Today we are going to talk about the charges for Southern California Edison. We will look at it line by line so you walk away with a better understanding of what the charges are and how they are calculated. Our breakdown will be the example. We will divide the charges into 6 sections: Dates, Meter Reads, Daily Charge, Delivery, Generation, and Fees. Here are the links to the latest Edison Standard and CARE rates. Let's look at them one by one.
This is where your meter reads and dates for the period are found. They should be read between 26 and 35 days each cycle. Anything outside of that is considered unpredictable and hard for you to budget for. Another fun fact about meter reads is that they should not vary more than three days in either direction from cycle to cycle. For example, the read cycle for last month was 31 days and the read cycle for this month is 35 days. Best practices say this month should stop between 28 and 34 days. Your bill will still have the correct amount of baseline calculated, but it is harder for you to anticipate the cost when you have no idea how many days you'll be billed for from month to month.
The meter reads show the usage in kWh for the billing period. Meter reads are photographed each month so they can be referred back to as needed to resolve resident questions. We have recommended this to many of our clients that read their own meters and they have found it invaluable in handling resident disputes on usage or lock outs. Most of the time, meters are read via pen and paper, photograph, or handheld device. The error rate is a little lower when transcribing pictures over pen and paper or handheld device because the person is doing it inside a comfortable office with minimal distractions. The pictures come in handy during utility checks, or when everyone’s usage and billing is reviewed. If someone has 1,000+ kWh on the meter in December we can go back and verify the read internally before posting.
Next up is the daily charge. This is also called the Basic Charge, Readiness to Serve charge or Minimum charge. Edison calls it the Basic Charge. It is calculated based on the number of days in the billing cycle. The standard daily rate is $0.031 for a single family home and $0.024 for a multifamily property. Daily charges are discounted on CARE. Single homes are charged $0.024 and multifamily homes are charged $0.018 on CARE rates. There is also a rate for Medical Baseline homes, which is $0.169. This rate is calculated by the day so you would take whichever one is applicable to you and multiply it by the days in the meter read cycle. For example, a multifamily home on standard rates would be charged $0.024 per day * 30 days = $0.72 for the minimum charge for the month.
The delivery charges are the first of the tiered charges and bring in your baseline zone allocation. We talk more about baselines here. Delivery charges are the cost to bring electricity to your home. Your daily baseline allocation is listed with the meter reads and dates. It is calculated by multiplying your allocation by the number of days. For example, your daily allocation is 9 and there are 30 days in the month. Your monthly baseline amount is 273. That means that you have 273 kWh available at the baseline rate (usage at the lowest price). From there, we multiply your baseline allocation by 4 to get the top of the second tier. 273 * 4 = 1092 kWh.
So, your delivery tiers are: baseline tier from 0 to 273, non-baseline tier from 274 to 1092 and, your high usage tier is any usage above 1092. The current rate on the baseline is $0.08875 for standard and $0.03195 for CARE. The maximum charge for the baseline in this case is $24.23 on standard rates and $8.72 on CARE rates. The second tier rates are $0.16034 for standard and $0.07969 for CARE. The maximum charge for the second tier is $131.32 on standard rates and $65.27 on CARE rates. There is no limit on the top tier and the rates are much higher. $0.26072 per kWh for standard and $0.14719 per kWh for CARE.
Generation charges are the cost of generating power via nuclear, wind, solar, and any other methods currently employed to create electricity for residential consumption. They are the same for all tiers and standard or CARE rates. Generation is billed at $0.08589 per kWh.
The final section of your electric breakdown is the fees section. These include the DWR Bond Charge, the DWR Credit, and the State Tax. All three of these charges are billed by kWh used. As a sub-metered utility billing company creating bills for California, we are required to break out the DWR Bond Charge as a separate line item. The DWR Bond charge is only charged to standard rate customers and can be found on the 3rd page the rate sheet under the DWRBC column. I did not deduct that from the above example so it would be easy for you to match the numbers. On a real statement, however, the standard delivery tiers would all be $0.00549 less than what is listed on the rate sheet. The DWR Credit or DWREC is currently at $0.00000 so no credits are applied. That figure can be found under the generation charges. The final figure, the State Tax is billed at $0.00029 per kWh on standard rates only.
Here is the tricky part. When the rates change, we do not have the space to create two separate electric breakdowns to accommodate the different charges. Instead we do what’s called rate blending, which is calculating the rates based on the days each is applicable in the read cycle. If you are trying to match up the rates and it isn’t quite working, you may need to wait until the new schedule takes over completely before your numbers match perfectly again.
Here is a sample of what our Edison breakdowns look like. Standard and CARE.
The last item you see on your electric bill is the CA Climate credit. This credit appears on master meter bills in April and October. We wait until it hits the master meter bill before passing it on to residents so you will see it a little later depending on when the bill gets forwarded to us. This item though, will show as a line item in the center section of the bill below the rent and other charges. Our system doesn’t carry over credits on just electric so the whole credit is applied at once.
So we talked about daily charges, how tiers are calculated and what rates are used, the differences between standard and CARE rates, fees, rate blending and the CA Climate credit. I hope this helped you gain a better understanding of your electric bill and the various charges on it.