Learn what time-of-use rate plans mean for your business
Maximize your savings with time-of-use rates
Time-of-use rate plans can help you save money because they offer lower energy rates when energy demand is low. Conversely, costs increase when demand is high. You can reduce your expenses by shifting your energy use to partial-peak or off-peak hours of the day. Rates during partial-peak and off-peak hours are lower than rates during peak hours, which are currently between noon and 6 p.m. on weekdays, May through October.
Discover how time-of-use rate plans work
Learn about our current peak periods and seasonal pricing:
- Winter (November-April). During winter, there are two rate periods: off-peak and partial-peak.
- Summer (May-October). During summer, there are three rate periods: off-peak, partial-peak and peak for small and medium business customers, and two rate periods: off-peak and peak for small and medium agriculture customers.
Time-of-Use Rates Charts
Learn more about the different rates for small and medium businesses and small and medium agricultural companies.
Start saving on your energy costs now
Try our solutions for helping your business make smarter energy decisions and save money:
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.
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.
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 rates during on-peak hours. 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.
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. Currently, peak period rates are highest on weekdays, from noon to 6 p.m., May through October. At all other hours, rates will be lower.
Will rate periods change in the future?
Beginning in November 2020, businesses will be moving to time-of-use rate plans with later on-peak hours. The new on-peak hours, when rates will be higher, will be 4-9 p.m. every day of the year. In addition, these new rate plans will only have partial-peak periods during summer months (2-4 p.m. and 9-11 p.m. every day, June through September), and a super off-peak period, when prices will be lower, during spring months (9 a.m. – 2 p.m. every day, March through May). Businesses will have the option to enroll early in these new rate plans beginning in late 2019.
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 energy usage, log in to your PG&E online account.
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.
Frequently asked questions about Demand Charges
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 30% 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.
- Get a copy of the reference guide. Download Exploring Time-of-Use Rates (ZIP, 2.9 MB).
- Receive a custom rate analysis. Log in to your PG&E online account to view your energy use and compare rate plan options.
- Take the Business Energy Checkup. Get free customized recommendations to help your business save energy and costs.
- Avoid bill surprises with Bill Forecast Alerts. Specify a monthly bill alert amount and we'll notify you if your bill is projected to exceed the amount you've set.
- Learn about Energy Efficiency Financing. See if your energy efficiency upgrades qualify for zero-interest loans.
Business success stories
Several California-based businesses achieved remarkable savings using time-of-use rate plans:
Discover how the Children's Recovery Center of Northern California makes Time-of-Use work for the center.
Learn how Lepe's Foods uses time-of-use rates and energy efficient upgrades to benefit their bottom line.
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As of March 1, 2017, existing medical marijuana growers and future recreational marijuana growers are eligible for PG&E’s agricultural energy rate. Find out whether you qualify.