Level Pay Plan Can Help Customers Budget For Higher Summer Bills
Billing option allows for monthly payments to be spread equally throughout the year

SAN DIEGO, July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Every summer San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) customers Sam and Sabrina Butler know their electricity bill is going to go up – a lot. The Poway residents are grateful to have air conditioning but they were always bracing for the higher summer bills that came with running the system. That was, until they discovered the level payment plan billing option which allows for monthly payments to be spread equally throughout the year.

"The level payment plan helped us to stop worrying about having to save extra money to pay that summer bill," said Sabrina. "As budget-conscious parents raising two kids, it has given us peace of mind and a more predictable monthly bill so that we can use our air conditioning without having to be surprised when the bill comes."

The level payment plan option is available to all SDG&E customers. Upon signing up, SDG&E will project a customer's monthly energy bill based on the average dollar amount of the last 12 bills. Even if energy usage goes up or down, level pay plan customers will pay the same amount each month for the first three months. Adjustments are then made to the monthly payment amount every three months based on actual energy use, but the total energy cost for 12 months is the same whether or not a customer opts-in to the level pay option.

"Over 30,000 customers take advantage of the level pay plan option," said Caroline Winn, Vice President of Customer Services for SDG&E.  "This is one example of SDG&E's commitment to provide energy options for our customers and support them when they need help paying their bill or simply to make their lives easier."

Customers can enroll online at www.SDGE.com/LPP for the level payment plan or by calling SDG&E at 1-800-411-SDGE (7343). Additional bill assistance programs are also available at www.sdge.com.

Customers who do see a spike in their bills during the summer as a result of their cooling system can also look at new technology to help them reduce their energy use, further reducing costs. For example, new smart thermostats paired with home area network devices can be controlled from a smart phone so customers can turn on their air conditioning before they arrive home. By doing this, the house cools down at a slower pace and the system doesn't have to work as hard – and uses less electricity.

Additionally, customers can learn more about how their home uses energy and view usage by month by logging onto My Account to view their own energy data and set up a personalized energy savings plan for their homes and businesses.

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and 860,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.  Connect with SDG&E's Customer Contact Center at 800-411-7343, on Twitter (@SDGE) and Facebook.

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SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

For further information: Gina Jacobs, San Diego Gas & Electric, (877) 866-2066, www.sdge.com, Twitter: @sdge