Understanding Your Residential Bill

image of a residential bill


A: Service Dates 

example of service dates

The first date is the date the bill was issued and mailed (Bill Issue Date) and the second range of dates is the period your bill covers (Service Dates). Please note that some customers are billed in two-month increments, therefore some bills may cover two calendar months. You’ll also find the Account Number, Customer Name, and Service Address in this area.


B: Account Summary: Services

Here, you’ll see what kind of statement type you have: Regular (shown here), Closing or Opening Statement. This section also displays the subtotal of all services used. Each service is broken down into its constituent line items on the right-hand-side of the bill (F-H).


C: Credits, Services and Taxes

These items detail additional charges and credits for each utility type such as: Green Power Premium, starting a new account, restoring service after shutoff, returned check handling, net metering credits for solar customers, etc. Eligible customers who are enrolled in PWP’s bill payment assistance programs will also see credits or refunds here.

They also include the following taxes:

The Public Benefit Charge (PBC), which is a state-mandated fee to fund assistance programs, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. More information is available here.

The State Environmental Surcharge, is collected by the State of California and provides revenue for site remediation, technology programs, administration, and implementation of cleanup programs. More information is available here.

The S.L.A.T.S. Tax is collected by the City of Pasadena for the use and maintenance of Streetlights and Traffic Signals (SLATS).

The Underground Surtax is collected by the City of Pasadena to place overhead power lines underground.

The Utility Users Tax is collected by the City of Pasadena to fund emergency services, public safety, recreation, libraries and other programs.


D: Total Charges and Amount Due

This is your total charge and due date. Past Due Balance, Late Fees and payments made to the account are also shown here.


E: Usage History

These charts show the amount of electricity (in kilowatt hours, or KWH) and water (in hundred cubic feet, or HCF) you used this year compared to the same time last year, as well as your average per day.


F: Electric Service Detail

This is your electric service bill in detail, including your current rate, meter number, previous and current meter readings and how much electricity you used this period, in kilowatt hours (KWH). A KWH is one 100-Watt light bulb burning for 10 hours.

Your electricity rate is made up of four line items:

  1. The Customer Charge is a flat fee on every bill that covers billing metering, customer service and PWP’s call center. It doesn’t change no matter how much energy you use.
  2. The Distribution Charge is the cost of delivering electricity from our substation to you. It includes operation and maintenance, capital investment and debt service. Residential distribution rates are tiered depending on how much energy you use. The more energy you use per month, the higher the rate for subsequent tiers.
  3. The Transmission Charge is the cost of delivering electricity from the generating plant to our sub-station.
  4. The Energy Charge is the main electricity rate.

If applicable, other charges such as Connect and Disconnect for Non-Payment Fees will be displayed here.


G: Water Service Detail

This is your electric service bill in detail, including your current rate, meter number, previous

and current meter readings and how much water you used in hundred cubic feet

(HCF). Each HCF equals 748 gallons.

Your water rate is made up of three line items:

  1. The Distribution and Customer Charge is a flat fee on every bill that covers water distribution, billing metering, customer service and PWP’s call center. It is based on the size of your water meter and doesn’t change no matter how much water you use.
  2. The Block Water Rate is the main water rate. It is a tiered rate that increases in four blocks. PWP uses a “block” or tiered rate structure to encourage conservation; the less you use, the lower your rate. It is slightly higher for those outside of the Pasadena City limits.  
  3. The Capital Improvement Charge (CIC) is one rate for all tiers and covers ongoing improvements to the Pasadena water system. It’s calculated based on consumption; the less you use, the lower your charge. It is slightly higher for those outside of the Pasadena City limits.

If applicable, other charges such as Connect and Disconnect for Non-Payment Fees will be displayed here.


H: Sewer and Refuse Rate

This is your sewer and refuse charge for this billing period. The sewer charge is based on your water usage. Refuse covers trash, recycling and yard waste collection and disposal through the City of Pasadena’s Public Works Department.