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 (TOU) rates are being implemented statewide by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to support California’s shift toward clean energy. SVCE and PG&E customers not already on a TOU rate will be automatically transitioned to TOU in June 2021. (PG&E employees and retirees will be transitioned Fall 2020.)

Under TOU pricing, your energy rate will vary based on when you use electricity. Shifting energy use to before 4 p.m. or after 9 p.m., when the electric grid is the cleanest and cheapest, can help reduce your energy bill and promote a healthier community.

With TOU 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.

If the new TOU plan you are offered is not right for you, there are choices. View your rate options to see which is best.

How Does TOU Work?

Rather than being charged only by how much energy you use, TOU 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 make up for the loss of solar, and to meet the demand of people coming home from their workday and turning on appliances. To maximize renewable energy usage, the state is transitioning to TOU rates which makes energy cheaper during “off-peak” times, 9 p.m. – 4 p.m. By changing your energy intensive household activities to off-peak hours, you can save on your utility bill.

clock on a wall with plants and pictures
graph illustrating the time of use peaks and rates

How Do I Save Money on TOU?

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.

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 . Smart electric appliances can now be set to run during specific times of the day, browse electric appliances with the Appliances Assistant.