Across the country, utilities are beginning to introduce innovative rate structures for residential energy consumers. These rate structures–from time-of-use rates to demand charges to real-time-pricing–all have a common goal: to incentivize customers to consume energy during times when the cost of generating electricity is cheap, and to disincentive energy consumption when the cost of generating electricity is high. As a result, understanding the ins and outs of a time-of-use rate can help you reduce your monthly cost of energy.
It is becoming increasingly popular for utilities to offer time-of-use (TOU) plans to their residential customers. In a standard electricity plan, you pay the same rate for your electricity regardless of the time of day. TOU plans are different: the cost of electricity in a TOU plan depends on the time the energy is drawn from the grid.
California’s new net metering policy, commonly referred to as net metering (NEM) 2.0, brought some big changes to the Golden State’s solar market in 2017. NEM 2.0 is now active for customers of all three investor-owned utilities in California: Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison.