Statewide, electricity rates are changing to better match the availability of lower-cost renewable energy on the grid.
What is Time-Of-Use?
Time-of-Use rates are being implemented statewide as required by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to support California’s shift toward clean energy. SVCE and PG&E customers not already on a Time-of-Use rate will be automatically transitioned to Time-of-Use in June 2021.
Under Time-of-Use pricing, your energy rate will vary based on when you use electricity. Using electricity before 4 p.m. or after 9 p.m., when power on the grid is the cleanest and cheapest, can help reduce your energy bill and cut fossil fuel emissions across the state.
With Time-of-Use pricing, you have the power to control your electricity bill by shifting your energy usage to avoid excess energy use during “peak” hours between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., when energy will cost more.
If the new Time-of-Use plan is not right for you, there are choices. View your rate options to see which is best. Customers can try the Time-of-Use rate risk-free by receiving Bill Protection for the first 12 months of on the new rate. This means that if you pay more on the new Time-of-Use rate compared to your old, tiered rate, you will be credited the difference. More information on Bill Protection can be found here .
How Does Time-of-Use Work?
Rather than being charged only by how much energy you use, Time-of-Use considers the time of day when energy is used. Renewable energy on the grid is higher during the day with lots of solar production, and at night with clean wind energy and hydropower. However, in the evening between the 4-9 p.m. “peak”, the sun sets and fossil fuel power plants switch on. This makes up for the loss of solar, and to meet the demand of people ending the workday and turning on appliances.
To maximize renewable energy usage, the state is transitioning to Time-of-Use rates which makes energy cheaper during “off-peak” times, before 4 p.m. and after 9 p.m. By changing your energy intensive household activities to off-peak hours, you can save on your utility bill.
How Do I Save Money on Time-of-Use?
Use less power between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. By doing this you are avoiding “peak” electricity hours when pricing is the highest.
Things to do during “off-peak” hours
- Run your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer
- If you have air conditioning, run it in the afternoon before 4 p.m., to pre-cool your home
- If you have an EV, charge it during off-peak hours
Things to do during “peak” hours
- Kick your air conditioning up to 78 degrees, health permitting
- Load your laundry or dishwasher so it is ready to run after peak hours
- Turn off unused devices like computers or televisions
Switching to energy-efficient appliances will also help reduce your home’s electricity use. Ensuring your home is utilizing LED lightbulbs and smart power strips can help reduce un-avoidable electricity use during on- and off-peak times. Smart electric appliances can now be set to run during specific times of the day, browse electric appliances with the Appliances Assistant.