Maximize Your Solar Savings with Brightbox and SCE’s Time-of-Use Rates

Solar Battery Storage Savings with SCE TOU Rates

A solar battery storage plan like Sunrun Brightbox™ California gives you access to clean, reliable energy in the event of a power outage and, it also saves you money by using your stored power at times electricity rates are more expensive. For example, during summer afternoons when people are often forced to blast their air conditioners to keep their homes comfortable.1

Plus, with Brightbox and Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Time-of-Use (TOU) rates, your annual energy savings have the potential to grow further. So if you are eager to learn the financial benefits of equipping your home with Brightbox along with SCE’s TOU rates, first let’s dive into what TOU rates are, and the type of plans SCE offers to residential solar customers.

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

Time-of-Use rates are variable pricing structures set by utilities, like SCE, that change depending on the time of day, the day of the week, and the season you use electricity.2

In the summer months, June through September, SCE offers three time periods where different energy prices are charged: on-peak, mid-peak, and off-peak. And in the winter months, October through May, they offer two time periods: mid-peak and off-peak.3

During on-peak hours (early afternoon to early evening), when most people are typically inside their homes using their devices and appliances; electricity rates cost more compared to off-peak hours (night to early morning), when people are typically sleeping or have gone to work or school.

TOU rates are becoming a common offering among utilities 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.4

How Can I Benefit with an SCE TOU Rate Plan?

SCE’s TOU rates are based on the time of day and the season you use energy. If you are able to run power-hungry appliances, such as your washing machine or your dishwasher, at off-peak hours when electricity prices are lower — enrolling in one of SCE’s TOU rate plans are a great way to shrink your utility bills.5

Now, if you enroll in one of SCE’s TOU rate plans, this does not mean you have to completely cut your energy usage during on-peak, high-demand hours in the afternoon. Making small changes to your energy habits, like doing laundry in the morning, can impact the cost of your monthly bill.

SCE’s TOU Rate Plans*

SCE Rate Plans Peak Pricing Features Benefits
TOU-D-A 2 pm - 8 pm Weekdays Higher on-peak rates, offset by a monthly Baseline Credit Better for low and medium energy users (less than 700 kWh/month)
TOU-D-B 2 pm - 8 pm Weekdays Lower on-peak rates, higher daily basic charge, no Baseline Credit Better for high energy users (more than 700 kWh/month)
TOU-D-T 12 pm - 6 pm Weekdays Offers two tiers of pricing determined by Baseline Allocation Combines Time-of-Use and Tiered Rate Pricing
TOU-D-4-9PM 4 pm - 9 pm Summer Weekdays Ideal rates for customers who stay up late May benefit smaller households
TOU-D-5-8PM 5 pm - 8 pm Summer Weekdays Ideal rates for customers who end the night early May benefit smaller rented dwellings

*SCE’s TOU rate plans are subject to change in the future.

Which TOU Rate Plan Do Brightbox Customers Go On?

After performing a savings analysis, Sunrun believes the TOU-D-A rate yields the most savings for solar battery storage system customers. So all Brightbox customers will automatically default to the TOU-D-A rate plan when applying for utility interconnection.

In case SDG&E’s TOU rate structures or schedules change in the future, Sunrun will re-evaluate and choose the one that we believe generates the most savings for our customers.

How Does SCE’s TOU-D-A Rate Work?

The TOU-DR-SES rate plan offers you more affordable prices during periods of the day when electricity costs are lower — before 2:00 p.m. and after 8:00 p.m. on weekdays, and all day during weekends.

SCE TOU-D-A Hours5

TOU-D-A Hours On-Peak Off-Peak Super Off-Peak
June 1 - Sep 30 (Summer) Weekdays 2 pm - 8 pm Weekdays 8 am - 2 pm & 8 pm - 10 pm Weekdays & Weekends 10 pm - 8 am
Oct 1 - May 31 (Winter) Weekdays 2 pm - 8 pm Weekends 8 am - 10 pm Weekdays & Weekends 10 pm - 8 am

SCE Rates Time of Day Residential for TOU-D-A Per Season5**

TOU-D-A Rates Per Season On-Peak Off-Peak Super Off-Peak On/Off Spread
Summer June 1 - Sep 30 (Summer) $0.48 $0.28 $0.12 $0.20
Winter Oct 1 - May 31 (Winter) $0.36 $0.27 $0.13 $0.09

**For the most up-to-date information about SCE’s current TOU-D-A rates, please click here.

What Is Brightbox Smart TOU Allocation?

With a TOU rate plan, SCE charges you a higher or lower price depending on the time you draw electricity from their grid. But when you have a Brightbox solar battery storage service, your battery performs Smart TOU Allocation during on-peak hours to use your stored energy instead of drawing electricity from the grid. Which helps you lower your utility costs and save more money with each billing period.

sce tou solar battery

Why Doesn’t Brightbox Perform Battery Smart TOU Allocation During Off-Peak Hours?

Brightbox only performs Smart TOU Allocation during on-peak hours 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 during off-peak and super off-peak hours electricity prices are lower, performing Smart TOU Allocation is not as effective because the battery unit’s degradation would far outweigh your energy savings.

Purchasing or Leasing Brightbox Today Means Big Savings Tomorrow

If you were to look outside right now, odds are the sun is shining. Think of all the savings you’re missing out on! Start by requesting your complimentary quote. This is a move that could end up saving you thousands of dollars in electricity bills over the next 20 to 30 years. Contact our solar advisors today!

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