What are Time of Use rates & why are they changing?
As California moves toward cleaner and more renewable energy, it makes sense to use energy when demand is lower and renewable energy is more plentiful.
Under Time of Use (TOU) rates, electricity prices vary between peak, partial peak, off-peak, and super off-peak times. Fortunately, periods with lower rates generally correspond with available renewable energy, encouraging the use of electricity when it is cleanest and cheapest.
While most EBCE commercial electrical customers are already on TOU rates, periods of peak pricing have evolved in recent years. In order to achieve California’s climate goals and manage procurement costs, EBCE and PG&E are coordinating to transition all commercial accounts to new TOU rates.
Commercial customers are eligible to opt in to these new rates now and may do so by contacting PG&E. All commercial customers will be automatically transitioned to these rates in March 2021.
Additionally, in alignment with PG&E’s changes, EBCE rate names will change for ease of understanding. Rate schedule names have changed so that business rates now start with the letter B: so A1 is now B1, E19 is now B19, etc.
How are the Time of Use rates changing?
Time of Use rates vary by time of day and season. The new C&I TOU rates, also known as “B Rates”, include changes to both the seasons and the hours.
- For legacy rates there were just two seasons, Winter (November – May) and Summer (June – October) and were applicable Monday through Friday only.
- For the new C&I rates there are three seasons, Winter (October-February), Spring (March- May), and Summer (June -September) and the rates are applicable seven days a week.
- Under the new B rates, the peak period is being shortened and moved to later in the day.
- A new period, “super off-peak”, where rates are lowest is included in the Spring season from 9AM to 2PM.
- The new rates include a “partial peak” period in the summer months only.
Small to Medium Businesses, EBCE Generation Charge by Hour ( $/kWh)
Medium to Large Businesses, EBCE Generation Charge by Hour ( $/kWh)
EBCE customers can utilize both EBCE and PG&E resources to understand how these changes might impact your energy bills. You can even conduct a detailed rate analysis specific to your account(s). The results will give you a sense of how your electric bill might change on the new rates.
Currently rate changes for EBCE are effectuated by our partners at PG&E, and thus the PG&E rate change rules apply to EBCE customers as well.
EBCE understands that PG&E rules currently allow customers to change their rate two times within a 12-month period, and after the second time you must remain on that rate for one year.
You can read more about PG&E rate rules here.
If I transition to the new B rates now (during the voluntary transition period) can I return to the legacy rates?
No. Effective November 1, 2019 enrollment in the legacy nonresidential rate schedules was closed. All customers are being transitioned to the new time of use non-residential rates in accordance with PG&E in order to help California’s climate goal and better align customer pricing with the market.
If I change to the new B rates now, does this count as my one allowed rate change for the year?
Yes, however consistent with PG&E rate change rules if you chose to transition to the new B rates now, you may still change your rate one additional time in the year.
I am a solar grandfathered customer. Will I also be transitioned automatically in November 2020?
As with rate changes EBCE customers are governed by PG&E policies regarding this topic. You can read more in the introduction section of the currently legacy rate PG&E tariffs available here.
Qualifying legacy solar customers (otherwise known as “grandfathered”) who are eligible to remain on existing legacy rates will not be transitioned to new ‘B rates’ until their “grandfathering” period ends.
Solar customers are allowed 10 years of grandfathering from their first solar Permission to Operate (PTO) date. This is available for customers who submitted an interconnection application by 7/31/2017 (non-public agencies and 12/31/2017 (public agencies). Grandfathering does not start until PTO is issued Duration of grandfathering will not continue beyond:
- 7/31/2027 (non-public agencies)
- 12/31/2027 (public agencies)
During their grandfathering period, solar customers will be allowed to move among the existing legacy rates (Electric Schedules A-1, A-6, A10, E-19 and E-20).
Can EBCE do a rate analysis for me?
EBCE recommends that you conduct the rate analysis via your online My Energy tool with PG&E as this will be directionally accurate and is the best and fastest way to understand how the new rates might affect your business. Or call the PG&E Business Customer Service Center Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. at 1-800-468-4743
How do I know I am on the right rate?
As a community choice customer you are still able to utilize all tools available with PG&E since you are still a PG&E transmission and delivery customer. The best way to understand if you are on the right rate remains to conduct a rate analysis via the PG&E tools available. The PG&E rate analysis tool will use current PG&E generation rates as a proxy for EBCE rates. If you are a Bright Choice customer, your overall bills will be lower than what PG&E presents, however as stated it will be directionally accurate.
What do you mean when you say the PG&E rate analysis is “directionally accurate”?
For EBCE customers the PG&E rate analysis tools will calculate your expected energy bill based on PG&E generation rates, and your actual historical usage instead of EBCE generation rates and your actual usage rate. This means that the actual dollar amount calculated could be slightly overestimated if you are an EBCE Bright Choice customer, however particularly for rate comparisons EBCE expects that the analysis will be directionally accurate. Meaning that if the PG&E analysis concludes that your bill will go down by $1,000.00 on the new B rates, your bill may go down by $1,100.00
Can I use the PG&E rate analysis tool to analyze multiple accounts at one time? If not, what should I do?
No. Currently the PG&E online rate analysis tool is not able to conduct multiple account analyses simultaneously, however EBCE understands that PG&E account representatives can conduct this analysis for our customers. Thus, currently if you are a customer with many accounts, EBCE recommends you reach out to your PG&E account representative.
I have decided that I would like to transition to the new rates in the voluntary window, how do I do this?
You can change to the new B rates online via your PG&E My Energy account or you can contact PG&E to change your rate.
If you have additional questions about the rate changes you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-833-699-EBCE (3223)