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Beware SCE's Attempt to Switch Solar Customers to TOU Rates!

02/27/18

  02:14:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 347 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, SCE, Residential Solar, Net Metering

Beware SCE's Attempt to Switch Solar Customers to TOU Rates!

 

Attention SCE customers who installed solar before the NEM 2.0 deadline (that is, you installed solar before July 1, 2017) - we just learned that SCE is sending around notices suggesting that you switch over to a Time-of-Use rate. You do not need to make that switch, and you most likely don’t want to!
Here are the facts…

SCE customers who installed solar systems prior to the transition to Net Energy Metering 2.0 rules ("NEM 1.0 Customers") are grandfathered into their existing tiered rate structures for 20 years following their go-live date.  While the costs under that rate structure may change, the basic design - a tiered rate where you pay more the more you use, versus a time-of-use rate where what you pay is tied to when you use it - is locked in.  For most solar system owners, that is a better deal.

But we just learned that SCE is trying to convince NEM 1.0 Customers to switch to TOU rates.  (You can find their oh-so encouraging web page for the transition here.)  For the vast majority of solar system owners, such a transition is NOT IN YOUR BEST INTEREST!  The TOU rates have their highest charges either from 4-9 or 5-8, and their lowest charges between 8 a.m. and 4 or 5 p.m.  That means that any energy exported back to the grid will be compensated at the lowest rate (unless your system happens to be exporting after 4 or 5 in the evening, not very likely), whereas energy you need to use in the evening will cost you the most!  

Check out these numbers:

SCE's 4-9 p.m. TOU rate      SCE's 5-8 p.m. TOU rate
SCE’s 4-9 p.m. Time-of-Use Summer Rates   SCE’s 5-8 p.m. Time-of-Use Summer Rates

Yikes!  That’s a whopping 49¢/kWh if you select the 5-8 p.m. rate - but you will only earn 23¢/kWh for energy that you export from your solar system!  Not a good deal at all!

The good news is you don’t have to make this switch!  And if you mistakenly were convinced to switch, you have the right to switch back.  (Similar scams are underway in PG&E and SDG&E territory as well.)  If you have questions, give us a call and we will help you to sort this out.

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2 comments

Comment from:
paul65k
Do you know if you switched to one of the now grandfathered TOU plans (TOU-D-T) which I think will run through 2022 as I switched to it in 2017 will be allowed to return to tiered pricing for the balance of the original 20-year NEM1 contract which runs through July of 2035?? It seems only fair that if this was an option under the contract and switching back was an option under the old TOU grandfathered plans that being able to revert to tiered pricing would still be an option???????
04/26/19 @ 16:06
Comment from: Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO

Paul –

To the best of my knowledge, when your rate-plan lock-in expires, you will be put on one of the rate schedules then open. You get the benefit of full retail net metering for 20 years, but you do not get the option to go back to a tiered rate. In all of the IOU territories, tiered rates will very soon be a thing of the past.

If you think that is unfair, may I encourage you to sign up for the Solar Rights Alliance? They are dedicated to increasing the political power of solar power system owners like yourself before entities like the CPUC.

Best regards…

Jim
04/26/19 @ 18:05


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Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
Run on Sun also offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities, and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

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