Who Receives the Small Business Climate Credit

In addition to residential customers, eligible small businesses also receive a California Climate Credit. A small business is defined by the CPUC as any non-residential customer on a general service or agricultural rate, whose usage doesn't exceed 20 kilowatts in more than three months out of the previous 12-month period. In other words, CPUC interprets small business as "non-residential customers with usage that is usually relatively low." If you meet these criteria, you'll automatically receive the Small Business Climate Credit. Electricity customers of PG&E, SDG&E, SCE, Pacific Power (PacifiCorp), and Liberty Utilities (CalPeco Electric) can receive the small business credit if they meet these qualifying criteria. Small businesses do not receive any credit for their natural gas purchases.


How much is the Small Business Climate Credit?

Unlike the residential electric California Climate Credit, the amount a small business receives is based on usage and other factors. The credit is tied to the level of carbon pollution costs in electricity rates, and the actual credit received each month depends on small business customers' electricity rates as well as how much electricity they use. Each month, eligible small businesses will see a line on their bill with the credit amount they have received.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which small businesses are eligible for the Climate Credit?

All California small business customers of an investor-owned utility company. This includes customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, Pacific Power (PacifiCorp), Liberty Utilities (CalPeco Electric), and all Community Choice Aggregators and energy service providers within those utility territories. Small business customers are non-residential commercial, industrial, or agricultural customers that use less than 20 kilowatts (kW) of power in at least nine of the previous twelve months. Nonprofit organizations and schools also qualify.

Is there a Small Businesses Natural Gas Climate Credit?

No, only for electric.

Is the credit amount related to my energy use?

For small businesses, yes - the credit amount is related to your energy use. The credit is tied to the amount of carbon pollution costs in small business electricity rates, and the actual credit received each month depends on small business customers' electricity rates and how much electricity they use.

I'm a PG&E electric customer that meets the definition of a small business. Why haven't I received the credit?

The Small Business Climate Credit is based on crediting small businesses for a portion of the greenhouse gas Cap-and-Trade Program costs included in a customer's electricity bill. In recent years, PG&E's filings to CPUC have indicated that small business customers have not been exposed to Cap-and-Trade program costs in their electricity generation rates. As a result, there is no need to credit small businesses for increased electric costs due to the greenhouse gas Cap-and-Trade Program.

When will I receive the credit?

The Small Business Climate Credit appears as a line item on each monthly electric bill.

How is the credit amount calculated?

The CPUC adopted formulas to calculate the Small Business Climate Credit. Formulas are included in D.13-12-002. The amount of the monthly credit depends on your electricity usage that month. 

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