As required by state law, most residential customers in California will be transitioned to Time-of-Use rates (TOU) by 2022 to help increase the use of clean energy and reduce peak demand and stress on California’s electric grid. Clean Power Alliance customers who are part of this transition will be automatically switched to TOU rates in February and March of 2022 unless they elect to remain on current flat/tiered Domestic rate plans.
Time-of-Use (TOU) rates are an essential and expanding component of California’s green energy future, as the state focuses on increasing the use of renewable energy and commits to incentivizing customers to reduce their power use during times of high overall usage.
With Time of Use rates, energy costs are higher during the peak hours of 4 or 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and less expensive during the off-peak hours of 9 p.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. The aim of the program is to support a reduction in overall energy usage and energy loads on the grid at times of high consumption, which in turn helps save energy and potentially save customers money on their monthly bills.
TOU rates are effective due to their impact on reducing peak electricity use while simultaneously fostering an increase in the use of wind and solar power. By load shifting energy use to daytime hours when solar generation is plentiful, utilities are able to reduce the use of fossil fuels. This in turn helps to lower the amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated by fossil fuel power plants located throughout California.
Every evening between the peak electricity usage hours, fossil fuel power plants must be activated to keep up with the high energy demand throughout the state. This increases greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which have a detrimental impact on local air quality and the overall environment.
With electricity prices lower during the course of the day, overnight, and on weekends, customers who are able to shift their higher impact energy use during these times by, for example charging electric vehicles or running the washing machine or the dishwasher, are able to benefit from reduced monthly electricity bills.
To Help make this transition easier for our customers, CPA is committed to providing additional support to eligible customers who are switched from a Domestic flat/tiered rate to a TOU rate between November 2021 and March 2022. Customers will automatically receive 12 months of bill protection, with customers that pay more on a TOU plan for the first 12 months than they would have paid on their previous rate plan, receiving a one-time bill credit for the difference at the end of the twelve months.
SCE will notify eligible CPA customers by U.S. Mail 90 days and 30 days before switching their plans. Customers who provided SCE with their email address and agreed to be contacted via email may be notified electronically as well.
TOU rates are just one component of the many steps Californian regulators, utilities, and local communities are adopting in order to address the detrimental impacts of climate change.
In addition to ensuring most energy-intensive appliances are used during off-peak hours, additional energy saving activities customers can implement include ensuring they are utilizing LED lightbulbs and smart power strips, as well as switching to energy-saving devices.
For more information on the Time-of-Use transition and other energy saving information, as well as learn how CPA is using “Power for Good”, visit our new website at http://cleanpoweralliance.org/, our TOU website http://cleanpoweralliance.org/timematters, and sign up for our monthly newsletter at https://cleanpoweralliance.org/#newsletter.