If you are planning to buy solar San Diego, or already have solar panels in San Diego, then the new TOU hours/rates may affect you. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved new Time-of-Use (TOU) periods for SDG&E’s electric rates that will become effective for customers on December 1, 2017.
TOU Period Grandfathering permits eligible customers to continue billing under existing TOU periods for a specific period of time, as described below, after new TOU Periods are implemented.
The highest rates currently are 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., but as of December 1, 2017 the new highest rates will be from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
What/Who are solar net metering customers?
Net energy metering customers have solar PV systems and can sell their excess electricity back to the utility for the full retail value of the electricity their system generates. Under NEM, the customer’s electric meter keeps track of how much electricity is consumed by the customer, and how much excess electricity is generated by the system and sent back into the electric utility grid. Over a 12-month period, the customer has to pay only for the net amount of electricity used from the utility over-and-above the amount of electricity generated by their solar system (in addition to monthly customer transmission, distribution, and meter service charges they incur).
Benefits of Net Energy Metering:
- Allows customers to zero-out their bills
- Credits customer accounts at electricity’s retail rates
- The meters captures energy generated and consumed, providing customers with annual performance data.
What is a TOU meter?
Time-of-use (TOU) meters are more sophisticated than a basic meter. They record when electricity is used and allow the utility to charge different rates at different times of the day or week. Currently, TOU meters are optional and not required, but they will be required for recipients of CSI incentives in the future if the California Public Utilities Commission sets TOU rates.
Solar net metering customers will sell power back to SDG&E during the day at a lower rate than they pay when they are used after 4 p.m.
- Solar net metering customers can be grandfathered in the current TOU periods if their system has received Permission To Operate from SDG&E before December 1, 2017, they can also choose to stay in Tiered rate at the time of PTO, or select the new TOU periods
- Solar net metering customers can choose to stay in tiered rate or select available TOU rate available at the time of PTO, if their system has received Permission To Operate from SDG&E on or before March 30, 2018
- Solar net metering customers will have to choose a TOU rate available at the time of PTO, if their system has received Permission To Operate from SDG&E after March 30, 2018
Planning to buy solar San Diego, all SDG&E customers will be transferred to TOU billing as a default starting 2018 and completing 2019 (unless they qualified for an alternative).
For solar net metering customers that have a system that offsets all or most of their consumption, the ideal choice would be to stay in tiered rates because the time of the day they sell to the grid or buy from the grid will not affect the rate they get or pay. Thus, they get the biggest benefit from their solar.
For customers with smaller offset, the best rate plan depends on their ability to buy from the grid at night (Super Off-Peak) and sell back during the day (Off-Peak) and minimize consumption during the evening hours (On-Peak, 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.).
Planning to buy solar San Diego? The options can be confusing.
We would be happy to work with you to develop the best plan for your solar net metering, learn more.