PG&E and RCEA Will Move Some Residential Customers in Humboldt, Trinity, & Siskiyou Counties to a Time-of-Use Rate Plan to Encourage Energy Usage When Renewables are More Plentiful

Lightbulb powerPress release from PG&E:

As part of a multi-year, statewide energy policy to create a cleaner energy future for California, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) will move approximately 55,000 eligible residential electric customers currently on a tiered rate plan called E-1 to a Time-of-Use (TOU) rate plan in June 2021. On the Time-of-Use (Peak Pricing 4-9 p.m. Every Day) rate plan, when customers use energy is as important as how much they use. Customers are encouraged to shift some energy use to times when rates are lower, demand is lower and renewable resources, like solar and wind power, are most plentiful.

The transition to this Time-of-Use rate plan will occur by geographical region and affect approximately 2.5 million customers in PG&E’s service area in stages through 2022. Customers in Humboldt, Trinity and Siskiyou Counties will receive a series of notifications by mail starting this month to allow them ample time to make a choice if they prefer another rate plan

“To ensure our customers are fully aware of the transition to the Time-of-Use rate and how the program works, we’re communicating this change more than 90 days ahead, and we’ll continue to share information before each regional transition takes place,” said Laurie Giammona, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for PG&E. “And, customers can choose the rate plan that best fits their needs and lives at any time.”

All California investor-owned electric utilities are required to automatically transition customers to the Time-of-Use rate plan to support a cleaner, healthier and more reliable energy grid. PG&E does not profit from this change. Customers can choose an alternate Time-of-Use rate plan or another rate plan, including the Tiered rate plan, at any time. Customers enrolled in the Medical Baseline program will not be part of the automatic transition.

“Time-of-Use rates are an opportunity for RCEA’s customers to take more control of their energy use and electricity bills by shifting energy use to lower-cost times of the day. Those lower-cost periods are also when renewable energy is more available, so shifting electricity use from the “peak” evening hours also helps reduce dependence on fossil-fueled power plants. Since the time-of-use rate structure provides lower rates for most hours of the day, our analysis indicates that almost all Humboldt County households will see bill savings from this switch even without any change in when they use energy – so shifting any activities to off-peak hours will just increase those savings,” said Matthew Marshall, Executive Director of RCEA.

PG&E and RCEA customers who automatically transition to this Time-of-Use rate plan will receive risk-free Bill Protection for the first 12 months. If a customer pays more on the Time-of-Use (Peak Pricing 4-9 p.m. Every Day) rate plan than they would have on their current rate plan, PG&E and RCEA will automatically credit the customer the difference for the first year.

More About Time-of-Use Rate Plans

Customers on these rate plans can choose to shift and reduce some energy use to lower-cost time periods (19 hours) every day, including weekends and holidays. The hours of 4 to 9 p.m. are higher priced (peak times). All other times are lower priced (off-peak).

Starting in 2018, approximately 150,000 residential customers from across the service area representing diversity in climate, household size and energy use were randomly selected as part of the first phase of transitions. Eighty percent of those customers stayed on the new Time-of-Use rate plan for more than a year. PG&E incorporated feedback from this initial group into the plans for the full rollout.

For more information about the transition to Time-of-Use rates, customers can visit www.pge.com/toutransition and https://redwoodenergy.org/tou/. To view a customized rate plan comparison, customers can visit their account online at www.pge.com/TOUchoice. Dedicated rate plan specialists are available at 1-866-743-7945 to answer questions and help customers choose a rate plan.

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29 comments

  • William Shakespeare

    Just wondering is this like what they have in Texas…

    • Phineas Homestone

      @William Shakespeare
      Good question. In short no. Time of use sets rates in advance (months in advance I think), so you know what the rates will be in the evening of each day.

      In Texas the political decision was made years ago to de-regulate, which in this case means no quality of service is guaranteed: pure capitalism, in the sense each minute/day a price for services is set, based on the competition that day. There is no requirement for reliability. In good weather, non-emergency days, the consumer gets a good price. When bad weather or emergencies appear, the producers (power plants) can jack up their rates thousands of times, *or go offline with no consequences*. That is what happened in Texas.

      Imagine having your phone bill for service, say in Alderpoint or Shelter Cove, be increased to $10,000 a month in the winter when the lines go down, as they do every winter.

      Regarding utilities and current California regulations, it is like the way car insurance spreads the risk among all of us so that one accident doesn’t bankrupt a person; when California has an emergency, the online producers are compelled to go to 100% output. Furthermore California can buy power from other states, which is very expensive, and is generally NOT passed onto the consumer.

      For those old enough to remember the Enron driven power blackouts in California in the early 2000’s, that was an example of Texas style de-regulation, with a dose of fraud from the Enron folks.

      • If I am not mistaken, and going from memory from a conversation 2 years ago with a CPUC member, the rates must be approved every three years for the large Investor Owned Utilities (PG&E, SCE, SDG&E).

