If you are thinking about residential solar
Effective March 1, 2016, PG&E is changing their Time of Use (TOU) rate option and it will not benefit solar customers as much as the current E-6 TOU rate schedule. Any PG&E customer currently on the E-6 rate option PRIOR to March 1, 2016, will be grandfathered into the existing E-6 rate for 5 years, till February 28, 2021. Clean Solar is recommending that ALL homeowners considering solar (or on E-7 or E8 rate options) call PG&E and change their rate schedule before the mandatory change occurs.
Here’s why solar customers want to be on the current E-6 rate schedule now.
|PG&E Time of Use
|Effective Time-frame||Current – 2/28/2019
With transition peak windows in 2020-2021
|3/1/2016 – Year 2020
(On 3/1/2016, E-6 is no longer an option.)
|Year 2020 +|
|Peak Window||1pm – 7pm||3pm – 8pm||4pm – 9pm|
(May – October)
|Year Round||Year Round|
With the current PG&E E-6 (TOU), the cost of solar/energy is determined by the time of day that it is produced/used. Summer peak periods (May – September) are between 1pm – 7pm, when solar production is at its highest. This peak period is surrounded by partial (and off) peak windows where the higher peak credits can be efficiently utilized. During the Winter Season when solar systems are not producing as much electricity as during the summer season, there is no peak window to penalize solar clients.
Homeowners currently on PG&E’s E-7 and E-8 rate options will automatically transition to E-TOU on March 1, 2016, unless they contact PG&E and change to E-6 (TOU) before the effective change date.
New PG&E E-TOU pushes the peak periods later in the day (3pm – 8 pm) and will be in effect year round, neither of which is beneficial to solar customers. Solar systems are not going to be producing electricity until 8pm at night and peak periods during the Winter months will likely extend the ROI time frame for going solar.
In 2020, PG&E plans to change the E-TOU peak window to 4pm – 9pm, further deteriorating major economic benefits to residential solar in California.
If you’re considering solar for your home, now is the time to contact PG&E and switch to E-6 (TOU). Please note this applies to the majority of residential solar customers. There is a small percentage who continues to benefit from PG&E’s Tiered E-1 rate option, generally if your solar system is only offsetting a small percentage of your overall electricity bill.