New SCE Time of Use Rate Periods Designed to Decrease Benefit of Solar (TOU Explained)
Southern California Edison made a big change last March in the way it charges its customers, and it will have a huge effect on the economics of adding solar to their homes. The change went into effect on March 1st, 2019, altered Time of Use (TOU) billing for Edison customers by moving the peak hours to later in the day. To have the time of use rates explained in a nutshell and understand how this will affect you, let’s get clear on two terms:
Net Energy Metering (NEM)
Time of Use (TOU)
Net Metering – As explained on SCE’s web site: “The energy you produce, minus the energy you consume, equals net energy. [SCE will] deduct the energy you export to the grid at times when generation exceeds on-site demand from your bill, and you may even earn surplus credits for the energy you produce.”Time of Use – On a Time of Use (TOU) rate plan, SCE charges you more for electricity at certain peak times during the day. When your solar panels overproduce, they also buy that power at a higher rate. All SCE solar customers must be on a TOU plan. View the time periods for each TOU rate options.
It used to be that, Monday through Friday 2-8 PM were SCE’s peak hours. That was great for solar customers because those were hours when your solar panels producing the most, and it’s a time when a lot of people aren’t home. Solar customers generate energy, sell it to the utility, and make the highest amount of money that the utility offers. After March 1st, 2019 the hours changed to 4 PM to 9 PM. Now solar customers are charged more for power at that time and will be credited less when the panels are at peak performance.
Here’s how it works: Solar panels generate the most electricity for your house in the middle of the day.
Before, the most expensive electricity Edison would sell was at $0.47 per watt between 2 PM and 8 PM. In most cases with solar, you are generating more electricity than you use in the middle of the day. You would sell a lot of that excess electricity back to Edison at $0.47 per watt.
After March 1 of 2019, Edison moved new solar customers to a Time of Use Plan and changed its peak period to 4 PM to 9 PM. Once solar panels have stopped working for the day, the most expensive energy is being used. The power sold to them in the middle of the day is now only worth $0.22 per watt.
Now is the time to put a high-efficiency solar system on your house before Edison further increases the power rates. To view SCE For Time of Use rate comparisons, see Southern California Edison’s web site. Or, use their rate comparison tool. Also, watch this video on Time of Use.
Start today by calling the energy experts at SunPro Solar 951-678-7733 and learn how you can start saving tomorrow.