
If we just use the published rates for PG&E and multiply by the average monthly electricity usage per household, the average Contra Costa County household’s monthly electric bill in 2021 was approximately $174.
Using PG&E’s new rates for 2022, the average Contra Costa County household’s monthly electric bill during 2022 will increase by $38 to $212.
By this calculation, this year Contra Costa County has the 32nd highest household monthly electricity bill increase in dollars among California counties. Households pay about $64 less on their monthly electric bill than the average for California in 2022.
The average monthly electric bill in the U.S. is $115, the U.S. EIA reports. Using the average monthly bill of $212 per month, Contra Costa County households pay $96 more than the national average for electricity each month, which is 59% higher than the national household average.
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Contra Costa County is more coastal than inland California. Coastal counties typically use 124% more electricity during a summer month (July-October) than during an average month for the year, according to this study by the University of San Diego.
If you factor that in, Contra Costa County households use an average of 834 kWh of electricity during a typical summer month. That means the average monthly PG&E electric bill in Contra Costa County for summer 2021 would be about $216.
Summer electric bills can be influenced by how hot the weather is, which we don’t know yet for 2022. Assuming the same average consumption as last year, the average monthly PG&E household electric bill in Contra Costa County for summer 2022 will be $263.
If that holds true, the average household in Contra Costa County would pay $47 more per month for electricity this summer than in 2021.
That can really add up. The average electricity usage for the four-month summer season in Contra Costa County (July - October) is 3,336 kWh per household.
If you use the assumptions above, the average summer seasonal electric bill for Contra Costa County households would be $864 in 2021. For 2022, the average summer electric bill for Contra Costa County households could reach $1,051.
That would mean you could pay $187 more for your electricity this summer in Contra Costa County than last year.
This summer will be the first time that many households in California who receive a PG&E bill are on a Time of Use (TOU) plan.
Under a TOU plan, you are charged different amounts per kWh based on when you use energy, not just on how much total energy you use. Electricity used 4-9PM on weekdays typically is considered “on-peak,” while energy used outside that five-hour period or on weekends is considered “off-peak.”
For PG&E, the on-peak summer rate under the typical TOU plan is $0.40/kWh, and the off-peak summer rate is $0.34. Based on analysis of our internal data, we estimate that the average household in California uses roughly 33% of their monthly energy during on-peak times, and 66% during off-peak.
Using these numbers, we calculated what you can expect to pay this summer with TOU pricing.
The monthly TOU-adjusted electric bill for Contra Costa County households in 2022 is $297. That is $81 more per month than the same household with the same electricity usage would have paid in the summer 2021 on a tiered rate plan.
Over the course of the four months of summer, a Contra Costa County household can expect to pay $1,189 for electricity, which is about $325 more than you would have paid in summer 2021.
One way you can save on your electric bill is by using less electricity. OhmConnect is a no-cost, no-risk service that will help you save energy when it matters most.
OhmConnect notifies you when wholesale electricity prices are spiking in your neighborhood and gives you tips on how to save energy during that time. If you can use less power than you typically would, not only do you save on your electric bill but you can also get paid by OhmConnect.
Using a smart thermostat linked to OhmConnect is a great way to save on your electric bill. Just by using a Nest Smart Thermostat, for example, you can save up to 15% on your cooling bills, according to Google.
OhmConnect will give you a free or discounted smart thermostat just for signing up. To claim your smart thermostat and start saving energy and money, join OhmConnect today.