Millions of Californians to Get Climate Credit in April Utility Bills

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The money comes from the state’s Cap-and-Trade program, which encourages companies to meet greenhouse gas emissions goals.

Along with April utility bills, residential customers will receive a $78.22 credit as part of a state program, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced March 25.

Customers using natural gas will receive an additional $58.98 credit, bringing the total credit amount to $137.20.

The credit, typically distributed in April and October, stems from the California Climate Credit program and is overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission to support the state’s efforts in mitigating climate change, the agency noted.

“We appreciate working collaboratively with the California Public Utilities Commission to distribute the Climate Credit and offer some financial relief to our customers,” said Dana Golan, SDG&E vice president of customer services. “Anyone struggling to pay their bill is encouraged to reach out to us. We’re here to help connect them with financial assistance programs.”

SDG&E also said the second round of bill credits, expected in October, will bring the total credit for 2024 to over $200.

Customers don’t need to apply for the credits, as they are automatically applied to their upcoming billing cycles, SDG&E said.

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The program also benefits millions of other Californians. However, the amount of credits varies depending on the utility.

Southern California Edison announced last week that over 5 million of its customers will receive an $86 credit on both their April and October bills. In the northern part of the state, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) announced this month that over 5 million customers will receive a $55.17 electricity credit and an $85.46 gas credit, where applicable.

“This credit highlights our partnership with the state to champion environmental responsibility,” PG&E’s Senior Vice President Vincent Davis said in a statement. “It encourages sustainable practices, moving our communities toward a brighter, greener future.”

The credit program is funded by the state’s Cap-and-Trade program, implemented over a decade ago to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The initiative sets limits on the amount of carbon companies can produce, and those exceeding these limits must either purchase extra allowances or buy permits from other companies, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Companies that meet their emissions goals can sell their extra allowances at auction and distribute the proceeds to customers.

The program is central to meeting California’s ambitious climate goals, planned to be achieved in three phases: reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 (achieved in 2016), reaching 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and achieving 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, according to CARB.

On top of that, the state also aims to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045 and economy-wide carbon neutrality by the same year.

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