** Since this blog post, as of 08/24/2018, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved SDG&E’s proposed change that we talk about below. This is now a reality and it can take affect as early as August, 2018.
Timeline of Upcoming SDG&E Rate Changes
Over the next couple years, SDG&E customers will see significant changes as everyone is transitioned to a Time-of-Use (TOU) rate structure. We will go over the timeline in which SDG&E has proposed these changes, as well as the various methods of grandfathering into existing rate structures as a solar customer. See the video below as we go over the full timeline in detail in the second installment of our #LightningLectures video series.
Keys Takeaways From the Lightning Lectures Video
Below are some of the key details from our Lightning Lectures™ video above. There are 3 important changes that that will take place by the end of 2019:
1. SDG&E’s Super User Surcharge
Who’s affected? – This change applies to all SDG&E residential customers who use more than 400% of baseline (typically >1,200 kWh/month)
- Super User Surcharge applies to residential customers who consume more than 1,200 kWh per month.
- SDG&E will charge “Super Users” more than double the cost of tier-1 energy.
- SDG&E to implement Super User Surcharge sometime in Summer of 2017. This change will be happening soon!
2. Grandfathered Rate Structures for New Solar Installs
Who’s affected? – These two deadlines are directed to all solar PV systems installed and activated between 07/29/2017 and 03/30/2018.
- New solar customers installed and activated between 07/29/2017 and 12/01/2017 have the option of locking in legacy time-of-use (DR-SES) rates for 5 years from the date their system was activated. Customers installed and activated after 12/01/2017 will not have this rate option available to them.
- New solar customers installed and activated between 12/02/2017 and 03/30/2018 have the option of locking in tier-1 pricing for 5 years. This pricing will be based off the current tier-1 rates when your system was activated.
- New solar customers installed and activated after 03/30/2018 will default to whatever SDG&E’s current rate structure is. At which point, the grandfathering of legacy options will not be available
3. All SDG&E Customers Default to Time-of-Use Rate Structure
Who’s affected? – All residential SDG&E customers that aren’t locked into a legacy rate structure.
- This change will happen sometime in the 2019 calendar year.
- Peak period pricing will be shifting from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. to 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. This will greatly affect customers who consume a bulk of their energy in evening.
- SDG&E will be hitting customers with higher-priced energy for electricity used between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- Avoid the first few years of SDG&E’s time-of-use rate structure by installing solar before 03/30/2018 — lock in legacy rate structures for 5 years.
FAQ: Why is SDG&E Making These Changes?
The 11 a.m to 6 p.m. peak period window has been around for about 30 years, because for a long time it was the time frame in which the energy grid was seeing the most demand. After installing solar throughout California over the last 15 years, the energy produced by PV systems has greatly reduced that 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. demand. Because of that large reduction in demand during those hours, the peak period, when the grid is seeing the most demand, has shifted to later in the evening (when solar systems are producing little to nothing).