It’s finally here! In the previous two posts (summary and energy-saving tips), I mentioned that a PG&E representative would be joining us in an upcoming Time-of-Use (Peak Pricing 4-9 p.m. Every Day) rate plan interview. Well, I’m excited to let you know that this is it!
PG&E Time-of-Use Rate Plan Interview — Jessica Chancellor
Frans and I sat down with Principal Product Manager, Jessica Chancellor, to chat about the rate plan and to ask her a few questions which other San Francisco Bay Area residents might be curious about. Read on to find out what she had to say. You can also watch our full Time-of-Use rate plan interview with Jessica Chancellor in the video below.
Can you please give us a brief summary of what this rate plan entails?
As with any Time-of-Use rate plan, it matters not only how much energy you use, but also the time of day in which you’re using your energy. Because, with a Time-of-Use rate plan, there are hours in each day where you’re going to be charged a higher rate for using energy during that time. In this specific rate plan, it’s 4 pm to 9 pm every day. But the great news about this is that all the other 19 hours of each day, customers will be getting charged a lower price for energy usage. So, really, a Time-of-Use rate plan gives the customer the ability to have more control over their bill because, if they can shift even some of their usage outside of that peak window of 4 pm to 9 pm, they usually can save.
Why is this happening?
It’s happening because California has really aggressive renewable energy goals. We have the highest demand on the electric grid during the hours of 4 pm to 9 pm. Hence, the reason why we’re trying to incentivize customers to use their energy outside of that window of time. Outside of that window of time is also when renewable resources are most available.
Is it mandatory to switch to this rate plan?
No, it’s not mandatory. Now, although there is a Time-of-Use transition currently underway right now and there are customers who will be automatically transitioned to this rate plan if they take no action, they do have a choice. So, if you leave here with anything today, remember that customers have a choice when it comes to what electric rate plan they choose for their household.
When is the transition happening?
Because PG&E territory is fairly large, we can’t do the transition all at once for all customers. But, we do currently have the transition underway and it is scheduled over the period of October of last year (when we started) all the way through to March of 2022. It’s based on the geographic location of each customer.
Jessica did point out that this transition will vary slightly for solar customers. Solar customers will move to the Time-of-Use rate plan during their True-Up month.
PG&E Time-of-Use Rate Plan Interview — Options
Which rate plans are currently available to PG&E customers?
We have a Tiered rate plan, which is also known as E1. And that is the rate plan that most of our customers are currently on. What the Tiered rate plan does, or how it works is, the more you use, the more you pay. It doesn’t matter when you use your energy, but you do end up paying a higher rate the more energy that you use.
Time-of-Use rate plans is our second version of rate plans. We have a couple options to choose from with different peak windows. But, if you use energy with a Time-of-Use rate plan in the off-peak periods, then that’s a lower cost for customers than what the tiered rate plan offers.
And then lastly, we have electric vehicle and battery storage option rate plans. And, just as it sounds, these are designed for customers who have an electric vehicle or maybe they have battery storage.
If you find that the new rate plan does not work for you, can you change back and, if so, how soon?
The best thing to do is to go online and run a personalized rate analysis. Right there, it will tell you how much the estimated annual cost is for all of your eligible rate plan options. You can easily identify what that cost is like what’s financially best for you. And then, if you choose to change your rate plan, you can select that rate plan right then and there and enroll in the new rate plan to be effective on your next billing cycle. So it’s super simple.
If there are any questions or concerns, our contact center representatives are happy to assist with that process as well. And customers can change rate plans at any time. Residential customers are automatically given at least one rate change a year but we are currently honoring two within a 12-month period as it is right now.
PG&E Time-of-Use Rate Plan Interview — Billing Questions
How will all of this affect those who are currently enrolled in one of PG&E discount programs?
Any program that a customer’s currently enrolled in, if they are part of the transition, they will continue with those same program benefits. That’s not going to change.
There was one detail that Jessica made sure to bring out. For those who are currently enrolled on Medical Baseline, you will not be automatically transitioned to the Time-of-Use (Peak Pricing 4-9 p.m. Every Day) rate plan. Those customers are still eligible to enroll in this rate plan if they so choose but they will have to opt-in to the program as it will not change automatically.
Where we live, we get our rates through a Peninsula Clean Energy, will we still transition to this new plan?
Yes, Peninsula Clean Energy is one of our CCA (Community Choice Aggregation) partners that I work hand-in-hand with. They’ve been a great partner to ensure a smooth, easy transition for our mutual customers. So, even if you are a Peninsula Clean Energy customer, or maybe you’re solely with PG&E, either way, you would still be part of the transition.
Well, I hope this Time-of-Use rate plan interview helped clear up some questions you might have had about the transition and how your family might be affected. Feel free to reach out if you have any other concerns regarding this and I’ll make sure to pass it on to the PG&E team.
PG&E Time-of-Use Rate Plan Interview — Additional Resources
Don’t forget to visit pge.com/toutransition for more information. And, for those who might be experiencing financial difficulties, be sure to check out the resources found at pge.com/covid19. That page also includes information about the semi-new Arrearage Management Plan (AMP), through which customers can apply to get up to $8,000 in unpaid balance forgiven.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PG&E. The opinions and text are all mine.