Electricity rates based on when you use power—in addition to how much power you use—are called Time-of-Use Rates.
Here at Valley Clean Energy, we’re encouraging our customers—whenever possible—to thoughtfully manage their time of use for power. Electricity use at off-peak times costs you less and helps us all. Why?
Simply stated, the demand for electricity is lower in the morning and early afternoon and increases dramatically when people come home from work in the evening and use a lot of electricity to make dinner, do laundry, play online games, or charge their electric cars. Renewable sources like solar aren’t available after the sun goes down without adequate battery storage—we’re getting there, but not quite yet—so all that high demand can sometimes mean that VCE has to rely on more expensive electricity to supply all our customers during the peak demand hours from 4pm-9pm.
VCE is participating in a statewide transition to TOU rates, along with other CCAs and utilities like PG&E. All accounts will transition to a time-of-use rate unless you decline the transition to stay on your current rate. Transitions began in March 2021 and will continue through April 2022, depending on the type of electric account. Keep an eye out for mailed notifications from PG&E and VCE that include estimates of how your account will do on the new rates.
If you want to keep your rate, or transition to the new rates earlier than your scheduled transition date, contact PG&E. You can call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 or learn more here.
So play it smart, and save money. Try to use dishwashers, EV chargers, laundry and other high electricity-consuming appliances early in the day, after 9pm, or on weekends to avoid higher rates. It’s easier than ever to plan with today’s programmable appliances. You can load them now and let them run later.
Here are some tips to optimize usage times:
- Turn off all appliances and lights when not in use.
- In hotter months, pre-cool your house early in the day, then close blinds and curtains to keep the house cooler.
- Load dishwashers and washing machines, then set them to run later—or turn them on when you go to bed, or the next morning.
- Clean air filters on A/C units for peak performance.
- Improve insulation around doors and windows to keep winter warmth inside.
- Use energy-efficient lights and appliances.
- Adjust your thermostat for lower night temps or whenever you’re away.