What Is the Time-Of-Use Rate Plan?

What Is the Time-Of-Use Rate Plan?

Starting this March, most residential electricity customers will be automatically transitioned to a Time-of-Use (TOU) rate plan. TOU pricing is an electric rate schedule that adjusts the price of your electricity based on both how much energy you use and when you use it. The TOU transition is part of a statewide initiative to create a cleaner and more reliable electricity grid. Learn more about why the transition is important, what it means for you, and how you can take advantage of off-peak rates to save on your bill.

What is the TOU rate plan?

Compared to flat rates, TOU pricing more accurately reflects the cost of electricity at the time you consume it. It means that electricity costs depend on the time of day. During evening hours, when electric demand goes up as we turn on our lights and cook dinner, higher (peak) prices for energy are charged. During daytime hours, when consumption and demand are lower, lower (off-peak) prices for energy are charged.

Why is California transitioning to the TOU rate plan?

The TOU rate plan encourages you to use electricity when demand is lower and power is cheaper. It helps to alleviate strain on the electric grid during peak times. TOU rates support a cleaner power grid by encouraging energy use when renewable resources are more readily available. Solar production typically peaks in the early afternoon, and wind energy peaks in the evening. Energy demand tends to spike from 4-9 p.m., when renewable energy resources aren’t at their highest production. Without energy conservation during this time, fossil fuel power plants are more likely to be switched on.


Can TOU rates help me save on my electric bill?

Customers on a TOU rate plan can benefit from lower rates by shifting their energy consumption to off-peak hours. Running major appliances like your washer and dryer during lower-priced, off-peak hours is a simple way to reduce your bill. When you use electricity during peak hours, consider making small adjustments like raising the temperature on your thermostat to 78 degrees in the warmer months or unplugging appliances that you aren’t using. You can also load your dishwasher or washing machine so that they’re ready to run later in the evening or during the daytime. Not only will you lower your bill, but you will also support California’s clean energy future.

When you switch to TOU rates, we will ensure that you don’t pay more for at least the first 12 months. If your first year of service under TOU is more expensive than your current non-TOU rate, we will credit you the difference at the end of the first 12 months. You can also switch to another rate plan at any time. You may decline to participate in the transition and remain on a non-TOU rate plan, or you may choose another rate plan. Get a customized view of the TOU rate that’s right for you by logging in to your PG&E account. Learn more about the TOU transition and your rate options.

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