Time-of-Use is Coming

 In energy storage, utility

For those of you that didn’t know, Southern California Edison is quietly changing its residential rate schedules in the next year and all customers will be required to switch to a time-of-use or TOU rate. That means that each kWh you consume from the grid will be charged based on the time of day. The highest rates are charged during the summer, mid-day (about the time when customers will turn on the air conditioning) and the lowest rates during summer nights.

The utility argues that energy customers now have the opportunity to lower their energy costs by stacking their energy use during off-peak periods. This also reduces strain on the grid when demand is the highest. This means doing things like running dishwashers, laundry, charging EVs, etc. in the evening. However, this also has the potential to cost customers significantly more if they are unable to reduce their energy use during peak use periods.

There is another thing to consider with this change, the utility can alter not only the cost of energy but also when the on-peak period is each day. Why is this a big deal? Because last year, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) changed their on-peak period to 4:00pm to 9:00pm. Now the idea of waiting to do a load of laundry until 9:00pm to reduce on-peak energy usage doesn’t seem as feasible.

Solar customers are already subject to these rate schedules when they sign a net energy metering (NEM) agreement. Check out my previous blog post about rate schedules for solar customers under NEM 2.0.

How will your household be affected by switching to time-of-use rates?

Home battery systems can hedge costs associated with the high rates of on-peak energy use by discharging during those periods and charging during the lower cost, off-peak periods. Or, better yet, by charging from a home solar system to power a home with clean energy at all hours of the day.

Batteries charged by solar systems can also offer a secure, uninterrupted power supply during routine power outages and natural disasters. Most of us on the central coast were impacted by the Thomas Fire and subsequent mudslides and most people on the central coast experienced significant power interruptions. It has been eye opening to find out how delicate our power supply is on the Central Coast.

Good Energy Solar offers battery systems for home and business, in tandem with solar or without. Contact us today to find out about energy storage solutions designed for your lifestyle.

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