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Here's what time-of-use rates mean for your business

Instead of a single flat rate for energy use, time-of-use rates are higher when electric demand is higher. This means when you use energy is just as important as how much you use.

Winter has two rate periods: off-peak and partial-peak. Summer has three: off-peak, partial-peak and peak. During peak periods, defined as weekdays from noon to 6 p.m., May through October, your business's electric rates will be higher. In return, time-of-use rate plans at all other times will be lower than the peak rate.

All business customers will transition to time-of-use rate plans over the next several years, as required by the California Public Utilities Commission.

To learn more about peak periods and how time-of-use works, see the Time-of-Use Frequently Asked Questions section.

Use this interactive chart to learn how time-of-use rates will affect your business.
Choose Winter or Summer. Drag slider to compare on- and off-peak rates.*

Time-of-Use Frequently Asked Questions

Why are businesses switching to time-of-use rate plans?

As part of a plan by the California Public Utilities Commission to ensure greater power reliability and a better energy future, time-of-use rate plans are now the commercial standard for all of the state's major electric utilities. PG&E is transitioning commercial and agriculture customers to time-of-use rate plans in accordance with this plan.

What is changing in my bill?

Previously, businesses were billed according to flat electric rates, which means they were charged the same amount for electricity no matter when it was used. When you transition to a time-of-use rate plan, the cost of electricity will vary based on the time of day and season in which it is used.

What is a peak period?

Peak periods occur from noon to 6 p.m., May through October, when time-of-use rates are higher.

Where can I compare rate plans and can I switch to a different rate plan?

You can change to any other time-of-use rate plan up to once a year. If you have not yet transitioned, you can also elect to switch to a time-of-use or Peak Day Pricing rate plan now. To compare available rate options and view your daily usage, log in to your PG&E online account.

Why does my time-of-use rate vary?

Time-of-use rate plans better align the price of energy with the cost of energy at the time it is produced. Lower rates during partial-peak and off-peak hours offer an incentive for customers to shift energy use away from more expensive peak hours, which can help you save money and reduce strain on the electric grid.

What is the difference between summer and winter time-of-use rate plans?

There are three rate periods during the summer: off-peak, partial-peak and peak, and winter has two rate periods: off-peak and partial-peak. Peak period rates are highest on weekdays, from noon to 6 p.m., May through October. At all other hours, rates will be lower.

Who do I contact if I have a question about my bill?

Call our Business Customer Service Center at 1-800-468-4743 to speak to a PG&E Representative about bill inquiries. Our staff can help you navigate your new bill or connect you with a Customer Relationship Manager who can walk you through an energy survey over the phone. They can see if your business might qualify for potential rebates and other savings programs. Plus, you can also schedule a free, comprehensive facility assessment.

How can I save money on a time-of-use rate plan?

Before, on a flat electric rate, the only way to reduce your bills was to simply use less electricity. On a time-of-use rate, you can lower your bill by shifting when you use energy to partial-peak and off-peak hours. Rates during partial-peak and off-peak hours of the day are lower than the rates during the peak hours of 12 - 6 p.m. on weekdays. This puts you in the driver's seat so you can have more control over your bills. PG&E can help you identify ways to shift energy use away from peak hours and conserve energy in your business with rebates for making energy efficiency upgrades.

How do I know if my business is on a time-of-use rate plan?

To find out if your business is on a time-of-use rate plan, log in to your PG&E online account or speak to a PG&E representative at 1-800-468-4743.

Am I getting charged a different rate than a neighboring business?

The rate you are on is based on the amount of energy your business uses every month. A neighboring business may be on a rate that is better suited for their needs, so they may be on a different rate than you.

Frequently asked questions about Demand Charges

Some time-of-use rate plans include Demand Charges. If your time-of-use electric bill shows a monthly Demand Charge, you can find out more here.

What is the Demand Charge on my bill?

To help keep the supply of electricity reliable in California, some time-of-use rate plans, like A10 time-of-use, include a Demand Charge to encourage businesses to spread their electricity use throughout the day. This Demand Charge is calculated by using the 15-minute interval during each billing month when your business uses its maximum amount of electricity. As a benefit to this type of rate plan, regular electricity usage charges are approximately 25% lower than for a comparable rate plan without a Demand Charge--giving you the opportunity to save on your bill if you can lower your highest usage 15-minute interval.

Why does my Demand Charge vary from month to month?

The Demand Charge reflects the maximum amount of electricity you used during any 15-minute interval over the course of a billing period, and can vary depending how and when you use your equipment from month to month. One way to lower your monthly Demand Charge is to stagger times at which you use equipment, rather than using all your equipment at the same time, thereby minimizing spikes in your electricity use. Depending on your business type, it may be possible spread your electricity use throughout the day to lower your Demand Charge.


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Transition Schedule

  • Beginning in November 2012 and continuing over the next several years, Small and Medium Business Customers are transitioning to time-of-use rate plans.

  • Beginning in March 2013 and continuing over the next several years, Small and Medium Agriculture Customers are transitioning to time-of-use rate plans.

See What Transition Means

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