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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Will your electric bill go up while working from home?

Many people are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Will your electric bill change, too?

SAN DIEGO — Working from home is becoming the new normal for many San Diegans, and that means the electricity used to run computers and gadgets are increasing bills.

SDG&E has indicated in the past that electricity usage can be less expensive at certain times of the day, but with kids at home all day using electronic devices for schoolwork and parents working on projects, conserving electricity is easier said than done. 

“We don't want anybody to feel like they can't afford to pay their bill at this time,” said Wes Jones, a communications manager at SDG&E.

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The utility has agreed to suspend service disconnections for nonpayment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, but it will not lower rates even though San Diegans are being asked to stay home. 

“Electric rates in California are regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission,” he said. “We don't have the authority to change rates.”

Wes added that work done prior to 4 p.m. is at a lower rate than during the peak 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. hours. 

It should also be noted that  winter rates are much cheaper than summer prices, so San Diegans shouldn't see drastically higher bills. Wes indicated that SDG&E is willing to work with customers to find the best deal for their situation. 

“Give us a call," said Wes. "We'll walk you through options and make sure you're on the right plan.”

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SDG&E stated it has received reports of scammers trying to take advantage of customers during this health crisis. 

If you get a call from SDG&E about your account, hang up immediately.

“If you get a phone call for a person claiming to be from SDG&E saying they're going to turn off your power if you don't pay, that is a scam. That is not SDG&E. It's really important that folks be vigilant and look out for that because these types of scams are out there," said Wes.