PG&E’s hidden rate hike for businesses

December 24, 2012

By Linda Terry, Manager at Solar Works

Early this fall, PG&E’s non-residential customers received a notice that their rate schedules would soon be changing to “Time Varying” metering. This change went into effect November 1st. What does this mean for local businesses?

Time Varying, or Time of Use metering means that when you consume electricity means as much as how much electricity you consume. Traditionally, consumers could control their energy costs by controlling how much energy they consumed. Now they must also control when they consume energy. This is difficult to do for businesses with set hours of operation.

The Bad News:

Time Varying metering means that energy consumed during “peak” periods is charged at a higher rate. Peak periods are defined as Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm. Additionally, energy used during these periods in the summer is charged at an even higher rate. Unfortunately, these time periods coincide with normal working hours. As a result, most PG&E business customers will see an increase in their energy costs.

The Good News:

The good news is that Solar produces at its maximum during the exact times that PG&E’s Time Varying metering
charges its highest rates. Since solar produces the most electricity during peak usage times, customers are credited for their production at the higher rates. This higher credit offsets increased energy charges from PG&E. If you are also able
to reduce your energy consumption through simple changes like switching to energy efficient lighting, you can save
even more.


There are many attractive finance options for non-residential customers, from leases to purchases. Additionally, businesses switching to solar can still take advantage of a 30% Federal Tax credit and a rebate from the state. Non-profits can still take advantage of the state rebate and there are now several finance options available.

Take charge of your power now!
Going solar can save your business money
And allow you to invest in your future.