Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is an energy utility that offers several rate plans, including the Tiered Base Plan (E1), Time-of-Use Plan, and Electric Vehicle Base Plan. First, PG&E’s standard Tiered Base Plan is based on usage tiers, so as you use up the allotted electricity for each usage tier, you move up to the next, higher priced tier. Rates are the exact same across PG&E’s service area, but the amount of electricity needed to move up a tier is different for each customer depending on location, season, and home heating (gas or electric).

In the Time-of-Use rate plan, the price of electricity is determined by the time of day that it’s used. This rate plan is split into two options: ETOU-A and ETOU-B. ETOU-A is best suited for customers who are able to reduce their usage between 3 pm and 8pm on weekdays and keep total monthly usage low. ETOU-B is best for customers who tend to use a lot of energy, but can be flexible about when it is used — if a customer’s usage can be reduced during the hours of 4pm to 9pm, but their overall usage is high, this may be a good option for them. In either case, prices are higher during peak periods, which are determined to be either 3-8pm for A, or 4-9pm for B.

The Electric Vehicle (EV) base plan, which is intended for current/prospective EV drivers, is split into two options: EV-A and EV-B. EV-A combines the vehicle’s electricity costs with those of the residence, while EV-B requires installation of an additional meter that separates your vehicle’s electricity usage and costs from those of the home. Both are non-tiered, time-of-use plans, so the rate paid is based on the time that electricity is used. Costs are lowest from 11pm to 7am, making this the optimal time to charge EVs.

PG&E also offers Solar Choice Programs for homeowners (and businesses). With this program, homeowners purchase solar energy from a pool of solar projects in Northern and Central California. Homeowners can choose to purchase solar energy to meet either 50% or 100% of their energy needs and will incur a modest additional monthly cost. This option is best for those who are switching to solar mainly for environmental concerns or those who prefer to power their home with solar, but for whatever reason cannot go solar themselves.

Finally, PG&E also offers (a) SmartRate and (b) Net Energy Metering add-ons. SmartRate helps customers to save up to 20% on their summer electric bills by discounting electricity rates for customers who reduce electricity usage up to 15 days a year. Net Energy Metering allows customers with solar to sell their excess energy back to the grid.

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