1. What Are TOU Rates?
Electric companies use TOU rates to estimate the price for electricity, based on when and how customers use it.1 Utility companies usually charge more when electricity demand is higher, which can change by time of day and season.
TOU rates help take a load off the grid. When too much energy is drawn from the grid at once, power outages can happen more frequently and last longer. This often leaves many homes without electricity for hours or days at a time.
With TOU rates, an electric company like PG&E lets you know when electricity prices change. This gives you the chance to shift your energy use to when electricity costs less, so you can try to reduce how much you spend on your home energy bills.
Even so, if you power your home under one of PG&E’s TOU rate plans, this doesn’t mean that you have to cut your electricity use when demand is higher in the late afternoon and evening. With a few small energy-use changes, like doing your laundry in the morning instead of at night, you could get savings on your electric bill every month.