During peak hours, usually between 4 p.m. – 9 p.m., cleaner energy is less abundant. TOU rate plans are designed to encourage consumers to use less electricity during peak hours in order to reduce the use of non-renewable energy. By shifting electricity use outside of peak hours, Californians can make greater use of cleaner energy resources like wind and solar power. How do you know if TOU is the right plan for you? If you live in a very hot area that requires air conditioning, or if you have medical equipment at home that requires a lot of electricity use, it’s especially important that you consider TOU rate plans.
Remember, just because the transition to TOU is automatic doesn’t mean it’s mandatory! You are free to switch back to any existing eligible rate plan at any time by contacting your utility provider.
If you are on programs such as Medical Baseline, Energy Savings Assistance program (ESA), and California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE), you will not be transitioned to Time of Use Rates. And, if you’re not signed up for these but think you qualify, your utility provider will be happy to help you enroll. Additionally, customers in hot climate zones inland are exempt from the transition.
To find out whether Time-of-Use is a good fit for you, you can test-drive a plan risk-free for the first twelve months. When you automatically transition, you are also automatically enrolled in Bill Protection. This means that if you pay more during your first year on the TOU rate plan than you would have on your previous Tiered Rate Plan, you will receive a credit for the difference at the end of 12 months.
The key to navigating Time-of-Use is to keep in mind that the plan puts more control in your hands, and rewards residents for using more clean energy by shifting their use to off-peak hours. You can find out more at energyupgradeca.org/time-of-use.
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