What are time-of-use rates?
Time-of-use rate plans allow utilities to charge different rates according to the time of day, season, and day type (weekday or weekend/holiday). The utility charges higher rates during peak demand hours and lower rates during off-peak hours. In conjunction with higher prices during peak demand during the day, time-of-use rates normally feature higher rates in summer and lower rates in winter. This is to encourage the most efficient use of the grid, avoid black and brownouts, and reduce the maximum demand on the grid.
In PG&E territory, peak demand is generally between 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM during summer and winter months. The following is an example of PG&E’s time of use plan, which, currently, is an elective rate plan option.
When will time-of-use go into effect?
Currently, PG&E offers time-of-use rates for residential, commercial, and industrial customers on a volunteer basis. However, the California Public Utility Commission has mandated that all California utilities move to time-of-use rates going forward. PG&E plans to implement time-of-use rates by 2019 for all utility customers.
What does that mean for multifamily properties?
If you are not prepared for the new rate structure, you and your residents could end up paying significantly higher utility bills. Air conditioning and plug loads (e.g. TV, video games, internet services) during summer months will cost significantly more than these end uses cost today. These rate changes may raise resident energy bills and property operating costs.
What can you do to prepare?
First, educate yourself on the upcoming changes and make residents aware before time-of-use becomes mandatory.
Second, perform an energy efficiency retrofit before time-of-use implementation to significantly reduce your current energy spending. MUP projects average energy savings of 20 percent, with the highest project achieving savings of 35 percent. MUP’s technical support staff can help you optimize your property’s performance to help reduce consumption during expensive peak demand times.
MUP is your one-stop-shop for multifamily energy efficiency
MUP differs from traditional energy efficiency programs in that the program provides cash incentives for custom energy efficiency measures, and MUP’s technical team helps identify tailored energy improvements for your property. MUP also coordinates with water-saving, solar thermal, and other PG&E, local, and state programs to maximize the scope of your retrofit within your budget.
Fill out an interest form today and take the first step to securing funding and technical solutions for your property’s unique energy and design challenges.