Electricity Rates in
Kern County

Expected Increase in Summer Electricity Bill

 Map of California highlighting Kern County electricity users.

Kern County residential electricity users consume approximately 2.6 billion kWh of electricity annually, according to the California Energy Commission. That is the 11th highest among California’s 58 counties.

If you live in Bakersfield, Delano, Oildale, or somewhere else in Kern County, read on to learn more about how your electricity costs are changing.

Kern County couple looks frustrated by the cost of their electric bill.

How much electricity does the average household in Kern County use?

There were 273,556 households in Kern 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 Kern County, the average annual household electricity usage is 9,643 kWh.

The average monthly household electricity consumption in Kern County is 804 kWh, which you get by dividing the annual usage per household by 12. Kern County ranks 28th 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. Kern County households use 73 kWh/month less electricity than the average U.S. household, according to our calculations, or 9% less electricity than the national average.

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What are the electric rates for Kern County?

The investor-owned electric utility that serves Kern County is PG&E (SCE also serves part of Kern County, but we are using PG&E numbers for simplicity). 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.

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How much is the average monthly electric bill in Kern County?

If we just use the published rates for PG&E and multiply by the average monthly electricity usage per household, the average Kern County household’s monthly electric bill in 2021 was approximately $208.

Using PG&E’s new rates for 2022, the average Kern County household’s monthly electric bill during 2022 will increase by $45 to $253.

By this calculation, this year Kern County has the 22nd highest household monthly electricity bill increase in dollars among California counties. Households pay about $138 more 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 $253 per month, Kern County households pay $138 more than the national average for electricity each month, which is 156% higher than the national household average.

Chart showing Kern County electricity is expected to cost $1,580 in 2022 compared to $1,299 in 2021.

How much are summer electric bills in Kern County?

Chart showing Alameda County electricity is expected to cost $930 in 2022 compared to $716 in 2021

Kern County is more inland than coastal California. Inland counties typically use 156% more electricity during a summer month (June-September) than during an average month for the year, according to our calculations.

If you factor that in, Kern County households use an average of 1,253 kWh of electricity during a typical summer month. That means the average monthly PG&E electric bill in Kern County for summer 2021 would be about $325.

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 Kern County for summer 2022 will be $395.

If that holds true, the average household in KernCounty would pay $70 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 Kern County (July - October) is 5,014 kWh per household.

If you use the assumptions above, the average summer seasonal electric bill for Kern County households would be $1,299 in 2021. For 2022, the average summer electric bill for Kern County households could reach $1,580.

That would mean you could pay $282 more for your electricity this summer in Kern County than last year.

How much more will I pay with Time of Use rates?

Chart shows lower electricity costs in the morning and midday when there is solar production, with electricity rates spiking between 4-9PM

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.”

Chart shows lower electricity costs in the morning and midday when there is solar production, with electricity rates spiking between 4-9PM.

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 Kern County households in 2022 is $447. That is $122 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 Kern County household can expect to pay $1,787 for electricity, which is about $488 more than you would have paid in summer 2021.

How can I save energy and money?

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.