Why Have Energy Costs Risen?

Why Have Energy Costs Risen?

U.S. consumers paid an average of 14.3% more for electricity in 2022. This FAQ blog covers:
● Information about the 2022 price increase
● Ways to lower your electricity bills
● Payment support for those in need

Have you noticed an uptick in your electricity bill? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumers in urban areas of the U.S. paid an average of 14.3% more for electricity in 2022. When prices rise they disproportionately affect those who can least afford to absorb those increased costs.

MCE is committed to advancing energy equity in our communities and supporting customers who need it most. Read on for more information about electricity price adjustments and resources to lower your bill.

Why did electricity costs increase?

The 2022 increase in residential electricity prices across the country reflects the increased costs of wholesale power driven by inflation, COVID-19 disruptions, severe weather events, and increased natural gas prices. In California specifically, wholesale energy prices have been impacted by power supply shortages due to extreme weather, like the prolonged heat event that impacted much of the West Coast in September 2022.

How do increased costs affect MCE customers?

MCE absorbed inflationary costs in 2022, saving residents and businesses an estimated $90 million compared to PG&E costs, to provide bill relief  during a financially difficult year, as many of those living in our service area struggled to recover from pandemic-related economic impacts.

As of January 1, 2023, MCE adjusted rates to help bring the cost of service back in line with the cost of power. The rate adjustment was an estimated $0.04 per kilowatt-hour increase on average, or $7 a month for the average household. MCE continues to offer a competitive, renewable alternative with options that offer savings over PG&E. For updated rate information, visit our residential and commercial rates pages.

How can I lower my electric bill?

  • Reduce energy use from 4−9 p.m. Electricity rates are the most expensive during peak hours from 4−9 p.m. Consider shifting your energy usage to off-peak hours to take maximum advantage of the lower rates. Running major appliances in the morning or just before you go to sleep and charging your EV overnight can make a big difference in your energy bill.
  • Improve energy efficiency. Look for long-term solutions to reduce your energy consumption, such as upgrading to LED light bulbs and upgrading appliances to energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® Install more insulation and seal your doors, windows, and air ducts to control your home temperature.
  • Learn about your energy use. Your PG&E account portal makes it easy to see the breakdown of your household energy use and helps you identify areas where you can conserve. Log in to your PG&E account and then, in the Usage, Rates & Savings section, click Home Energy Checkup. Your energy usage chart shows you when and where you’re using energy. You’ll also find your top energy costs and tips on saving.

Does MCE offer discounts or assistance?

MCE is committed to providing savings and bill relief for those in need. Several programs are available to reduce your monthly energy bill, catch up on late payments, and lower your energy usage with free energy efficiency offerings. To learn more about program offerings and eligibility, visit MCE’s bill savings page.

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