PG&E to move some residential customers to a time-of-use rate plan starting April
SAN FRANCISCO — As part of a multi-year, statewide energy policy to create a cleaner energy future for California, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will move approximately 2.5 million eligible residential electric customers in Northern and Central California to a Time-of-Use rate plan between April 2021 and March 2022.
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.
Putting the Time-of-Use plan into action has been planned for several years and was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in July 2015.
All investor-owned electric utilities are required to automatically transition customers to the Time-of-Use rate plan to support a cleaner, smarter 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. PG&E is notifying customers at least 90 days in advance of their scheduled move to Time-of-Use to allow them to have ample time to make a choice if they prefer another rate plan.
“We understand every household is unique, and so is the way they use energy. PG&E is committed to helping customers choose the electric rate plan that best meets their needs.
Time-of-Use rate plans give customers greater control over their monthly bill, while supporting California’s clean energy goals,” said Laurie Giammona, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer.
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 will automatically credit the customer the difference for the first year. Customers can learn more about this rate plan at pge.com/toueveryday.
Time-of-Use Transition Schedule
The transition to this Time-of-Use rate plan will occur by geographical region. PG&E residential electric customers in Mendocino and Sonoma counties will be the first to transition to the new plan in April 2021, and they started receiving information from PG&E about rate choices in December.
Not all residential electric customers will automatically transition to the new Time-of-Use rate plan. Customers already on a Time-of-Use rate plan or enrolled in the Medical Baseline Program are not included. Customers who live in hot climate zones and qualify for or are enrolled in PG&E’s low-income assistance programs California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program or the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) program are also not included in the automatic transition.
All remaining residential customers will automatically transition to the Time-of-Use rate plan, unless they select another rate plan, according to the following schedule:
- April 2021: Mendocino and Sonoma counties
- May 2021: Alameda County
- June 2021: Humboldt, Santa Clara, Siskiyou and Trinity counties
- July 2021: San Francisco County
- September 2021: San Mateo County
- October 2021: Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz counties
- November 2021: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Lassen, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Plumas, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Tehama, Tulare and Tuolumne counties
- February 2022: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lake, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties
- March 2022: Contra Costa, Marin, Napa and Solano counties
Customers enrolled with Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) in PG&E’s service area will also automatically transition per their CCA provider’s own TOU rates, except for customers with Pioneer Community Energy in Placer County. Customers in PG&E’s Net Energy Metering Program will transition at the time of their annual true-up statement.
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.