SDGE Time Of Use Rolls Out March 2019, How Does This Affect You?

Beginning early March 2019, time of use will begin to roll out for most of 750,000 residential customers in SDG&E’s service territory.

What Is TOU

TOU (Time Of Use) is a energy pricing plan where energy rates are based on the time in which energy is being consumed.

The large majority of the population are away at work or school during the day, therefore the amount of energy being used in homes during the day is a lot lower. When people get home they turn on the A/C, charge their electronic devices, wash / dry laundry, watch TV, play video games, etc. In the evening, energy load is at its highest and demand peaks. Following the supply and demand principle, as demand increases and supply decreases the price will go up.

In 2013, SDG&E was granted authority to implement a time of use rate structure through legislature passing Assembly Bill 327 to reform residential rates.

SDGE offers two different time of use pricing plans (TOU-DR1 and TOU-DR2).
If customers do not make a choice they will be defaulted to TOU-DR1 plan.

TOU-DR1

As you can see from the graph there are three different pricing categories.

  • On-Peak – From 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. pricing will be the highest, this is when demand on the grid peaks when a big portion of the population gets home.
  • Off-Peak – From 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. and 9 a.m. – 12 a.m. pricing will be in the middle. This is usually when a lot of people are at work or school.
  • Super Off – From 12 p.m. – 6 a.m. pricing will be the lowest, when most of the population is sleeping.

Off-peak and super off-peak hours vary by weekdays, weekends and holidays.

For most customers, this change can increase prices DRAMATICALLY! You pay almost double the price for using the same amount of electricity during On-Peak (4 p.m. – 9 p.m.) compared to Super Off-Peak (12 a.m. – 6 a.m.).

TOU-DR2

tou dr1

tou dr1

TOU-DR2 is comprised of two pricing levels:

  • On-Peak – 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Off-Peak – 12 a.m. – 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.

TOU Implementation Schedule

The change will not happen immediately, it will be implemented in stages. SDG&E anticipates contacting 75,000 to 100,000 customer per month (customers will be notified via mail). The first phase in early march will contain 100,000 customers. The roll out phase is expected to complete by the middle of next year.

Why TOU Is Being Implemented?

TOU is being implemented to control consumer behavior of energy consumption, to ease strain energy load at high demand times. By charging a higher rate for electricity 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. SDGE hopes they can persuade people to not use their appliances to wash / dry their clothes at peak times and incentivize you to do laundry on off hours.

The utility company’s claim they can save you money by shifting your energy patterns to different days / times, but in practicality it is not convenient for people once they get home from work to refrain from using AC. Last summer there were record breaking high electric bills, due to sweltering hot days and A/C usage to live in comfort.

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