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Time-Of-Use Rates FAQ

This information is meant to be an aid to understanding SCE’s Time-Of-Use rates. It does not replace pricing information contained in the CPUC-approved tariffs. Please refer to the tariffs for a complete list of terms and conditions of service.

What is Time-Of-Use pricing?

Time-Of-Use (TOU) pricing is a variable rate structure that charges for energy depending on the time of day and the season the energy is used. With TOU rates, your bill will be determined by both when you use electricity and how much you use. Starting in 2014, eligible business, agricultural, and pumping customers (GS-1, GS-2, PA-1, and PA-2) are required to transition to a TOU rate plan. This transition will continue through 2015.

What are the Time-Of-Use time periods?

During the summer months, June through September, there are three time periods where different rates are charged: On-Peak, Mid-Peak, and Off-Peak. During the winter months, October through May, there are only two periods: Mid-Peak and Off-Peak.

Chart: Weekdays (except holidays) Mid-Peak (Medium Energy Charge): 8 a.m. – noon & 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. On-Peak (Highest Energy Charge): Noon – 6 p.m. Off-Peak (Lowest Energy Charge):11 p.m. – 8 a.m. All day Saturday & Sunday & Holidays: Off-Peak
Summer TOU Periods

  • Off-Peak: 11 p.m.–8 a.m.
  • Mid-Peak: 8 a.m.–12 p.m. & 6 p.m.–11 p.m.
  • On-Peak: 12 p.m.–6 p.m.


Chart: Weekdays (except holidays) Mid-Peak (Medium Energy Charge): 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. Off-Peak (Lowest Energy Charge): 9 p.m. – 8 a.m. All day Saturday & Sunday and Holidays: Off-Peak

Winter TOU Periods

  • Off-Peak: 9 p.m.–8 a.m.
  • Mid-Peak: 8 a.m.–9 p.m.



Year-Round, Weekends & Holidays

  • Always Off-Peak
Will my business, agricultural, or pumping accounts switch to Time-Of-Use?

Starting January 2014, most business, agricultural and pumping accounts will transition to a Time-Of-Use (TOU) rate plan. This transition will continue through 2015. You will be notified by mail when your account is about to switch to a TOU rate plan.

I’m a residential customer—will I be switching to Time-Of-Use?

No, you will not. This required transition is only for non-residential customers. However, there are Time-Of-Use (TOU) options for residential customers. Click here to find out more.

How can I save money on Time-Of-Use rates?

With a Time-Of-Use (TOU) rate, you can lower your bill by lowering your electricity use during summer On-Peak hours when the cost of electricity is highest.

We understand that many customers will not be able to reduce energy usage during the summer On-Peak hours. We have compiled a list of other ways your business can save energy based on your industry. Click here for tips.

Is there more than one Time-Of-Use rate?

Yes, there may be several options available for you. Learn more about your rate options at sce.com/MyAccount , or call us at 1-866-743-1645 to request a rate analysis.

What are some of the Time-Of-Use rate options?
  • For Commercial and Industrial customers

    TOU-GS-1: For customers with demands ≤20kW
  •  
  • Option A (no demand charges and higher TOU energy charges)
  • Option B (includes both year-round Facilities-Related and Time-Related Demand charges during the summer season, and lower TOU energy charges)
  •  
  • TOU-GS-2: For customers with demands >20 and <200kW
     
  • Option A (includes year-round Facilities-Related Demand charges and higher summer TOU energy charges0
  • Option B (includes both year-round Facilities-Related and summer Time-Related Demand charges, and lower summer TOU energy charges)
  •  
  • For Agricultural and Pumping customers

    TOU-PA-2: For customers with demands <200kW
     
  • Option A (includes year-round Facilities-Related Demand charges and higher summer TOU energy charges)
  • Option B (includes year-round Facilities-Related and summer Time-Related Demand charges, and lower summer TOU energy charges)

Learn more about additional rate options.

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What are Time-Of-Use energy charges?

Time-Of-Use (TOU) energy charges are the cost for the amount of energy used in a billing cycle. It’s based on a cost per kilowatt-hour you use in each TOU period. It’s important to remember that the cost of a kilowatt-hour varies by the time of day, day of week, and season.

What are Facilities-Related Demand charges?

Facilities-Related Demand charges are billed on a $ per-kilowatt basis throughout the year. It is based on the maximum registered demand during the billing period—no matter what season, day of the week, or time of day.

What are Time-Related Demand charges?

Time-Related Demand charges are applied only during SCE’s summer season billing period (June 1 through September 30). These charges are in addition to and separate from Facilities-Related Demand charges. Time-Related Demand charges are $-per-kilowatt charges based on your business operation’s greatest demand for electricity during an applicable peak periods.

What is the difference between demand charges and TOU energy charges?

An easy way to understand the difference between Demand charges and energy charges is by using this automobile analogy. Think of the car's speedometer as the demand meter and the odometer as the energy meter.

Here’s an example:
Let’s say that two cars are traveling from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Car A travels 60 miles per hour for four hours, whereas Car B travels 80 miles per hour for three hours. Both cars traveled 240 miles, which would be equivalent to kilowatt hours of “energy” charges on your electric bill. However, Car A never exceeded a speed of 60, which would be equivalent to kilowatts of “demand” charges on your electric bill. As a result, Car A placed less demand on the vehicle than Car B, who traveled the same 240 miles, but at a much faster rate of 80 miles per hour.

It takes much more “demand” to drive the car at a faster speed of 80 miles per hour than it does to drive car at 60 miles per hour—and consequently more wear and tear on the engine.

Learn more about demand and how it can impact your energy bill.

After my account is transitioned to a TOU rate, can I change my rate to another TOU rate at any time?

Yes, you can elect another Time-Of-Use (TOU) rate at any time after your account is transitioned to a TOU rate in 2014. Your account will be switched on your next scheduled bill date after we receive your request, and you will not be able to change your account to another rate schedule or option for the following 12 months. For more information, please visit click here

Why do Time-Of-Use rates vary?

Time-Of-Use rates better align the price of electricity with the cost of electricity at the time it is produced and the cost to deliver it to your business. Rates will generally be higher during summer weekday afternoons when demand is higher, and lower at all other times, which provides an incentive for customers to shift electricity use away from more expensive peak hours. This can help you save money and reduce strain on the power grid.

Do I have options with Time-Of-Use rates?

Yes, there are several options available to you. Learn more about your rate options at sce.com/MyAccount, or call us at 1-866-743-1645 to request a rate analysis.

How can I reduce my electricity use during summer season On-Peak hours?

Small changes can make a big impact on your electricity saving efforts. Cooling costs can really add up in the summer. Visit us at sce.com/EnergyTips to view a quick list of tips designed to help you control and reduce your electricity costs during the summer months.

I can’t reduce how much electricity I use between noon and 6 p.m. — what other options do I have?

If you can’t reduce or shift how much electricity you use during this time frame, consider installing more energy-efficient equipment or savings and incentives for your business.

Learn More

How are Direct Access (DA) accounts impacted by TOU rates?
Although DA accounts are eligible for TOU rates, they have no impact on the costs that DA customers pay SCE. Electricity costs do not change based on time of day for DA accounts. In addition, DA accounts do not pay time-related demand charges.  
 
Please also note that for DA accounts, Option A and Option B differ in costs for the TOU-GS-1 rate. While many customers would be better off on Option A, some customers may do better on Option B based on how they use electricity. If you believe you may be better off on Option B, you may request a rate analysis from SCE.