Utility Watchdog in San Diego

Does your SDG&E bill date fall on an inconvenient time? A few days before pay day when it would be so much easier if it was a few days after pay day? Here's a quick tip: you can actually change your SDG&E billing date without incurring any late fees.

Under SDG&E Electric Rule 9 (electric rules are the rules that govern SDG&E activities related to brining your electricity, everything from billing to having your dog in a fence), you can choose a specific day of the month for SDG&E to bill you. And no, you can't pick "no day," as great as that would be. Here's the text of Electric Rule 9(A)(4):  

Optional Billing Schedule.  The Utility, at its discretion, may provide customers with the option to choose a specific day of the month on which their bill is due, regardless of the meter reading date.  A customer choosing this option will be billed a one time fee of $15.00 plus an annual fee of $15.00 plus 1% of the total annual bill for the previous 12-month period.  This service is subject to resource availability.

The good news is that you can use this section to pick a billing day that fits your cash flow needs. For example, if you are a business who gets paid at the end of the month but your SDG&E bill is due at the beginning of the month, you could use this section to help alleviate some of the financial pinch. As a residential customer, you could also use this section to shift your billing date to a time when other bills aren't due.

The bad news is that, like everything, there is a cost for this. A $15 up front fee, plus an annual fee made up of $15 plus 1% of your total annual bill. For a residential customer who uses $100 a month, the annual fee will come out to about $27 a year. While this isn't a large sum of money, it also isn't an insignificant sum either. We can understand a fee to have your billing date changed, but with the new smart meters and wireless reads, picking your own billing date sounds like a customer service feature that should be included for free.