SCE Extends Time Of Use rates; Utility Bills to Increase

Time of use (TOU) rates used to apply only to large SCE customers. But TOU rates are now being “pushed down” to smaller commercial customers, due to the San Onofre debacle. There are things you can do to reduce the impact on your bill.

The key aspect of TOU rates are demand charges. Demand charges are designed to make peak power draw so economically painful that SCE customers will be motivated to reduce their peak demand, which SCE can no longer fully support without buying expensive power from outside Southern California. We estimate that the typical commercial customer who is shifted into TOU rates will see a 10-20% utility bill increase if they do nothing different. The good news is that many of the energy efficiency actions already being taken by building owners will reduce peak power draw, and the savings that they deliver will therefore be amplified by the TOU rate structure. The critical thing will be to minimize demand charges.

There are two “biggest no brainer in the history of mankind” ways to minimize demand charges in the typical commercial building. The first is to make sure that unnecessary lights & electronic devices are off on hot afternoons, when demand in SoCal peaks. This not only saves electricity for the lights, etc…it does more than that. It also saves the air conditioning energy that would be needed to offset the heat from the lights. The second way is to optimize your Air Conditioning system’s efficiency. There are choices here, depending upon how your building is air conditioned. If you want to be proactive, let’s talk…

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