Whether you’ve already gone solar, you’re considering it, or you just prefer paying less for energy, it’s worth a few minutes to check your billing structure
One of the most important factors in how much money you can save by going solar is the billing structure used by your utility. Many utilities, including PG&E, use a Time of Use structure to charge a premium for power during peak demand hours, both for customers with and without solar. It’s important to understand the structure your utility uses and the options you have, as your lifestyle and unique energy habits play a big part in which plan makes the most financial sense for you.
E-TOU-A, a common time of use plan for solar customers, is being phased out
Time-of-Use rate plans charge customers more for energy used at peak times and less at non-peak times. E-TOU-A sets those peak times from 3-8 pm on weekdays.’
Starting at the end of October, PG&E are moving all of their customers on E-TOU-A over to E-TOU-C. That change shifts peak pricing back an hour to 4-9 pm on weekdays. E-TOU-C may not be the best option for every customer, though.
Regardless of what billing structure you’re on, this is a good opportunity to look at your rate structure and consider other options. Start with the estimates provided by PG&E, but take a few minutes to understand the specifics of each rate plan and consider how your energy habits fit in.
Checking and changing your rates
The first thing you should do if you are a PG&E customer is check your billing structure online by logging into your account and looking under “Usage, Rates & Savings.” On the right side of the page, your rate plan should appear.
Next, click on compare rate plans and the website will show your available rate plans and an estimate of what each will cost you based on your historical usage.
Regardless of what billing structure you are on, this is a good opportunity to look at your rate structure and consider other options. Start with the estimates provided by PG&E, but take a few minutes to understand the specifics of each rate plan and consider how your energy habits fit in. Even though PG&E projects a certain plan to be the best fit for you based on historical usage, you may see an opportunity to save more money on a different plan based on your understanding of how and when you use energy.
How to save money under Time of Use billing structures
After deciding which plan makes the most sense for you, you can start to identify ways to work within the structure of the plan to save money.
In time-of-use structures, this generally means limiting high consumption activities to certain times of the day. For example, chores such as laundry and dishwashing spike energy use – but with a little planning ahead, these activities can be limited to off-peak hours. Many appliances allow you to schedule a cycle to start after a few hours, so you can load the dishwasher after dinner and set the wash to occur overnight.
Interested in saving even more money?
If you haven’t gone solar yet, Zenernet can help you design a solution that allows you to save significant money compared to PG&E’s high costs. Our consultation process is centered around education – we’ll evaluate your energy usage and help you design a system tailored to your unique situation. We offer the latest and greatest in solar technology, including battery and energy storage solutions that can take the planning out of navigating Time of Use plans.
Even if you have gone solar, we can take a look at your current system production and ensure it’s creating the most value possible. It may make sense to add additional panels or add a battery.
To get started, click below to schedule your virtual, no-pressure consultation. We look forward to helping you gain energy independence and power your life more affordably and efficiently!