California Climate Credit

Twice a year, millions of California residents receive a credit on their electric bill identified as the "California Climate Credit." Once a year, millions of California residents also receive a California Climate Credit on their natural gas bill

These credits add up fast! Since 2014, California's investor-owned utility residential customers have received over $5.3 billion in credits on their electric and natural gas utility bills. See our Cap-and-Trade Program webpage for more details on how much assistance CPUC has provided to residents, small businesses, and industry since 2014.  As Californians have stayed at home during the recent month in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, these credits may help offset energy costs from higher usage.

What's My California Credit Amount?

The tables below provide the electric and natural gas California Climate Credits every residential investor-owned utility customer account in California has received.

 

Residential Electric California Climate Credit

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Total Value Received Per Household 2014-2019

PG&E

$30

$25

$28

$17

$39

$28

$35.73

$334

SCE

$40

$29

$38

$31

$36

$33

$37.00

$414

SDG&E

$36

$36/$24*

$17

$30

$34

$31

$32.28

$356

Liberty Utilities

$42

$35

$27

$23

$29

$46

$29.46

$401

Pacific Power

$194

$141

$143

$107

$127

$160

$159.67

$1,744

Prior-Year Values rounded to the nearest dollar.
*April and October credit amounts differed.
 

Residential Natural Gas California Climate Credit

 

 

2018

2019

2020

Total Value Received

Per Household 2018-2019

PG&E

$30

$25

$27.18

$82

SDG&E

*

$34

$21.11

$55

Southwest Gas

$22

$25

$26.54

$73

SoCalGas

*

$50

$26.15

$76

Prior-Year rounded to the nearest dollar.
*These utilities issued the 2018 credit with the 2019 credit in April 2019.
The 2018 PG&E and SoCalGas credits also include any 2015-2017 allowance proceeds that exceeded compliance costs over the same period.  Since Southwest Gas and SDG&E did not have net proceeds exceed net compliance costs for this period, these utilities had no net proceeds to roll forward into 2018.  PG&E's 2018 credit reflected proceeds accrued over the 2015-2018 period.  As SoCalGas postpoined the return of the 2018 credit until 2019, SoCalGas's 2019 credit was composed of proceeds accrued over the 2015-2019 period

How is the California Climate Credit Funded?

These California Climate Credits are part of California's efforts to fight climate change. The credits come from a State program that requires power plants, natural gas distributers, and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases to buy carbon pollution permits. The credit represents residential utility ratepayers' share of the payments from the State's program. The credit program was created by the CPUC, which also oversees the program's implementation. The money is from the State, not from the utility, even though the utilities deliver the credit on the State's behalf. See our page on the Cap-and-Trade Program for more information.

Who receives the California Climate Credit?

Residents receive a separate California Climate Credit for both their electric and their natural gas purchases. Currently, all residential electricity customers of PG&E, SDG&E, SCE, Pacific Power (PacifiCorp), and Liberty Utilities (CalPeco Electric) receive the electric credit, as do all Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) customers. In addition, natural gas residential customers of PG&E, SoCalGas, Southwest Gas, and SDG&E receive a California Climate Credit for their natural gas purchases. Customers who receive service from both an eligible electric and an eligible natural gas service provider will receive both credits. Residential customers don't need to do anything to receive the credit - it is automatically applied to your bills. The credit amounts vary among utilities and from year to year but are not related to the amount of energy you use.

When I can expect to receive the California Climate Credit?

For most customers, the electric credit is applied twice a year in April and October, while the natural gas credit is applied once a year in April. In 2020 and 2021, SDG&E electric customers (and CCA customers within SDG&E territory) will receive their electric California Climate Credits in August and September. SDG&E natural gas customers will continue receiving the natural gas California Climate Credit in April.

If you're not sure whether you're receiving the California Climate Credit, the first thing to do is contact your utility, the same as you would do with any billing questions. That's because although the CPUC oversees the credit program and can help with any remaining questions you have, your utility is best positioned to access your individual records and answer questions about individual accounts. Submetered customers are eligible and should receive equal treatment as direct-metered utility customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the California Climate Credit? 

The California Climate Credit is a bill credit that is part of California's efforts to fight climate change.  The credit is from a state government program that requires power plants, natural gas providers and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases to buy carbon pollution permits from auctions managed by the Air Resources Board.  The credit on your electricity and natural gas bills is your share of the payments from the State's program.

Why am I receiving a California Climate Credit?  Do I need to "sign up" for the credit?

You are receiving the credit because you are a customer of a utility or CCA regulated by the CPUC, and the credit is a program the CPUC created. You don't need to do anything to receive the credit, it will automatically appear on your bill.

