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Electric companies to move some customers to time-of-use rate plan 

PG&E, Central Coast Community Energy and King City Community Power customers who transition will receive risk-free bill protection for the first year

– As part of a multi-year, statewide energy policy to create a cleaner energy future for California, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) and King City Community Power (KCCP) will move approximately 260,000 eligible residential electric customers currently on a tiered rate plan called E-1 to a Time-of-Use (TOU) rate plan in October 2021.

On the TOU rate plan, when customers use energy is as important as how much they use.

The transition to this TOU rate plan is gradually being implemented by geographical region and involves approximately 2.5 million customers in PG&E’s service area through 2022. Since June, customers in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties have been receiving various notifications to allow them ample time to make a choice. Customers can choose another rate plan at any time.

All California investor-owned electric utilities are required to automatically transition customers to the Time-of-Use rate plan to support a cleaner, healthier and more reliable energy grid. PG&E does not profit from this change. Customers can choose an alternate Time-of-Use rate plan or another rate plan, including the Tiered rate plan, at any time. Customers enrolled in the Medical Baseline program will not be part of the automatic transition.

“To ensure our customers are fully aware of the transition to the Time-of-Use rate and how the program works, we’ve been communicating this change for 90 days ahead of the changes, and we’ll continue to share information before each regional transition takes place,” said Marlene Santos, executive vice present and chief customer officer for PG&E,  “And, customers can choose the rate plan that best fits their needs and lives at any time.”

Customers who automatically transition to the TOU rate plan will receive risk-free Bill Protection for the first 12 months on the delivery portion of the bill.

“As an agency focused on reducing emissions, Central Coast Community Energy supports Time-of-Use rates aimed at shifting energy use away from the most expensive times of day and encourages energy use during less expensive times when cleaner renewable energy is more abundant”, said J.R. Killigrew, director of Communications & Outreach for Central Coast Community Energy.

More about time-of-use rate plans

Customers on these rate plans can choose to shift and reduce some energy use to lower-cost time periods (19 hours) every day, including weekends and holidays. The hours of 4 to 9 p.m. are higher-priced peak times. All other times are lower-priced (off-peak). Environmental advocacy groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) support the transition to TOU rates as the plans help build healthier communities.

“TOU rates help Californians take advantage of less expensive, cleaner and more plentiful electricity during periods when a greater share of renewable energy is flowing through the grid,” said Alejandra Mejia Cunningham, Building Decarbonization advocate, NRDC. “Combined with energy efficiency, electrification, and demand response programs, TOU helps customers reduce energy costs and their carbon footprints by using appliances when more emissions-free electricity is available.”

Starting in 2018, approximately 150,000 residential customers from across PG&E’s service area representing diversity in climate, household size and energy use were randomly selected as part of the first phase of transitions. Eighty percent of those customers stayed on the new time-of-use rate plan for more than a year. PG&E incorporated feedback from this initial group into the plans for the full rollout.

So far, customers in the following counties have made their choices: Alameda, Humboldt, Mendocino, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Sonoma and Trinity. Customers in 33 other counties within PG&E’s service territory will be provided the opportunity to choose before April 2022.

For more information about the transition to Time-of-Use rates and Bill Protection eligibility, customers can visit www.pge.com/toutransitionwww.3CEnergy.org/tou and https://www.kingcitycommunitypower.org/. To view a customized rate plan comparison, customers can visit their account online at www.pge.com/TOUchoice. Dedicated rate plan specialists are available at 1-866-743-7945 to answer questions and help customers choose a rate plan.

 

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.