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
Press 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.