Households are receiving the California Climate Credit to protect them from cost increases and to provide additional opportunities to take advantage of energy and money-saving upgrades that also help fight climate change.

When will I receive the California Climate Credit?

The electric California Climate Credit is applied twice per year - for most customers, it will be on April and October bills. For customers of SDG&E, in 2020 and 2021 your electric credits will be distributed in August and September. For all natural gas customers, the natural gas credit is applied once a year, in April.

Billing periods vary by utility and may not always coincide with a calendar month. If you don't see a credit when you expect it, it should appear on the following month's bill. If it doesn't contact your utility.

What will I see on my bill? 

Customers will see the following:

  • A line item “CA Climate Credit” or “California Climate Credit” on their bills with the amount of the credit.
  • A bill message briefly explaining the credit.

What if I don't receive my credit?  What should I do? 

All eligible active electric customers should receive the credit in the spring and fall. If you’re an SDG&E customer, your electric credits will arrive in summer (August and September). For everyone else, if you don't see the credit on your bill in October or November (for the fall credit), or in April or May (for the spring credit and the natural gas credit) the first thing to do is contact your utility.

While you can always contact the CPUC if you have concerns or questions, we suggest you try your utility first. That is because your utility can directly access your individual records, tell you whether you're receiving the credit, and correct any errors directly.

Submetered customers should receive the California Climate Credit.

 

Residential Customer Billing Number

Liberty Utilities

1-800-782-2506

Pacific Power

1-888-221-7070

PG&E

English or Español: 1-877-660-6789
中文: 1-800-893-9555
Tiếng Việt: 1-800-298-8438

SCE

1-800-655-4555

SDG&E

1-800-411-7343

Southern California Gas Company

English: 1-877-238-0092

    Español:  1-800-342-4545

    國語: 1-800-427-1429

    粵語: 1-800-427-1420

    한국어: 1-800-427-0471

    Tiếng Việt: 1-800-427-0478

    For other languages: 1-888-427-1345

Southwest Gas

877-860-6020


Eligibility Questions

Who is eligible for the California Climate Credit?

 If you're not sure whether you're receiving the Climate Credit, the first thing to do is contact your utility or CCA, the same as you would do with any billing questions.  That's because although the CPUC oversees the credit and can help with any remaining questions you have, your utility or CCA is best positioned to access your individual records and answer questions about individual accounts.

Residential customers can receive credits for both their electric and natural gas purchases. All submetered customers are eligible for both credits.

Will Net Energy Metering or NEM customers receive an California Climate Credit?  What about customers with solar panels or an electric vehicle?

Yes, NEM customers receive the credit. So do customers who have solar and/or an electric vehicle. The California Climate Credit goes to all residential electricity and natural gas customers. Having solar does not affect your credit either way.

I live in a mobile home park, am I eligible to receive the California Climate credit?

Yes. Residential customers who live in mobile homes, or any "master metered" arrangement where a landlord and not the individual residence receives the utility bill directly, are eligible. The master metered customer that receives the utility bill is required to pass on the electric and natural gas California Climate Credits to their tenants. The utilities provide information to master meter customers to make sure they know how much California Climate Credit to return.

I am on the CARE/ESA or medical baseline rate; will I get the credit?

Yes. All residential electricity and natural gas customers of participating utilities (PG&E, SDG&E, SCE, Liberty (CalPeco Electric) and Pacific Power (PacifiCorp) for electric and PG&E, SDG&E, SoCalGas and Southwest Gas for natural gas) and all CCA customers get the California Climate Credit.

I have a second home/multiple residential accounts.  Will all of them receive the credit? 

Yes.  All eligible accounts get the credit.

I am public utility customer.  Why don't I get the credit?

Customers of public utilities (like Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP)) don't get the California Climate Credit because the CPUC does not regulate public utilities. The California Climate Credit is a CPUC-established program, and it only applies to the investor-owned utilities we regulate.

California Climate Credit Amount Questions

Does the credit amount vary by utility? Why?

 

The credit amounts do vary between each utility. Each utility provides a different amount, but all customers of that utility will receive the same amount. In other words, PG&E customers receive a different amount than SDG&E customers do - but every PG&E residential customer gets the same amount and each CCA customer within PG&E’s territory gets the same amount as customers that are full (i.e. bundled) PG&E customers. 

Many different factors determine the amount of money available each year for both the electric and natural gas California Climate Credits, including the amount and price of GHG allowances sold, the amount of money reserved for clean energy, energy efficiency, and building decarbonization pilot projects, and the number of customers that are splitting the money that year.

How is the credit amount calculated?

