OP/ED: A BWP customer asks: Is the ECAC (Energy Cost Adjustment Charge) doubling my electric bill? A BWP expert explains

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The Energy Cost Adjustment Charge (ECAC) charge has recently appeared as a line item on BWP customer bills, leaving many customers wondering if it is driving up their electric bills. There are reasons electric bills have recently increased, but the ECAC is only part of the story.

The ECAC is not a new additional charge to customers. It has always been part of the bill. In the past, it was embedded within the electric tier 1 and 2 rates. Starting July 1, 2023, BWP chose to show the ECAC as its own charge to provide transparency to our customers. To help customers understand the ECAC, we created the short video below:

If the ECAC hasn’t changed, why is my bill so high this month?

There are several reasons your bill may be high. On July 1, 2023, BWP increased the system average electric rate by 8.5%. For each customer, this percentage may be slightly different based on your rate and usage. To better understand why your bill is higher, the first thing to look at is the left side of the bill — meter usage — and notice if significantly more energy was used in the past billing cycle. In the example below, there is a significant increase in August — even more usage than the prior year.

This BWP electric bill is for a 2,000 square foot home with consumption of 1,460 kWh for the billing period between July 3, 2023 and August 4, 2023.

This increase is likely due to air conditioner use. August and September are the hottest months of the year in Burbank, and with several days of temperatures above 95°, an AC is often used. A central air conditioning unit can use up to one thousand kilowatt hours (kWh) in a typical Burbank home, and this will have a significant impact on your utility bill.

If you want to see how the rate increase has affected you, BWP recently launched an online bill calculator. For the bill example above, the $36.88 difference is due to the July 1, 2023 rate increase, which is 12.61%. If this customer continues this usage, they should expect to pay $39.62 more next year when the next rate increase goes into effect.

However, if this customer and you want lower bills, there are three ways BWP can help:

For more information, please visit our website or call Customer Service at (818) 238-3700 during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, between 8 AM and 5 PM).