Reading on the SCE web site this week to try to learn more about the changes SCE has implemented since March 1 has passed.
1) All TOU rates except the 4-9 pm and 5-8 pm ones have been eliminated for new enrollments or transfers between and they are now listed as “Grandfathered”
But don’t be too relieved if you’re in one of the grandfathered plans. The site clearly states that most currently in grandfathered TOU plans will only be grandfathered until late 2020 (other research indicates this date is October 2020). The only exceptions are customers whose solar systems went live recently (prior to March 1) and they’ll have 5 year grandfathering from the live date of their system.
So most of us with older solar systems will only be grandfathered until Oct 2020.
This includes the two-meter TOU-EV plan, so if you shelled out extra shekels for a second meter, sorry, your rate plan will be going away as early as next October.
2) The only rate plans that currently show on the rate comparison tool are the Domestic Tiered and the TOU 4-9 and 5-8 plans. But there’s also a new TOU PRIME plan that doesn’t yet show on the comparison tool (more on this in a minute)
I’m pretty sure that the Domestic Tiered plan will be the next to go, as SCE has said that they’ll be moving all customers into TOU plans soon.
3) The TOU 4-9 and 5-8 plans are disastrous for EV owners with solar because the lowest rates, 22 to 23 cents in Summer, 17 cents in winter are much higher than the 13 cents we currently pay for car charging under TOU-A for example, AND the 17 cent lowest winter rate is only during the daytime hours of 8am to 4pm, while many are at work and can’t charge their cars.
Meanwhile the Peak rates occur beginning at 4 or 5 pm, when our solar is making little to no power. And the Peak rates are lower than our old plans’, so what little solar credit we can glean will be at low rates, so our billing credit banks will be much lower to offset charging costs.
West facing solar arrays will fare a bit better under these plans than south facing arrays because there is still some summer solar available after 4 pm, especially facing west.
4) A new TOU rate plan (TOU-D-PRIME) designed exclusively for EV drivers is now available to all customers, but non-EV drivers have only until April 30, 2019 to switch to it.
For the rest of us EV drivers, apparently this TOU PRIME rate will be available to us after our grandfathering ends, or even right away, if we choose.
Fascinatingly, this PRIME plan has rates of 13 cents all day, except higher rates between 4 and 9 pm. (BUT it does carry a daily basic charge of 40 cents, which is about $12/month.)
This rate plan seems to be the best for the future for many of us because we can charge our cars at any time except 4-9 pm and we’ll only incur 13 cents/kWh, which is what many of us pay for charging at night right now. AND we could move a lot of our heavy power use into any hours of the day except 4-9 pm and pay the same 13 cents for that usage, which is much lower than we pay off-Peak right now.
For my family, we would probably do as much air conditioning and cooking as possible during the daytime hours before 4 pm, really chill the house in summer before 4 and then try to use little to no AC or cooking or laundry or dishwashing between 4 and 9 pm. Our solar generation would cover much of this daytime usage, and we’d probably still charge the EVs overnight, or during the day if our other usage and our work schedules permit.
Smart EVSEs that interact with our solar arrays would help us to keep daytime car charging within our solar generation profile, so we could charge from the sun and not dip into the 13 cent grid power if we don’t want to.
TRUE, we wouldn’t any longer get the benefit of large solar credits to offset our charging costs, but this PRIME plan offers by far the lowest rates for charging and any other power use during most of the hours in the day once our current grandfathering expires.
I will say that starting in 18 months or so, gone will be the days of zero electric bills at settle-up except for those with huge solar arrays and probably storage batteries.