Want Greater Solar Savings? Brightbox + LADWP Time-of-Use Rates Will Do the Trick

Solar Battery Storage Savings with LADWP TOU Rates

You may already know adding a battery unit to your home solar system will give you access to clean, reliable energy in the event of a power outage. But did you know it also saves you money by using your stored energy when utility rates are higher?1

With a solar battery storage system, such as Sunrun Brightbox™ California, you can save thousands of dollars in electricity bills over the course of your 20-year agreement. And, with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s (LADWP) Time-of-Use (TOU) rates, Brightbox is now able to take your yearly solar savings even further.

Before we get into the details of how Brightbox automatically saves you money with LADWP’s TOU rates, let’s go through what TOU rates are, and the types of residential rates LADWP is currently offering.

What Are TOU (Time-of-Use) Rates?

TOU rates are variable pricing structures set by utilities, like LADWP, that change depending on the time of day, the day of the week, and the season you consume electricity at home.2

For example, during high-peak hours (early afternoon to early evening), when most people use their power-hungry devices, like their washing machines, dishwashers, and air conditioners; electricity rates are pricier compared to low-peak hours (late evening to late morning), when people are usually sleeping or have gone to work or school.

The truth is, TOU rates are becoming a common thing across the nation, and California is leading the way. In fact, according to California’s new Net Energy Metering (NEM) policy, any homeowner who installs solar panels in the state is now required to pay TOU rates instead of a single per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate.3

LADWP Residential Electric Rates

As a residential customer, you have two different rate options to choose from: the R-1A Standard Rate or the R-1B TOU Rate.4

R-1A Standard Rate:

Divided into three different tiers: Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 — depending on the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) you consume during each 30-day billing cycle.5 In the summer high-demand months, LADWP uses this three-tier system as an incentive for customers to conserve energy.

LADWP has divided Los Angeles into two temperature zones. Residents who live in the hotter parts of the city, Zone 2 (Z2), are allowed to have a little more energy in Tier 1 than residents who live in the cooler areas of L.A., Zone 1 (Z1).

R-1B TOU Rate:

Based on the time of day, the day of the week, and the season you consume energy — and it is divided into three time periods: High-Peak, Low-Peak, and Base periods.6 If you are able to use at least 65% of your electricity during the base hours, changing your current R-1A Standard Rate to the R-1B TOU Rate is a smart way to lower your monthly LADWP bill.

This does not mean you have to shut down your energy consumption during high-peak hours completely. Making small changes to your electricity habits, like doing your laundry or running the dishwasher in the morning, can have a positive impact.

Differences Between LADWP's Residential Rate Plans*

LADWP Rate Plans Peak Pricing Structure Billing
R-1A Standard 1 pm - 5 pm

Summer Weekdays
Tier 1: 500 kWh

Tier 2: 100 kWh

Tier 3: 1500 kWh
Your electricity bill is charged based on the amount of energy you consume during each 30-day billing period
R-1B Time-of-Use 1 pm - 5 pm

Summer Weekdays
High-Peak Period: 20 hrs/week

Low-Peak Period: 30 hrs/week

Base Period: 118 hrs/week
Your electricity bill is charged based on the time of day, day of the week, and the season you consume energy

*LADWP’s residential rate schedules and structures are subject to change in the future.

Which Residential Rate Plan Do Brightbox Customers Go On?

After evaluating LADWP’s residential rate structures, Sunrun determined the R-1B TOU Rate yields the most savings for solar battery storage system customers. Since Sunrun is unable to change the rate on the customer’s behalf, all Brightbox customers will remain on the pre-solar R1-A Standard Rate unless they request to be on the R-1B TOU Rate via www.ladwp.com or fax to LADWP’s Rates Department.

In case LADWP’s rate structures or schedules change in the future, Sunrun will re-evaluate and choose the rate that generates the most savings for our customers.

How Does LADWP’s R1-B TOU Rate Work?

The R-1B TOU Rate offers you more affordable prices during periods of the day when electricity prices are lower — before 1:00 p.m. and after 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and all day Saturday & Sunday.

LADWP R-1B TOU Periods

R-1B Periods High-Peak Low-Peak Base
June 1 - Sep 30 (Summer) Weekdays 1 pm - 5 pm Weekdays 19 am - 1 pm & 5 pm - 8 pm Weekdays 8 pm - 10 am & All day Weekends
Oct 1 - May 31 (Winter) Weekdays 1 pm - 5 pm Weekdays 19 am - 1 pm & 5 pm - 8 pm Weekdays 8 pm - 10 am & All day Weekends

R-1B Rates Per Season5**

R-1B Rates Per Season High-Peak Low-Peak Base High/Low Spread
Summer June 1 - Sep 30 (Summer) $0.16 $0.09 $0.07 $0.07
Winter Oct 1 - May 31 (Winter) $0.08 $0.08 $0.07 $0.00

**For the most up-to-date information about LADWP’s R-1B TOU Rates, please click here.

What Is Brightbox Smart TOU Allocation?

With the R-1B TOU Rate, LADWP charges you a higher or lower price depending on the time you draw electricity from their grid. However, when you have a Brightbox solar battery storage service, your battery automatically performs Smart TOU Allocation during High-Peak Periods in the summer to use your stored energy instead of drawing electricity from the grid. This action helps you offset your utility bills and increase your savings each year.

ladwp tou solar battery

Why Doesn’t Brightbox Perform Year-Round Battery Smart TOU Allocation?

Brightbox only performs Smart TOU Allocation during High-Peak Periods in the summer to optimize your energy savings while balancing your battery unit’s degradation.

Similar to devices such as phones, cordless vacuums, or rechargeable Wi-Fi security cameras, the more you use your home battery, the greater wear and tear it will experience, contributing to faster degradation. Meaning, since electricity costs the same during winter High-Peak and Low-Peak Periods, performing Smart TOU Allocation in this season is not as effective because it would result in unnecessary battery degradation with no additional savings for you.

Make Your Home a Savings Haven with Brightbox

Throughout the next 20 to 30 years, the average U.S. homeowner is expected to pay their utility over $36,000 in energy bills.7 So don’t let the sun set on your chance to save! Request your free, personalized quote and start your savings journey with Sunrun Brightbox today. Rest assured, our solar advisors are here to help you every step of the way.

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