The Solar Insights Blog

Why You Need to Understand Time-of-Use Billing.

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A new electric surcharge that’s intended to penalize consumers for excessive energy use is coming to California. In fact, for some, it’s already here.

It’s called the “Super User Surcharge” and it’s not good news for those who already believe their electric bills are coming in too high. 

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Southern California electric rates

Solar ads are everywhere. You get the phone calls. You see the commercials. You hear it from your neighbors down the street. So at this point, you probably understand the benefits of solar energy. It allows you to generate your own clean energy at a lower price than what you pay your utility. You get that.

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san diego solar installers

Have you looked at your electric bill lately? It’s probably not something you want to see. If you have been keeping tabs on your energy costs, have you noticed the amount you owe your utility is going up and up? Maybe you’re often surprised by your bill. You think to yourself I don’t feel like I’m using that much more power, why do I keep getting charged so much?

The answer is quite simple: SCE keeps raising their rates.

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sce rate increase

It’s no secret that electric vehicles (EVs) come with some cool perks. They’re fun to drive and save you boatloads of money on fuel. And when your pair your EV with a home solar system, you can literally drive on sunshine. Because who wouldn’t want to go green and save their own green in the process?

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tesla ev savings
Electricity rate structures can get confusing. We get that. With the constant changes and rate hikes, how can you possibly keep track of it all? Well, here’s another change. California’s independently owned utilities (IOUs) are in the process of changing the way electricity is priced from how much you use to how much and when you use it. This is what’s called a “time-of-use” rate structure. 
 

How Does Time-of-Use Work?

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time of use rates

1995 – it’s the year net energy metering’s (NEM) story began in California. What is NEM? It’s the billing mechanism utilities use for solar customers. For a helpful explainer on the basics of net metering, click here to read our blog “Net Energy Metering – What in the World Is That?”

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SCE net metering