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Recent changes in the utilities in California, particularly the surplus of solar generated electricity during the afternoon periods, is causing the utilities in the state to request significant changes in their long established Time-of-Use (TOU) periods. The utilities are proposing changing the on-peak TOU period from the long standing afternoon period in the summer to the evening hours and, in many cases, extending the on-peak from the summer season to year around (see Table 1).

These TOU period changes are scheduled to go into effect in 2018. The new TOU periods will impact customers in several areas,

Solar Projects Value

Proposed TOU period shift is illustrated in Figure 1 for the PG&E area. Under current TOU on-peak period, for this representative July day, 49 percent of the solar generation occurs in the on-peak period. Under the PG&E proposed TOU summer on-peak period, only 2 percent of the solar generation occurs during the on-peak period.

The impact on solar projects value can be substantial - solar projects can be facing reductions in the value of electricity generated by their solar projects of 33-75 percent less than currently.

Customer Energy Use and Operations

Customer operations are familiar with the existing summer afternoon on-peak period. Many customers reduce their electricity demand in the summer afternoons to try and avoid much of the high on-peak period charges.

Changing TOU on-peak periods to the evening hours will materially change electricity bills. Customers that use electricity in the middle of the day will experience decreased electricity bills. Customers that use a lot of electricity in the evening hours will experience increased electricity bills.

How to Prepare

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Lon W. House, PhD, CEM, CSDP, is a Water and Energy Consultant with over 25 years of experience. Dr. House has a Bachelors, two Masters, and a PhD in Engineering and Economics from UC Davis. He is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) and a Certified Sustainable Development Professional (CSDP) with the Association of Energy Engineers. Dr. House taught engineering in Graduate School at UC Davis for a number of years and was the Founder and Co-Director for Hydropower at the UCD Energy Institute. He worked for the California Energy Commission as a utility planner, and was the chief utility planner for the California Public Utilities Commission.

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