The CPUC sets rates every three years in a public process, which includes public participation hearings held throughout SCE’s 50,000-square-mile service area. SCE files thousands of pages of documents to detail why the funding is needed and responds to requests from the commission’s public interest arm, the Office of Ratepayer Advocates, and other public interest groups. On Sept. 1, 2016, SCE filed a request to recover the costs from 2018 through 2020 for employees to inspect, repair, and when appropriate, upgrade poles, transformers and distribution lines. On March 1st, 2019, these new rates will become effective.
Most SCE customers received a notice about these new electric rates, asking you to select your rate plan and determine whether or not you want to opt-out of Critical Peak Pricing (CPP), prior to February 28th, 2019. Click here for information on these new electric rates. However, the new electric rates are not on SCE’s website, and our experience in using SCE’s new online rate plan comparison tool is that it does not function or is not accurate. So what can you do?
Here is what we can recommend for you at this time:
- OPT-OUT for all accounts for Critical Peak Pricing (CPP). Why? This option only benefits customers that can shift their electrical loads during CPP events, which typically occur on the hottest days of the summer, from June – September. Typically, the only customers that can shift enough electrical load to benefit from this program are individual homeowners who are home every day or larger commercial / industrial customers. Retail customers, homeowners who are not home during the day or community associations will not be able to turn off air conditioning, lighting, boilers or machinery during CPP events and will end up paying more annually than the credits they receive by participating in this plan. Since SCE is making OPT-IN the default, it is up to the customer to call SCE at 1-800-655-4555 and request to OPT-OUT of CPP for all of your SCE accounts that qualify for this plan.
- Use SCE’s Rate Plan Comparison Tool for your Time-Of-Use (TOU) accounts: Due to the shift in on-peak, mid-peak, off-peak and the new super off-peak TOU periods, some electric accounts that previously benefited from TOU electric rates will now be paying more, and other TOU electric accounts may now benefit from some of the new electric rates. The only true way to determine which of the new and old electric rates (with new time periods) is the least expensive electric rate schedule for each of your electric accounts is to do a 12-month cost analysis for each meter. Although our experience with SCE’s new rate plan comparison tool has not been good, this is the best option available from SCE at this time. There is generally a 12-month minimum commitment once you choose a new rate, but some rates have a price protection policy available whereby SCE will refund the cost difference if the new rate is higher and place you back on the old plan.
Most customers will not realize a big difference in their utility bills until they receive their first summer period (June – September) electric bills, so there is time between March 1st, 2019 and June, 2019 to make these changes. Don’t wait until after you get your first summer electric bills to make these changes – it will cost you!!!
Contact us if you have any questions. We will do this for you as part of our utility audit process!