The investor-owned utilities receive Cap-and-Trade Program proceeds from greenhouse gas allowance auctions. Under rules adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates California electric investor-owned utility companies, each electric utility funds clean energy and energy efficiency programs, provides assistance to industry and small business customers, subtracts administrative and outreach costs, and then divides all remaining available funds equally among its residential households.

Natural gas investor-owned utilities fund building decarbonization pilot projects, pay for administrative and outreach costs, and split the remainder of available funds equally among residential customers.

To see current credit amounts, visit the CPUC's website.   

Will the size of my California Climate Credit change over time?

Yes. The size of the California Climate Credit depends on factors that change from year to year, but the credit will always be calculated according to rules established by the CPUC. Find the current California Climate Credit amounts here.

I'm a SoCalGas customer.  Why is my 2020 natural gas California Climate Credit so much smaller than last year? 

SoCalGas’s 2019 credit reflected many years of proceeds, specifically net proceeds above net compliance costs from 2015, 2016, and 2017 as well as proceeds from 2018 ($19.55 for 2015-2018) and 2019 ($24.01). By contrast, SoCalGas’s 2020 credit reflected only allowance proceeds from a single year, 2020. Going forward, the natural gas California Climate Credit will only reflect allowance proceeds from a single year, and year-to-year values should be more comparable.

Is the credit amount connected to my electricity or natural gas use? 

No, all residential customers of the same investor-owned utility will receive an equal amount regardless of the amount of electricity or natural gas they use.  Whether you receive a credit, or how much you receive, is not connected to the amount of energy you use.  You are getting this credit as your share of paynebt from a State program.

What if there is a credit remaining on my account balance after the California Climate Credit is applied to my bill? 

Any carryover balance will be applied to your next month's bill.  If there is a balance, you may ask your utility for a refund check instead of having the balance applied to your next month's bill.

If the credit is from the State, and not the utility, why is it on my utility bill?

We agree, this can be confusing!  The credit is delivered this way because putting the credit on your bill is the easiest and most cost-effective way to return it to customers.  This approach maximizes the amount of savings each household receives.

For how many years will I receive a California Climate Credit?

The California Climate Credit is expected to continue until 2030 for both electric and natural gas investor-owned customers.

Where does the money from the California Climate Credit come from?

Funds for the California Climate Credit come from a State program called “Cap-and-Trade” that fights climate change by charging large polluters for the amount of greenhouse gases they release into the atmosphere. Each year the State auctions a limited number of emission permits so that California can meet its goal of reducing its overall emissions down to 1990 levels by the year 2020 and to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 (California has already reduced emissions to below 1990 levels). Some of the auction proceeds are used by the State to fight climate change through infrastructure improvements, research and development, and other investments, and some are returned to Californians as the California Climate Credit. This program is one of many developed as a result of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), which put California at the forefront of efforts to battle climate change.

Cap-and-Trade Program Questions

What is the Cap-and-Trade Program?

Cap-and-Trade is the State's program to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions.  Check out our page dedicated to the Greenhouse Gas Cap-and-Trade Program.

What are AB 32, SB 32, and AB 398?

The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or Assembly Bill (AB) 32, is California's law to reduce carbon pollution and fight climate change.  AB 32 mandates that California reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Senate Bill 32 was passed in 2026, and it esablished a statewide 2030 greenhouse gas emissions target that is 40 percent below the 1990 emissions level.

The California Legislature passed AB 398 in 2017, which clarified the role of California's Cap-and-Trade Program in achieving California's 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

Will my utility rates increase as a result of Cap-and-Trade?

California has a variety of programs to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, one of which is the the Cap-and-Trade Program.  Electricity providers face GHG costs when they produce electricity from fuels that put GHGs into the atmosphere.  Natural gas utilities face GHG costs associated with their deliveries of natural gas to customers.  These costs are reflected in customers bills, either in generation rates for electric customers or in transportation rates for natural gas customers.  The California Climate Credit will help to offset bill increases for customers and give people additional opportunities to invest in energy and money-saving upgrades.

Which government agency is in charge of enforcing greenhouse gas reductions laws?

The lead agency for the Cap-and-Trade Program is the California Air Resources Board (CARB).  This is also the agency that sets State standards to clean the air and promote clean vehicles and clean fuels.

Where can I find more information about California's efforts to fight climate change?

Here are a few useful links:

 

 

Quick Reference Guide to CPUC's Cap-and-Trade Program Websites

Go here

To find out about…

Greenhouse Gas Cap-and-Trade Program

Basics and summary statistics

 

Climate Credit amounts and FAQ

 

Info for small business owners and FAQ

 

Eligibility requirements and FAQ

 

Which industries qualify as EITE

 

Related CPUC documents

 

 


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