      • But those that kept their power found that the amount they were charged skyrocketed during the failure because the utility company did not have fixed rates. There were bills that sudenly appeared for $10,000 or more because the company has to pay more for supplies and passed it on to the smaller population that did not lose power.

  • Electric stoves are looking worse and worse.

  • Because it worked so well in Texas😂😂😂😂

    • Thankfully, we’re not in Texas and this is NOT a Texas-style system. If you are able, do your high electrical draw operations during mid-day when power is a lot cheaper, thanks to the abundance of solar energy produce then.
      We love it!

  • lol…”PG&E does not profit from this change”

  • Somehow, someway, this will result in a higher electrical rate, and a fatter monthly bill.

    As sure as death and taxes.

  • Time for solar!

  • This can actually save some customers money if they are able to shift their discretionary or flexible electricity usage, such as laundry, from peak hours to lower cost non-peak times. Keep in mind that peak time means when energy demand is highest and that capacity cannot be brought online immediately, so a flatter time-based demand curve saves everyone money, but also emits fewer emissions from fossil fueled sources and, as noted in the release, wind and solar generation decreases during peak demand. So, if you can be flexible then you can likely save; otherwise, don’t go this route. Want another option, put in a battery system, like a Powerwall, so that you can charge it overnight from the grid when the rates are at their lowest and use the stored energy during peak rate hours.

    Ultimately, CARB, CPUC and CEC are working together to shift to renewable sources and this is one of the major hurdles (shifting demand time from peak to flatten the demand curve), thus the push for a time-of-use pricing structure for residential customers.

    • Bullshit, the wind blows hen it blows it doesn’t blow more during the day. Also 4 till 9 pm are the highest rate periods , so unless you work nights since it takes 2 incomes to raise a family anymore when you get home from work shower cook dinner wash your clothes and maybe kick back and watch a show or movie on tv after having the lights on to help the kids with their homework, you are paying the highest possible rates. Pure crap. If renewables are going to be the future they need to have storage so that the normal customers aren’t taking it in the shorts .

      • It is an option: “ Customers can choose an alternate Time-of-Use rate plan or another rate plan, including the Tiered rate plan, at any time.”

        If you don’t like it then don’t play; just take your damn ball and go home.

  • THE FIX IS IN PGE FOR PROFIT ONLY

    Most family’s come home and make DINNER BETWEEN 4 AND 9 NO SUN . MORE MONEY FOR PGE AND REDWOOD ENERGY AUTHORITY . FUCK CORPORATE PGE! STOCK DIVIDENDS ARE ALL THEY CARE ABOUT . STARTING NEXT YEAR THEY WILL BE CHARGING US SOLAR PRODUCERS FOR LOSS OF PROFITS . DON’T DARE TELL THEM ABOUT INSTALLING BATTERIES TO YOUR SYSTEM THEY WILL CHARGE YOU FOR THAT TOO. THE FIX IS SOLAR AND BATTERIES JUST USE PGE TO CHARGE BATTERIES WHEN THE SUN DON’T SHINE. WE DISCONNECTED OUR HOUSE FROM THE GRID LAST YEAR DUE TO THEIR BULLSHIT

    • A deep state sandwich

      Profit is behind every company who has to offer goods and services to their clients.

      Who’s your sugar daddy?

    • Can you provide some links to the sources for your comment: “ STARTING NEXT YEAR THEY WILL BE CHARGING US SOLAR PRODUCERS FOR LOSS OF PROFITS . DON’T DARE TELL THEM ABOUT INSTALLING BATTERIES TO YOUR SYSTEM THEY WILL CHARGE YOU FOR THAT TOO.”

      I need to understand this (especially regarding the batteries) and my searches are not providing any useful info.

      Thanks!

  • I switched years ago. Saved me 30 to 40 a month. Dinner and tv don’t use much. It’s the dishwasher and washer and dryer for me. Get a Kill-A-Watt and find out which appliances are your big draws. I get a graph on my bill shows which days we went into peak time, we slip up only once or twice a month. You get into the habit and it’s easy.

    • That worked well for Texas until there was a sudden loss of wind and solar power due to the storm and the utility companies were forced to buy natural gas to make up the difference. They too saved money each until suddenly they got massive bills.

    • Why should we have to purchase a item to “train” us on when to use power ? What a crock of shit I come home flip the light on wash my clothes and dishes after dinner I should not have to pay more than the next guy simply because of the time in which my awake hour are based period . Pge receives tax dollars and uses public lands they shouldn’t be allowed to charge different rates for time of use. One flat rate please for all. Only truly fair way to bill

  • TheCheeseStandsAlone

    Jeez…. some people just WANT to be mad about EVERYTHING.

    Time Of Use energy is not a big deal.
    It saves you money.

    Stay mad at nothing. See where it gets you… Sad sad people.

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